NM approves anxiety disorder as qualifying condition for medical cannabis - Albuquerque Journal

NM approves anxiety disorder as qualifying condition for medical cannabis

A worker at an Albuquerque medical cannabis dispensary cuts up marijuana buds in this December 2020 file photo. New Mexico’s Department of Health announced Tuesday that anxiety disorder will be added next month as a qualifying conditions to enroll in the state’s medical cannabis program. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – New Mexico will add anxiety disorder as a qualifying condition to participate in its medical cannabis program after the state’s top health official approved a recommendation made earlier this year by an advisory board.

The new qualifying condition, which will take effect next month, comes as New Mexico has seen a significant decline in enrollment in its medical cannabis program following the April legalization of recreational marijuana use for adults age 21 and older.

David Scrase, acting secretary for the state Department of Health, said Tuesday the decision to add anxiety disorder as a qualifying condition would provide additional options to the roughly 1 in 4 New Mexicans afflicted by anxiety disorder, which can include panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

“Even though patients may access cannabis without a medical cannabis card through the adult-use program, by including anxiety disorder on the list of qualifying conditions, patients would have increased opportunity to discuss with their medical provider how cannabis can be used to alleviate the symptoms of their anxiety disorder,” Scrase said in a statement.

After years of rapid growth, enrollment in the medical cannabis program dipped from 133,113 patients as of the end of March to 116,279 patients as of the end of November, according to DOH data.

The director of the state’s medical cannabis program has described the patient decline as not surprising in the initial months after adult-use legalization, while also predicting enrollment levels would rebound in the coming months.

He also said some enrolled patients might renew their medical cannabis cards after realizing that commercial sales are subject to taxation – the tax rate is currently about 20%, depending on location – while medical cannabis purchases are not.

However, some cannabis producers and patients say many dispensaries have decided to focus primarily on recreational sales, while also claiming the state does not provide sufficient protections and incentives for medical marijuana users to continue signing up.

Scrase made the decision to add anxiety disorder as a qualifying condition after the state’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board voted in March to recommend the move.

Once the change takes effect, anxiety disorder will become one of 29 qualifying conditions for enrolling in the medical cannabis program. Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder and acute chronic pain make up more than 80% of all enrolled patients.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » NM approves anxiety disorder as qualifying condition for medical cannabis

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
New Mexico seems determined to extend class time. What ...
ABQnews Seeker
Three competing proposals are on the ... Three competing proposals are on the table
2
Agency delays protections for imperiled bat, prairie chicken
ABQnews Seeker
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced ... U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced new designations for the lesser prairie chicken set to take effect bumped to March 27
3
New NM health secretary learning on the job after ...
ABQnews Seeker
Patrick Allen heads a key agency ... Patrick Allen heads a key agency on the front lines of the state’s pandemic response, after leaving behind a lengthy state government career in ...
4
Kenneth H. Martinez, 1954-2023: Former district judge ‘was good ...
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque native, 2nd Judicial District Court ... Albuquerque native, 2nd Judicial District Court judge had a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease
5
New Mexico bill would ban contracts for migration detention
ABQnews Seeker
Recently introduced bill could unwind contractual ... Recently introduced bill could unwind contractual arrangements at Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral
6
Native American leaders: Educational trust fund will be key
ABQnews Seeker
Native American leaders said creating a ... Native American leaders said creating a special $50 million trust fund to help finance educational p ...
7
No drama for birthday llama: ABQ llama celebrates 27th ...
ABQnews Seeker
'This llama is bringing everyone together,' ... 'This llama is bringing everyone together,' says family friend
8
New Mountain West Commissioner Nevarez gives nod to former ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez ... New Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez discusses her new job in an ever-evolving college athletics landscape.
9
Talking Grammer, Ep. 59: MWC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez
ABQnews Seeker
In Episode 59 of the podcast, ... In Episode 59 of the podcast, we had a conversation with new Mountain West Conference Commissioner Gloria Nevarez.