The New Mexico Department of Health on Thursday (June 6) added Friedreich’s Ataxia, Lewy Body Disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Alzheimers, opioid use disorder, Autism Spectrum to a growing list of medical conditions that were broadened under Senate Bill 406, which Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law this year.
“We need to explore and pursue every available means of responding to the health and wellness needs of our neighbors here in New Mexico,” Grisham said in a New Mexico Department of Health press release. “Compassion must guide our decision-making. Today marks an important and long-overdue step forward after too many years of status quo.”
The medical conditions added this month mark the first expansion to the list in six years.
As of May 31, a total of 73,350 patients were enrolled in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program, a 37 percent increase since 2018. After this month’s expansion, estimates indicate enrollment will likely surpass 80 thousand patients by year’s end.
New Mexicans who have been diagnosed with opioid use disorder and Alzheimer’s disease are expected to comprise a significant portion of new patients.
While the state’s medical cannabis program is expanding, the supply of state grown cannabis to support an expanding number of patients has also been a subject of concern.
To address a “historically inadequate supply of medical cannabis statewide,” NMDOH implemented a temporary emergency rule in March that increased the limit of plants grown by state cannabis farmers to 2,500.
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