The New Mexico legislature passed the state’s medical cannabis law March 13, 2007 as Senate Bill 523, "The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act," by a vote of 36-31 in the House and 32-3 in the Senate. The law was signed by then-Governor Bill Richardson on April 2 and went into effect July 1, 2007.  An approved New Mexico patient may legally possess marijuana for medicinal purposes and may designate a caregiver for assistance. A patient may obtain a Personal Production License (PPL) to grow medical cannabis for personal use or may obtain their medicine from a Licensed Non-Profit Producers (LNPP). The state issues IDs for both patients and caregivers.

The Department of Health originally issued rules in 2008 and revised those rules in 2010. The rules are broken up into the following three separate parts, Registry Identification Cards for Patients, Caregivers; Practitioners and Licensing Requirements for Non-Profit and Personal Production; and rules pertaining to the Advisory Board.

The Department of Health has adopted a rule amendment that removes a provision in Department rule NMAC that previously made the identities and documents of non-profit products and non-profit applicants confidential. This amendment was requested by the Governor of New Mexico in the interest of greater transparency.  The change does not remove confidentiality provisions concerning PPL holders; such information will remain confidential.

DOH has updated the regulations several times to expand plant numbers and clarify requirements. New Mexico’s medical cannabis program includes a Medical Advisory Board that can approve new qualifying conditions and was the first to approve PTSD. The board also removed restrictions on chronic pain patients from qualifying for the program. In 2016, DOH extended the expiration date for many patients so that they could improve their ability to turn around patient applications more quickly. 


The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, at NMSA 1978, § 26-2B-7(G) 

Rules and Regulations adopted and effective February 2015, 7.34.3 NMAC –Rp,


Practitioners and Licensing Requirements

Advisory Board

Registration ID Cards


New Mexico Department of Health- Medical Cannabis Program