New Mexico Senate Passes a Bill to Expand Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Senate Passes a Bill to Expand Medical Marijuana

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New Mexico has had medical marijuana laws in place since 2007 and since then, they’ve never seen the need to update or expand their program. Now, however, they have more patients than ever registering for the medical marijuana program, and with all the research that has come out regarding which conditions can be managed or treated with medical marijuana it seems they have finally decided now is the time to revisit those laws.

“That bill had numerous checks and balances,” he told the Senate. “But over the last 10 years that bill has become somewhat outdated and some of those provisions need to be revised. This is the first amendment we’ve done in 10 years to the medical cannabis program. And there’s one thing this bill does. It helps the patients.” – Senator Cisco McSorley

Senate Bill 177 will make some big changes to the medical marijuana program in New Mexico – first by adding an additional 14 conditions to the list of qualifying conditions, including substance addiction. This is expected to increase the already rapidly growing number of registered patients with a doctor’s recommendation. This also leads to the next provision that will be changed, which is when the number of registered patients exceeds 35,000 growers will be allowed to grow more plants at a time. The bill passed in the Senate this week with a vote of 29-11 and will go on to the House from here.

Currently, licensed growers are surprisingly restricted and can only grow up to 450 plants at a time – this is already cutting it close and will absolutely need to be increased in order to keep up with the demand of the growing patient base. At this point there are 32,000 patients registered to the medical marijuana program, so assuming this bill passes both the Senate and the House and is then signed into law by the governor it wouldn’t be long before growers could increase their crops and more patients will have another option when it comes to their treatment.

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