The number of patients enrolled in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program has increased by 72% over the last two years, according to a state Department of Health (DOH) report outlined by The Paper. The patient count in the state now stands at 124,463.
New Mexico Medical Cannabis program Director Dr. Dominick Zurlo told lawmakers that many believed patient counts would decrease with the legalization of adult-use cannabis in the state but officials have so far seen “patient enrollment has continued to steadily increase over the past two years.”
Since the adult-use law took effect in June, the Health Department has processed nearly 15,000 medical cannabis patient applications, the report says. Medical cannabis purchases in the state are tax-free – adult-use purchases will carry a 12% excise tax.
According to the report, most New Mexico cannabis patients — 67,842 — are enrolled in the program for post-traumatic stress disorder, followed by severe chronic pain (37,685), and cancer (6,108). Most of the state’s enrolled patients are from Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, the state’s largest city.
In August, A New Mexico judge ordered regulators to stop enforcing the old medical cannabis purchase limits and begin operating under the rules included in the state’s adult-use law. Under the old law, medical cannabis patients were allowed to purchase up to 8 ounces over a 90-day period, while under the broad legalization law, adults 21-and-older can purchase up to 2 ounces at a time.
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