Supporters of legislation that would ask New Mexico officials to add opioid use disorder (OUD) as a qualifying condition under the state’s medical cannabis program condition gathered in Albuquerque on Monday to galvanize support for the measure.
Opioid use kills 500 patients in New Mexico every year, but the state’s health secretary won’t allow them to use medical cannabis.
The legislation is seen as the latest step in a two-year campaign to add OUD as a qualifying condition. In New Mexico, the state health secretary has the final call on which conditions are added to the list. The secretary is advised in that capacity by the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, which is composed of doctors and addiction specialists appointed by the state.
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Because the listing is up to the health secretary, the Legislature is considering two measures that would “request” that Gallagher add OUD to the list.
House Memorial 67 (HM 67) passed with unanimous support from the House Health and Human Services Committee on Friday, Feb. 9, and is expected to reach the House floor for a vote on Tuesday. Senate Memorial 110 (SM 110) will be discussed Tuesday in a separate Senate committee hearing.
If Gallagher acts on the “sense of the legislature” measures and adds OUD, New Mexico would become the first state to specifically include opioid use disorder on its qualifying conditions list. Although OUD is not specifically listed as a qualifying condition in any other US state, medical cannabis laws in Massachusetts, Virginia and California allow doctors to recommend cannabis for