CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire health officials have approved a lung cancer patient’s application for an identification card that will allow her to buy medical marijuana in Maine.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said Linda Horan would be issued a card Wednesday, a day after a court granted her emergency request and ordered the state to review her application. The state had argued that issuing the 64-year-old Alstead woman a card before dispensaries open next year would undermine its need to control marijuana distribution, but Horan, who was diagnosed with late-stage cancer in July, argued she might be dead by then.
New Hampshire lawmakers approved the use of marijuana by people suffering from a limited number of diseases and medical conditions more than two years ago, but the first four dispensaries won’t open until early 2016.
Maine law allows for people visiting the state for an extended period of time to obtain medical marijuana if they meet certain requirements, including having a qualified medical condition. The program manager for the Maine Medical Marijuana Program told New Hampshire court officials that the provision was intended to serve patients in Maine for a vacation or a school term, not those looking to buy marijuana and drive home immediately. Horan has said she plans to visit friends in southern Maine and stay with them for an extended period.
It’s unclear whether others in Horan’s situation will have the same opportunity. Jake Leon, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said the agency is still reviewing the ruling with its lawyers and the attorney general’s office to determine how it will handle pending and future applications. As of Monday, the department had received 30 applications since pre-registration opened Nov. 2.