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New Mexico proposes covering medical pot but not paraphernalia

Posted On: Jul. 17, 2015 12:00 AM CST

The New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration has proposed a rule that would reimburse injured workers for medical marijuana but not for expenses related to associated paraphernalia or personal production.

Medical marijuana could be added to the state's health care provider fee schedule, which would set the maximum payment that injured workers could be reimbursed for the drug, according to the rule proposed this Wednesday.

It states that medical marijuana may be a “reasonable and necessary medical treatment only where an authorized health care provider certifies that other treatment methods have failed.”

The proposed rule defines medical marijuana as cannabis “in the form of flower, bud, cannabis-derived products, edibles, oils, tinctures or any other form regulated by the department of health.”

However, it notes that injured workers won't be reimbursed for “paraphernalia” or “expenses related to personal production or cannabis acquired from sources other than a licensed producer.”

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled that medical marijuana should be classified as reasonable and necessary medical care for injured workers three times since May 2014.

The New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration will conduct a public hearing on the proposed changes Aug. 6, and written comments will be accepted through Aug. 14, according to a statement by the administration.