New Mexico may expand medical marijuana qualifying condition list

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New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board voted for the second time since November to expand the state’s qualifying condition list for MMJ, but the health department chief is apparently obstructing such an expansion.

The latest vote, last Friday, was to add another six conditions to the list, after the board voted last year to add two other ailments, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. But last November, New Mexico Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher ignored the board’s recommendations, and it looks as if she may do so again this time around, the newspaper reported.

Currently, 20 medical conditions qualify MMJ patients in New Mexico. The addition of eight more could expand the patient pool significantly for the state’s cannabis businesses, especially if Gallagher accepts the addition of anxiety, depression and other common maladies that the board recommended.

But board members didn’t express much confidence Gallagher will act on their recommendations, the New Mexican reported. A spokesman for Gallagher said she’s deferring to the state legislature, which has been considering its own changes to the MMJ program.

The board on Friday also recommended other program changes, including allowing patients to form MMJ collectives so they can grow their own cannabis, repealing a cap on THC potency and increasing the possession limit for patients from eight ounces to 16.