New Hampshire Medical Pot Dispensaries Open Business to Outsiders (Even Canadians!)

The new law took effect on Wednesday in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire
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Medical cannabis patients who are visiting New Hampshire from another state or Canada can now receive the treatment from authorized dispensaries there. 

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced that, beginning on Wednesday, June 28, the state’s “alternative treatment centers” will be permitted to “dispense therapeutic cannabis to visitors from out of state and from Canada who are allowed to possess cannabis for therapeutic purposes in their state or province.”

“Visiting patients can purchase therapeutic cannabis from a New Hampshire ATC three times per year using their valid therapeutic cannabis identification issued by another state or Canada. If the out-of-state patient has a documented qualifying medical condition that is on the list of conditions approved by New Hampshire, those visiting patients may purchase cannabis at New Hampshire ATCs at the same frequency as New Hampshire qualifying patients,” the agency said in a bulletin posted on its website. 

“Visiting patients must show their out-of-state cannabis ID card and matching photo identification. There is a 2 ounce possession limit per patient, and all patients are limited to purchasing 2 ounces of cannabis in any 10-day period. Visiting patients must abide by all applicable state laws regarding their therapeutic use of cannabis,” the bulletin continued. 

New Hampshire legalized medical cannabis in 2013, when then-Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill into law. At the time, New Hampshire was only the 19th state to legalize the treatment.

“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,” Hassan, now a U.S. Senator, said in a statement at the time.

Today, 38 states now have medical cannabis laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And New Hampshire has expanded its own law, with Hassan signing a bill in 2015 that broadened the list of qualifying conditions. 

According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, a patient “must be diagnosed with a stand-alone medical condition OR a combination of a qualifying diagnosis and a qualifying symptom” in order to receive medical cannabis treatment. 

Patients with the following stand-alone conditions are eligible, per the department: “Autism spectrum disorder (age 21 and older); Autism spectrum disorder (under age 21) (requires a consultation with a certified provider of child and/or adolescent psychiatry, developmental pediatrics, or pediatric neurology, who (1) confirms that the autism spectrum disorder has not responded to previously prescribed medication or that other treatment options produced serious side effects and (2) supports certification for the use of therapeutic cannabis); Moderate or severe post-traumatic stress disorder; Moderate to severe chronic pain; Severe pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects; Opioid use disorder, with associated symptoms of cravings or withdrawal (requires a provider who is actively treating the patient for opioid use disorder and who is board-certified in Addiction Medicine or Addiction Psychiatry).”

But New Hampshire remains the only state in New England that has yet to legalize recreational cannabis for adults –– although it is not for lack of trying. 

In May, the New Hampshire state Senate voted down a measure to legalize recreational pot after it had been passed by the state House of Representatives a month earlier.

The bill was rejected in the state Senate by a vote of 14-10.

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