New Hampshire: Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Measure Into Law

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 23, 2013

    Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan today signed legislation (HB 573) into law making New Hampshire the 19th state to authorize the physician-recommended use of cannabis for qualified patients.

    Governor Hassan issued the following public statement upon the bill’s passage:

    Allowing doctors to provide relief to patients through the use of appropriately regulated and dispensed medical marijuana is the compassionate and right policy for the State of New Hampshire, and this legislation ensures that we approach this policy in the right way with measures to prevent abuse.

    By providing strong regulatory oversight and clear dispensing guidelines, this bill addresses many of the concerns that were expressed throughout the legislative process. HB 573 legalizes the use of medical marijuana in a way that makes sense for the State of New Hampshire and gives health providers another option to help New Hampshire’s seriously ill patients.

    The new law creates four state-sanctioned marijuana dispensing facilities to produce and distribute cannabis to state-qualified patients who possess a doctor’s recommendation. Patients must have a preexisting relationship of at least three months with their physician prior to receiving a recommendation for cannabis therapy. Patients diagnosed with one of approximately twenty qualifying conditions — including cancer, hepatitis C, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, or multiple sclerosis — will be permitted to legally possess up to two-ounces of cannabis. Under the law, patients must obtain cannabis only from a state-licensed facility. Qualified patients will not be provided with any legal protections to possess or use cannabis prior to the establishment of such facilities.

    It has been estimated that it may take state regulators as much as two years to get the nascent program up and running.

    As originally passed by the House, the measure allowed qualified patients the option to grow their own cannabis. It also allowed physicians to recommend cannabis for the treatment of post-traumatic stress. Both provisions were stripped from the bill by the Senate at the request of the Governor.

    A similar measure awaits action from the Governor in Illinois.

    New Hampshire is the sixth and final New England state — joining Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maine — to enact medical marijuana legislation.

    28 Responses to “New Hampshire: Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Measure Into Law”

    1. jkk says:

      Not enough. I do not understand why the House stripped the chance to grow patient’s own plants. Look at Internet to see prices for Cannabidiol! Astronomical numbers! What are we waiting for?

    2. Ted Wright says:

      I was a cosponsor of HB 573 the “Therapeutic Use of Cannabis” bill that became RSA 126-X. I am now fighting to reinstate the home cultivation option and an affirmative defense with HB 1622. Please contact your Representative and tell that patients need safe access to cannabis now, not years from now. The Governor has indicated that she will veto ANY bill that seeks to loosen cannabis laws, mine included. That means that I need a veto proof vote of 3/5’s of both the House and the Senate…

    3. K says:

      I havd suffered from Fibromyalgia and Multiple Sclerosis for 17 yrs. I don’t want to smoke marijuana, I want access to organic cannabis flower oil. It has been proven, science and medical use has proven, that having a tablespoon a day eliminates neuropathic pain. If NH had any real interest in helping it’s citizenship the changes to the original bill would not have taken place. Why would I have to wait two years? It seems as if Hansen, whom I worked to get elected, couldn’t take the time to educate herself and just doesn’t care about the chronic pain sufferers in NH.

    4. J says:

      If we want to dispute stereotypes about ourselves, we should probably not list Maine twice…

    5. Jan says:

      I have been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years this last weekend. Fibromyalgia I didn’t even believe was more than a ‘catch phrase’ that doctors would give women; so they could tell their husband they have something WRONG. Well, a year after my diagnosis that Friggin’ Fibro’ sunk it Fangs in me and I was left in the Fetal position crying. Add a nasty arthritic condition and Central Pain Syndrome… and I just live in enough pain so I won’t die of Pain Killers!!! Thank Heaven and Earth for YOU Gov. Hassan; you are a brave lady with a true ‘trail blazing’ spirit! Thank You from the bottom of my A-Fib heart ( ;

    6. Live free or die says:

      Weed is better then alcohol legal the weed

    7. the other white strain says:

      Its funny they talk about weed like its going to somehow make the crime rate go up with full legalization. As if weed is a new thing. Fact is its always been there and always will the only thing the crime rate can do is go down if its fully legalized because then everybody will stop being arested for it. And realy? The next guy to run could get into the president spot pretty easy all he would need to do is say he’ll end prohibition.

    8. nuff said says:

      It’s definitely a political ploy for the Governor but at least it’s been established and we can now start to make the easier strides. Think positive, kill that negativity. Write bills and laws yourself find reps as sponsers and file them. Just keep pushing

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