Enrolment with the New Mexico Medical Marijuana Program offers certain legal protections under state law, so long as you are acting within the guidelines of the law.
If you are engaging in an activity that is prohibited under state law, your enrolment card will not offer those protections. At this present time, cannabis continues to be identified as a Schedule I controlled substance under Federal statue. For that reason, participation in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program may not protect participating patients, caregivers or producers from potential criminal liability under federal laws
The New Mexico Medical Marijuana Program: Application Process
On April 1, 2011 there was a change in the application process for medical marijuana cards in New Mexico: all applications for registration or renewal with the New Mexico Medical Program must be made on the new application form. Applications made using the old forms will not be processed.
To apply for registration into the program, a medical provider must confirm that you suffer from one of the eligible medical conditions; you should also be aware that for some of the eligible conditions additional ‘proof’ is required (see below)
There is no registration fee levied for enrolment with the New Mexico medical marijuana program.
The New Mexico Medical Marijuana Program: Qualifying Conditions
To apply for registration into the program, a medical provider must confirm that you suffer from one of the eligible conditions; you should also be aware that for some of the eligible conditions additional ‘proof’ is required (see below)
- Severe chronic pain: you must provide objective proof of severe chronic pain (X-rays, CT scans, MRIs) and receive two certifications, one from a primary care provider and one from a specialist who is board certified in the particular condition who is consulting on the case
- Painful peripheral neuropathy: medical records with proof of diagnosis through either diagnostic tests or other objective evidence provided by your certifying provider
- Intractable nausea/vomiting
- Severe anorexia/cachexia
- Hepatitis C infection: to be eligible you must provide prove that you are receiving anti-viral treatment
- Crohn’s disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: a psychiatrist’s diagnosis must be included
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Glaucoma: an ophthalmologist must provide the diagnosis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with intractable spasticity
- Hospice patients
You should include the following documents with your application form:
- New Mexico State ID or Driver’s License
- Release of Information
- Medical records when required and as stated on the application
If you suffer from a condition not listed: Individuals can request a new condition be added by petitioning the Medical Advisory Board to add the new condition. The Medical Advisory Board then makes a recommendation to the Secretary of Health. The Secretary then makes a determination to add the new condition if there is sufficient scientific evidence presented that the conditions could be helped by medical cannabis and that the addition of new conditions meets the purpose of the state law, which is to provide relief from pain and suffering associated with debilitating medical conditions.
Applications should be mailed to: 1190 Saint Francis Drive Suite S-1300, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502. Electronic applications, including faxes, are not accepted. The program has 30 days to review an application. This starts only when the program receives your complete application, the 30 days does not start until your application is complete. If you are missing any required application information or documentation (including a copy of your NM State photo ID), the application is not considered complete, and the 30 day period will not begin to run until that information or documentation is received.
The New Mexico Medical Marijuana Program: Legalities
- If you are a minor your parent or legal guardian must enrol as your Caregiver, using the Caregiver Application Form
- Only cards issued through the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program are considered valid in New Mexico. New Mexico has no reciprocity agreements with any other medical cannabis state. Likewise, if you cross the state border you are no longer protected by New Mexico marijuana law.
- Even though you are enrolled on the program, it is illegal to possess or use medical cannabis in a public vehicle, on school grounds or property, in the workplace of the patient or primary caregiver, or at a public park, recreation center, youth center or other public place. The law does not provide protection on federal property such as airports, immigration check-points, reservations, and federal parks. It is still illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis
- A list of licensed non-profit producers is sent with your program enrollment card. If new producers are licensed, you will be sent the new producer’s contact information approximately 6-8 weeks after licensure. If you lose the letter with the contact information, a copy may be obtained by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the program office (see above). The self-addressed stamped envelope must be addressed to the address on your original application form; it will not be sent to any other address
- Once you have a New Mexico medical marijuana card you may legally possess up to six ounces of useable medical cannabis at any given time
- If you wish to cultivate your own medical cannabis you should apply for a personal production license, if approved this will allow you to have up to twelve (12) seedlings and four (4) mature plants
The New Mexico Medical Marijuana Program: Caregivers
You may empower a caregiver, somebody who helps you to manage your medical care and medication. Caregivers must enroll in the program. An enrolled caregiver is issued a medical cannabis registry ID card that allows them to possess up to six (6) ounces of medical cannabis on behalf of their patient. It is not legal for caregivers to use medical cannabis (unless they are certified patients themselves).
To enrol a caregiver, you should submit a Caregiver Application Form, which includes:
- Your (the patient’s) signature
- Certifying medical provider’s signature (in the case where there are two certifying medical providers, only one needs to sign this acknowledgement form)
- Caregiver’s signature
- Consent to release medical information form (part of the patient application set)
- Completed federal background check
- Copy of the caregiver applicant’s New Mexico State Issued Photo ID/driver’s license