How to get a medical marijuana card in New Mexico

What is an MMJ Card in New Mexico?

A New Mexico medical marijuana card or medical cannabis card is an official identification card with which residents of New Mexico can legally use marijuana. Residents can apply for medical marijuana cards if they suffer from specific physical or mental health conditions. An MMJ card - per the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act- allows the owner to buy, possess, and consume medical marijuana to treat their condition. The Federal Controlled Substance Act deems marijuana use and possession illegal. However, New Mexico's Compassionate Use Act allows patients to use medical cannabis without fear of arrest - as long as they adhere to the state's regulations. However, this privilege is only open to people who have a New Mexico MMJ card, as recreational cannabis is not yet legal.

The New Mexico Department of Health issues medical marijuana cards to patients and primary caregivers through its Medical Cannabis Program. They also issue regular publications that assess the effectiveness of the Medical Marijuana Program and present the information to the state's Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. According to the most recent report, 112,183 patients had enrolled in the New Mexico Medical Marijuana program as of March of 2021.

Can a Minor Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in New Mexico?

Yes, minors (persons below the age of eighteen) can obtain medical marijuana cards in New Mexico, provided they suffer from any of the qualifying conditions. Eligible minors must also provide parental consent, medical power of attorney, or legal guardianship paperwork. Alternatively, a parent, guardian, or designated caregiver can apply for a medical marijuana card on the child's behalf.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in New Mexico?

Although medical marijuana is legal in New Mexico, patients must have qualifying health or mental conditions for which cannabis treatment is beneficial. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the following conditions qualify for medical marijuana treatment:

  • Anorexia (severe cases only)
  • Cachexia
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn's disease
  • Injury to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with intractable spasticity
  • Epilepsy or seizure disorders
  • Friedreich's ataxia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Hospice care
  • Inclusion body myositis
  • Inflammatory autoimmune-mediated arthritis
  • Intractable nausea/vomiting
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Painful peripheral neuropathy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe chronic pain
  • Spasmodic torticollis (cervical dystonia)
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Ulcerative colitis

How Do I Apply for an MMJ Card in New Mexico?

Eligible patients may submit New Mexico medical marijuana card applications by dropping them off or sending them by U.S. mail.

  • Applicants must download application forms and complete the patient section to ensure that the information is accurate, then sign and date the document appropriately.
  • Applicants must then locate approved medical providers who will complete and sign the medical provider section. Information provided in this section will detail the qualifying conditions and provide the physician's contact details and license numbers. Further, the applicants must obtain a one-page note from their doctor that offers proof of diagnosis.
  • Applicants must provide proof of identity. Acceptable forms of identification include a copy of a current New Mexico driver's license and any other state-issued photo ID.
  • Minors must include a completed Medical Power of Attorney or Legal Guardianship paperwork to prove that they may legally apply for medical cannabis cards. Alternatively, they may ask a parent or guardian to fill a Caregiver Application form and submit it along with the minor's birth certificate.

Once the application is complete, the applicant may mail or drop it off at:

Mail To:

Department of Health

Medical Cannabis Program

1190 S St. Francis Dr.,

PO Box 26110

Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110

Drop Off To:

Department of Health

Medical Cannabis Program

1474 Rodeo Road,

Suite 200

Santa Fe, NM 87505

The New Mexico Department of Health reviews applications medically and administratively and approves or denies them within thirty days. If approved, the Department will send the applicant's MMJ card by mail, and it will be valid for three years.

How does a Primary Caregiver get a New Mexico MMIC?

A primary caregiver is a person who purchases, possesses, or cultivates medical marijuana on behalf of a patient who cannot perform these tasks themselves. Primary caregivers may operate on behalf of minors, disabled persons, or individuals that require assistance to perform everyday tasks.

Primary caregivers may obtain MMIC cards in New Mexico. However, they must:

  • Be at least 18 years old and New Mexico resident
  • Have no prior convictions for felony violation for trafficking of controlled substances (NMSA Section 30-31-20);
  • Have no prior convictions for felony violation for distribution of controlled substances to minors (NMSA Section 30-31-21);
  • Have no prior convictions for felony violation for the prohibited distribution of a controlled or counterfeit substance (NMSA Section 30-31-22);
  • Have no prior convictions for felony violation for a violation of any equivalent statute in another state or country.

To get a New Mexico MMIC, a primary caregiver must download a Primary Caregiver ID application form and:

  • Complete the "Patient Application" section on behalf of the patient in need of a caregiver. If the patient has an existing registration, the caregiver may leave this section unfilled
  • Complete a national criminal background check using an online company and send the results with the application
  • Complete the "Primary Caregiver and Patient Information Form", ensuring that the information is complete and accurate. Applicants must provide an active mailing address as that is where the DOH will send their registration card
  • Have the patient's medical provider complete and sign the "Medical Certification Form for Primary Caregivers"
  • If the patient is a child, the caregiver must attach a completed "Parental Consent Form for Minors" and a copy of the patient's birth certificate
  • Attach an exact copy of a valid New Mexico Driver's License or a New Mexico photo ID

The primary caregiver and the patient must jointly sign and date the form.

How long does it take to get a New Mexico MMIC?

Typically, it takes 7 - 10 business days to receive a medical marijuana identification card. However, the New Mexico Department of Health must approve or deny any application within thirty days. If the DOH denies your application, they will notify you within this period.

Getting a New Mexico Medical Marijuana Card Online

Although eligible patients can obtain the application form for a medical marijuana card online, the Department of Health does not accept online applications. Patients and caregivers may submit applications for New Mexico medical marijuana cards in-person or by U.S. mail. However, if you wish to apply online, you may use independent third-party sites that offer such services.

How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Department of Health does not charge patients or caregivers that apply for medical marijuana identification cards. However, doctor appointments - to ascertain eligibility - may cost anywhere from $50 to $150.

New Mexico residents who wish to cultivate medical cannabis plants in their homes will have to complete a New Mexico Medical Cannabis Personal Production Application. Applicants must attach a copy of a New Mexico driver's license or any other state identification card to the submission. The application costs $30, but if you earn less than 200% of the US federal poverty, the Department will give you the license for free.

How Do I Renew My Medical Marijuana Card in New Mexico?

Medical cannabis patients must renew their medical marijuana cards if they wish to keep their card privileges valid. The Department of Health expects patients to apply for renewal at least thirty days before their cards expire and does not charge a renewal fee.

To apply for renewal, applicants must download a renewal form, complete the patient section, and sign and date the document appropriately. Applicants will need approved medical providers to complete the medical provider section, indicating the qualifying conditions and providing the physician's contact details and license number. Further, the applicant must obtain a one-page doctor's note that offers proof of diagnosis. Note that the applicant does not need to use the same doctor that certified their initial application.

Applicants must provide proof of identity, which could be a copy of a current New Mexico driver's license or a state-issued photo ID. Minors must include a completed medical power of attorney or legal guardianship paperwork to prove that they may legally apply for medical cannabis cards. Alternatively, they may ask a parent or guardian to fill a Caregiver Application form and submit it along with the minor's birth certificate.

Once the renewal application is complete, the applicant may mail or drop it off at:

Mail To:

Department of Health

Medical Cannabis Program

1190 S St. Francis Dr.,

PO Box 26110

Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110

Drop Off To:

Department of Health

Medical Cannabis Program

1474 Rodeo Road,

Suite 200

Santa Fe, NM 87505

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in New Mexico?

That depends on who you are. If you are an adult patient, above 21 years old, you only need a valid driver's license or a valid state-issued photo ID. You will also need to get a state-approved physician to complete the medical provider's section before you can send in your medical cannabis card application.

If you are a minor, you will need to also provide parental consent, medical power of attorney, or legal guardianship paperwork with your identification.

If you are applying as a primary caregiver, you will need to provide the results of a national criminal background check with your identification.

Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Department of Health issues medical cannabis identification cards and keeps applicant's information in a strictly confidential patient registry. The Department does not allow public access to patient information, in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The Federal Government instituted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in 1996 as a measurable standard for protecting confidential medical information. The Act mandates medical bodies to protect patient's medical files and ensure that nobody breaches them without the patient's consent.

What information appears on a New Mexico Medical Marijuana Card?

A New Mexico medical marijuana identification card typically displays the following details:

  • The cardholder's full name;
  • The cardholder's unique identification number;
  • The cardholder's photograph;
  • The identification card's issuance and expiry date;
  • "Patient" or "Primary Caregiver" to designate the cardholder's status

Can someone track me down through the New Mexico Registry?

The New Mexico Department of Health's medical marijuana patient registry is strictly confidential. Therefore, if you register for a medical marijuana card, nobody can use the information on the register to track you.

New Mexico Marijuana MMJ Card
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