SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico’s medical cannabis program is attracting enrollment from outside the state after legislative reforms did away with an in-state residency requirement.
November enrollment statistics from the state Health Department show that 215 cannabis patients reside outside the state. New Mexico medical marijuana provider Ultra Health said Friday that nonresident patients are coming primarily from the neighboring state of Texas and from as far away as Illinois and Michigan.
Total patient enrollment climbed to 78,810. That is an 18 percent increase since November 2018. Per-patient enrollment in the cannabis program is highest in rural Sierra, Quay and Lincoln counties.
Recently approved qualifying conditions for medical cannabis such as opioid use disorder are attracting patients to the program. In November, there were 120 patients contending with opioid use problems and 21 with Alzheimer's disease.
New Mexico health officials are considering petitions to open up the cannabis program to patients with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder and to prescriptions for animals by veterinarians. The state prohibits recreational marijuana use and sales.