The Latest: Lawmakers want opioid addiction added to list
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on New Mexico’s medical marijuana program (all times local):
Some state lawmakers are pushing for New Mexico’s health secretary to use her authority to add opioid addiction to the list of qualifying conditions for the state’s medical marijuana program.
They gathered Monday in Santa Fe with representatives of the Drug Policy Alliance in hopes of building more support for memorials aimed at expanding access to medical marijuana.
An advisory panel has twice considered petitions calling for medical marijuana to be added as a tool in the fight against opioid abuse, but approval has not yet been granted.
The state Health Department says the secretary is awaiting a written report from the advisory panel and will make a decision after reviewing the evidence presented.
There are nearly 48,000 licensed medical marijuana patients in New Mexico. Patients must meet at least one of 21 qualifying conditions, such as severe chronic pain or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The New Mexico Department of Health says the number of medical marijuana cardholders in Santa Fe County has jumped to nearly 43 percent from January 2017 to January 2018.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Saturday that Santa Fe County has the second-highest number of medical marijuana cardholders with about 1 in 10 of state’s nearly 48,000 cardholders living in the northern central county.
The growing popularity of medical marijuana is reflected in the number of dispensaries in the county.
There are seven dispensaries in the county, including two that opened in December
An eighth dispensary is set to open in a few days, and a ninth one is scheduled to open within a month.
Two more are expected to open in the near future.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com