The New Mexico Department of Health has announced that it will hold a hearing to consider proposed changes to the state’s Medical Cannabis Program. Among the changes to be debated are proposals to:

* add a 7% annual fee to the gross receipts of non-profit producers, and raise the application fee to become a non-profit producer from $100 to $1,000 in order to help cover the growing costs of administering the program
* allow the Department to test licensed producers’ medical marijuana for bacteria, molds, and other contaminants
* clarify that patients and producers may possess seeds, and allow patients to obtain up to 16 seeds from a licensed producer in any three month period
* require non-profit producer board members to be New Mexico residents
* require the names and contact information of certifying physicians and primary caregivers to be kept confidential

One proposal not mentioned in the Department’s press release would be increasing the maximum number of plants a licensed producer may cultivate beyond the current limit of 95. As many patients and non-profit producers have been saying for months, this restrictive cap has limited the ability of the program’s output to meet patient demand, leading to critical shortages that leave patients in need without their medicine.

The meeting will be held Thursday, September 30 at 9:00 a.m. at the Harold Runnels Auditorium in the Runnels Building, 1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505.

In addition to the hearing on proposed regulatory changes, the Department’s Medical Advisory Board will also hold a hearing to consider petitions to add conditions to the list of qualifying medical conditions on Wednesday, September 29 at 10:00 am. This meeting will also be held in the Harold Runnels Auditorium. Petitions to add conditions to the list of qualifying medical conditions are being accepted until September 8 in room S-1310 of the Runnels Building.