EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The New Mexico Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program announced Tuesday, Dec. 6, that anxiety disorder will be added to the program’s list of qualifying conditions for enrollment starting Jan. 1, 2023.  

The announcement was made at the program’s Medical Cannabis Medical Advisory Board meeting. A petition requesting anxiety disorder be added as a qualifying condition was submitted for consideration at the board’s meeting last March – where the board voted unanimously to support the recommendation. Dr. David R. Scrase, acting Cabinet secretary for the Department of Health, approved the advisory board’s petition in late November.   

“Anxiety disorder is a debilitating condition that affects as much as 25 percent of New Mexicans. While there are many good medical options for treating anxiety disorder, treatment resistance can affect one out of every three patients,” wrote Dr. Scrase in his decision.

“Even though patients may access cannabis without a medical cannabis card through the adult use program, by including anxiety disorder in the list of qualifying conditions, patients would have increased opportunity to discuss with their medical provider how cannabis can be used to alleviate the symptoms of their anxiety disorder.”  

Anxiety disorder is the first new qualifying condition added since June 2019

The Medical Cannabis Program was created under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. The purpose of this act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments. The New Mexico Department of Health administers the program in accordance with the act. 

The full documents outlining the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board’s recommendation as well as Secretary of Health’s decision can be found online in the Announcements section of https://www.nmhealth.org/about/mcp/svcs/.  Information about the Medical Cannabis Program, including information for health providers, patients and caregivers can be found on the NMDOH webpage, https://nmhealth.org/.