Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act
Although federal law currently prohibits any use of cannabis, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act delegated authority to The New Mexico Department of Health, Public Health Division to ensure the safe production, distribution and dispensing of cannabis for the sole purpose of medical use in New Mexico.
It is important to note, the purpose of the Act is solely to alleviate symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments. In order to legally use medical marijuana in New Mexico, physicians wanting to certify use must closely follow the regulations issued by the Department.
Here are a few guidelines on how to certify medical marijuana use in New Mexico.
Certification requires a written statement (in a patient’s medical records or a statement signed by a patient’s practitioner) that, in the practitioner’s professional opinion, the patient has a debilitating medical condition and the practitioner believes that the potential health benefits of the medical use of cannabis would likely outweigh the health risks for the patient.
A physician (or physician’s assistant’s) written certification is not valid for more than one year from the date of issuance. Any written certification should include the following:
- history and complete examination of the patient;
- development of a treatment plan with objectives;
- provision of informed consent including discussion of side effects;
- periodic review of the treatment’s efficacy;
- consultation as necessary; and
- proper record keeping that supports the decision to recommend the use of medical cannabis.
A practitioner who wishes to issue a written certification can register with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy to become a regular participant in the prescription monitoring report issued by the board. The link to the website is here: www.nmpmp.org
Before issuing a written certification, the physician should obtain a patient report for the preceding 12 months.
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