HomeNewsMedical Cannabis Bills Await New Hampshire Governor's Signature

Medical Cannabis Bills Await New Hampshire Governor’s Signature

While adult-use marijuana in New Hampshire remains out of reach for now, two bills seeking Governor Chris Sununu’s signature will expand medical cannabis access in the state.

New Hampshire’s House of Representatives last week voted to table a bill passed in the Senate that would have legalised marijuana; meaning reform can’t happen anytime soon. Governor Sununu has previously indicated conditional support for recreational marijuana, but he’ll never see it happen while Governor – in July last year he announced he would not run for a fifth term.

But there is some new cannabis legislation he’ll have the opportunity to sign off on before he scoots. A couple of medical cannabis related bills have passed muster and gone to Governor Sununu for his yea or nay.

New Hampshire’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program was established in 2013 and currently lists 19 qualifying conditions, which must be accompanied by one or more of 11 symptoms or side effects. But under HB 1278 , an eligible healthcare provider can certify a patient for therapeutic cannabis if they think it will be helpful to a patient in treating/managing whatever debilitating or terminal medical conditions they have.

“HB 1278-FN will empower providers to do what they do best: care for Granite Staters,” said Senator Suzanne Prentiss in a Committee on Health and Human Services report submitted early last month.

The Department of Health and Human Services estimates the bill may result in up to 10 percent growth in the Therapeutic Cannabis Program,

The other bill for Governor Sununu’s consideration would increase the number healthcare professionals who can recommend medical marijuana.

In New Hampshire, registry ID cards allow their holders to buy therapeutic cannabis from one of the state’s licensed Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). These centers are independently operated, not-for-profit entities that not only dispense cannabis, but also cultivate and produce it. There are seven ATC dispensary locations operating across the state.

Patients can name up to two caregivers to collect medications. All medicines must be sourced via an ATC – there are no provisions for either caregivers or patients to cultivate cannabis themselves.  Registered patients can possess up to two ounces of cannabis at a time.

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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