Medical Marijuana: How it Works In New Hampshire

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New Hampshire Medical Marijuana

It is a widely accepted fact that patients in New Hampshire have had to resort to buying cannabis illegally to help them manage the symptoms of their condition, and any associated pain. This is why the therapeutic cannabis bill that was passed in June 2013 was so welcomed. It was signed into law by Governor Maggie Hansen and became effective the following month.

It has been a busy time for state health officials who have to put a system in place from scratch. This has included drafting regulations that both dispensaries and patients have to follow. They have also had to review proposals for Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs), and help the companies that have been chosen to run these centers to begin operating.



Patients are only able to purchase products at an ATC if they have been issued with a Registry Identification Card. These cards are issued to patients that have qualifying conditions such as HIV, brain injuries, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, ALS, cancer, muscular dystrophy and Hepatitis C. They may also be eligible for a card if they are suffering from symptoms of other illnesses including pain that has not responded to any other treatment, severe muscle spasms and severe nausea.

A patient will need to get their doctor to certify that they have one of these qualifying medical conditions for marijuana or symptoms, and they must have been seeing this doctor for at least three months.

Once the patient has had their application approved by the state, then they are able to take their card to an ATC. There are four centers in the state that can be used and these are located in Dover, Plymouth, Merrimack and Lebanon.

To date, 741 applications have been received by the state and 536 of these have been approved. However, just over 200 of these applications are still being reviewed, and there have only been three applications that have been refused.

The one problem that some patients are encountering is that their doctors are reluctant to agree to certifying their application. The advice that the state is giving to doctors is that they shouldn’t feel as if they are writing a prescription for cannabis, they are simply stating that their patients have a particular condition or symptom.

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