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WIRE: New Mexico lawmakers expand medical cannabis protections

Albuquerque, NM: Lawmakers have approved a pair of bills amending the state’s medical cannabis program to expand patients’ access to the plant and to provide additional legal protections.

Senate Bill 406 expands the pool of patients eligible for cannabis therapy to include those diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, severe chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, sleep apnea, and neuropathy, among other newly specified conditions. It also enacts explicit legal protections prohibiting employers, social service workers, and hospitals from arbitrarily discriminating against patients solely for their medical cannabis status and/or for their failure to pass a drug test. The measure prohibits regulators from placing limits on the percentage of THC or other cannabinoids in therapeutic products and it establishes reciprocity with other states’ medical cannabis programs.

Separate legislation, Senate Bill 204 establishes regulations and procedures for the storage and administration of certain medical cannabis products to students in school settings.

The bills mark the first significant amendments to the state’s medical cannabis law, which had been opposed by previous Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

The measures await action from Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator, at (202) 483-5500.

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