On July 1, 2020, the New Mexico state legislature began allowing out-of-state medical cannabis patients to purchase medical cannabis within the state of New Mexico, through a new program called “reciprocity”.
Issued under Senate Bill 139 (SB139), which was sponsored by democrat Jerry Ortiz y Pino in 2019, the reciprocal program permits legally-registered, medical cardholders from any state (outside of New Mexico), the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and New Mexican native tribes to purchase cannabis in the state of New Mexico, without worry of criminal persecution or any additional fees.
New Mexico’s reciprocal program is considered to be one of the most liberal reciprocity policies nationwide. According to GlobeNewswire, no other medical cannabis reciprocal program in the U.S. currently recognizes Tribal sovereignty in accepting authorizations approved by Tribal nations or pueblos. In addition, out-of-state patients may obtain medical cannabis for conditions other than those listed as qualifying by the New Mexico Department of Health, and they are not required to comply with New Mexico’s patient card application nor renewal requirements.
The program has paved the way for hundreds of out-of-state patients to shop at licensed New Mexican dispensaries. According to the Associated Press, there were about 1,700 registered reciprocal patients in New Mexico as of October 2020. The program would likely be growing at an even quicker rate if the coronavirus pandemic and its related travel bans weren’t an issue.
If you are an out-of-state visitor wishing to shop at Everest as a reciprocal patient, you must present our patient care technicians with a government-issued ID and physical proof of enrollment in another state’s medical cannabis program. As stated in the amendment to SB139, effective Oct. 8, 2020, this proof must be in the form of a physical card or other physical document issued by a governmental entity authorized by law to enroll you in the medical cannabis program in your state of residence. Under this amendment, permission from a medical practitioner, such as a written letter from your physician, is not enough proof of authorization to allow you to register as a reciprocal patient.
As a reciprocal participant, you may purchase and possess up to 230 units (or 8 ounces) of cannabis in a 90-day period. You are not permitted to transport any medical cannabis that you purchase in New Mexico over state lines into another state, and you must follow all other state laws while on your visit.
If you are an out-of-state, legal cardholder, please stop into any Everest Apothecary location and we can get you registered as a reciprocal patient today!