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N.M. sets maximum for medical pot reimbursement

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The New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration has proposed a maximum reimbursable amount for medical marijuana.

In the state's 2016 health care provider fee schedule, which would take effect Jan. 1, the administration suggests setting the maximum payment that injured workers could be reimbursed for medical cannabis at $12.02 per gram.

The maximum reimbursement is listed as 8 ounces, or 226.8 grams, per calendar quarter, in the fee schedule made public on Friday.

In July, the New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration proposed a rule that would make medical marijuana a “reasonable and necessary medical treatment only where an authorized health care provider certifies that other treatment methods have failed.”

In response to public comments, the administration wrote Sept. 16 that “those in support of the proposed rule stated it was a good start to a complex issue. Those in opposition focused their comments on the requirement for employers, through their insurers, to pay for a drug that is illegal under federal law.”

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

A public hearing on proposed changes to the fee schedule, including the maximum reimbursable amount for medical marijuana, will be held Oct. 22.