In the U.S. state of New Hampshire, Governor Chris Sununu’s pen may be getting a bit of a medical cannabis related workout.
A number of bills relating to the state’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program have headed to the Governor’s desk, including:
SB 88-FN – will eliminate the time frame for a provider-patient relationship to be recognised, which is currently set at three months. As long as an in-person exam, history, diagnosis, and a treatment plan appropriate for the licensee’s medical specialty are in place, that will qualify as a provider-patient relationship.
SB 33 – authorizes New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human services (DHSS) to collect certain information regarding the therapeutic use of cannabis.
HB 364 – would permit qualifying patients and designated caregivers to grow their own cannabis also allow them to donate cannabis surplus to their needs to other qualifying patients. Under the bill, a patient/caregiver will be able to possess eight ounces of usable cannabis, any amount of unusable cannabis, three mature cannabis plants, 3 immature cannabis plants and 12 seedlings. Plants must not be in public view, including from another private property and have a total canopy of no more than 50 square feet.
HB 350 – adds physician assistants as providers authorizing the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Assistants will need to possess an active registration from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prescribe controlled substances.
HB 335 – relates to where a second medical cannabis dispensary may be geographically located in a situation where DHSS determines having additional locations for the dispensing of medical cannabis is necessary. Currently, there are four dispensaries in the state.
New Hampshire is a comparatively small state with a population of around 1.36 million. According to DHSS, the Therapeutic Cannabis Program was being utilised by 7,120 qualifying patients, 449 designated caregivers and 998 certifying providers as at late November last year.
The New Hampshire Legislature passed House Bill 573, relating to the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, back in 2013.
A list of conditions that qualify for the state’s program can be found here, along with other information for patients, caregivers and physicians.