NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Anxiety disorder will soon be a qualifying condition for medical cannabis use in New Mexico. The change starts January 1, 2023.

Earlier this year, the Medical Cannabis Medical Advisory Board heard a request that anxiety disorder be added to the list of conditions that qualify for medical cannabis treatment. The board voted in unanimous support, according to the Department of Health.

“Anxiety disorder is a debilitating condition that affects as much as 25% of New Mexicans,” Dr. David R. Scrase, the acting cabinet secretary for the Department of Health, wrote in a news release. “Even though patients may access cannabis without a medical cannabis card through the adult use [recreational] program, by including anxiety disorder in the list of qualifying conditions, patients would have increased opportunity to discuss with their medical provider how cannabis can be used to alleviate the symptoms of their anxiety disorder.”

This is the first time in several years that the state has added a qualifying condition to the medical cannabis program. The last time was in 2019, when Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and several degenerative neurological disorders were added, according to the Department of Health.