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. TheOracle says:

      Great news! Thank you all, everyone who made this a reality.

      How many states repealed Alcohol Prohibition before federal legislation to repeal it began?

      I’m looking for a good source to see state by state which states, tired of waiting for D.C. to get its act together, repealed state laws on the prohibition of alcohol.

      It’s probably here in the archives somewhere.

      In a blog post, Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, states regarding the repeal of Prohibition: “Alcohol prohibition fell when a sufficient number of states enacted legislation repealing the state’s alcohol prohibition laws.”



      I hope Illinois follows quickly, then many more states.

      [Paul Armentano responds: “How many states repealed Alcohol Prohibition before federal legislation to repeal it began?” I believe the total number was ten. Of course, alcohol prohibition was a policy that was in place for far less longer, and thus was less entrenched, than is modern-day cannabis prohibition.]

    2. Jack says:

      Dont be fooled, she isnt pro-marijuana. Shes just caving into the medical crowd because she knows its inevitable. Cant grow your own, cant let troops use it all because one bitch.

    3. Marijuana says:

      I am for any medical cannabis measure that expands patients right, including this New Hampshire and the New Jersey program.

      However, states with strict medical marijuana programs like these are really difficult for most people to work with. Even the really sick. In New Jersey, their only compassion center closes frequently and limits their supply because they can’t keep up with demand. The restrictions they place on doctors makes most doctors scared to prescribe marijuana, and only few are comfortable recommending it, and only in “life threatening” type of circumstances. The state registration fees are expensive and take work and a long time to process, before you can acquire any medicine. Again, while I support these programs and increased access, I feel like they are there just so the government doesn’t have to feel guilty in this day and age of taking really sick old people to jail. I have medical issues as well. Sad to say, in states like NH and NJ, I would probably just stick to buying from a drug dealer, because sadly, they probably have better quality medicine than these “compassion centers”. States, such as Maine and Michigan, also ban marijuana concentrates and edibles, which is incredibly stupid because they’re far more medicinal and safer to use. Colorado is the model reformers should be pushing for.

    4. cleveland green says:

      Another Domino falls out of the wall !!

    5. Galileo Galilei says:

      All in all, it’s just another brick on the wall.

    6. blackhawks90 says:

      Illinois should have been the 19th state I don’t know why it’s taking Governor Quinn so long. Maybe after seeing this Illinois will hopefully be the 20th state.

    7. Douglas says:

      I dont under stand a police man told me there is no medical benfit from smokeing pot. And we all know the police know more than the Doc.sci ect

    8. Old Hippie says:

      19 states now have medical cannabis laws. That should create enough available data to prove that marijuana use does NOT create any significant rise in either crime rates or health issues. It should show that adults can certainly use marijuana responsibly and safely. I think all this info should be collected and compiled into a single report for use in getting marijuana fully legalized everywhere.

    9. Just An Observer says:

      Well folks, we’re now 1/3rd of the way there if we use the “Obama 57 state” count…LOL! Hey, he laughed off MJ so let’s laugh him off too!

    10. Nathan says:

      Too bad Hassan had to strip the most important parts of the bill before she passed it. No home grow and no exception for PTSD. I wonder who promised her money for her re-election campaign? It will still be 2015 before we see anything from this. To me, at least, it seems she has punted on this issue. Alas, black market pot will still be better and cheaper.