Updated on May 26, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
New Hampshire’s medical marijuana laws allow patients with qualifying medical conditions to register with the state Department of Health and Human Services to possess up to two ounces of marijuana at a time. Patients can have a caregiver to pick up their medicine for them, but neither can cultivate marijuana under any circumstances.
In 2019, a new law was passed that allows medical marijuana patients to get prescriptions without first having a three-month relationship with their doctor or medical provider.
May 23, 2013, House Bill 573 was approved by the Senate, and June 26, 2013, by the House, and was signed into law by the New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, on
July 23, 2013 (effective on passage), thereby authorizing the use of therapeutic cannabis in the state of New Hampshire and established a registry identification card system. HB 573 also established a Therapeutic Use of Cannabis Advisory Council, required to “issue a formal opinion on whether the program should continue or be repealed”, in five years from creation.
April 03, 2014, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) posted the proposed “Therapeutic Cannabis Program Registry Rules”, and initiated the formal rule-making process.
December 28, 2015, the New Hampshire Department of Health began issuing Registry Identification Cards, to those qualifying patients and appointed caregivers, whose applications have been approved. Registry ID cards cannot be used in New Hampshire, however, until the Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) approved dispensaries open — dispensaries are expected to open in spring 2016.
In March of 2017, the New Hampshire House OK’d a bill to decriminalize one ounce of marijuana – the bill is still pending approval in the state Senate. The House also passed a bill that creates a commission to study the legalization of marijuana in New Hampshire.
“New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Program” – House Bill 573-FN
VERSION ADOPTED BY BOTH BODIES
Relative to the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
Rep. Schlachman, Rock 18; Rep. Vaillancourt, Hills 15; Rep. Robertson, Ches 6; Rep. Wright, Carr 8; Rep. Renzullo, Hills 37; Rep. LeBrun, Hills 32; Rep. DeSimone, Rock 14; Rep. Kidder, Merr 5; Rep. Gale, Hills 28; Rep. Lovejoy, Rock 36; Sen. Woodburn, Dist 1; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Cataldo, Dist 6
Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs
This bill authorizes the use of therapeutic cannabis in New Hampshire.
Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 New Chapter; Use of Cannabis for Therapeutic Purposes. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 126-V the following new chapter:
USE OF CANNABIS FOR THERAPEUTIC PURPOSES
126-W:1 Definitions. In this chapter:
I. “Alternative treatment center” means a not-for-profit entity registered under RSA 126-
W:7 that acquires, possesses, cultivates, manufactures, delivers, transfers, transports, sells, supplies, and dispenses cannabis, and related supplies and educational materials, to qualifying patients and alternative treatment centers.
II. “Alternative treatment center agent” means a principal officer, board member, employee, manager, or volunteer of an alternative treatment center who is 21 years of age or older and has not been convicted of a felony or any felony drug-related offense.
III. “Cannabis” means all parts of any plant of the Cannabis genus of plants, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds, or resin. Such term shall not include the mature stalks of such plants, fiber produced from such stalks, oil, or cake made from the seeds of such plants, any other compound, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seeds of such plants which are incapable of germination.
IV. “Cultivation location” means a locked and enclosed site, under the control of an alternative treatment center where cannabis is cultivated, secured with one or more locks or other security devices in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
V. “Department” means the department of health and human services. VI. “Designated caregiver” means an individual who:
(a) Is at least 21 years of age;
(b) Has agreed to assist with one or more (not to exceed 5) qualifying patient’s therapeutic use of cannabis, except if the qualifying patient and designated caregiver each live greater than 50 miles from the nearest alternative treatment center, in which case the designated caregiver may assist with the therapeutic use of cannabis for up to 9 qualifying patients;
(c) Has never been convicted of a felony or any felony drug-related offense; and
(d) Possesses a valid registry identification card issued pursuant to RSA 126-W:4. VII.(a) “Provider” means a physician licensed to prescribe drugs to humans under RSA 329 and who possesses certification from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe controlled substances. “Provider” shall also mean an advanced practice registered nurse licensed pursuant to RSA 326-B:18. (b) For a visiting qualifying patient, “provider” means an individual licensed to prescribe drugs to humans in the state of the patient’s residence and who possesses certification from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe controlled substances. Such visiting patient shall not be eligible to purchase or transfer cannabis from an eligible New Hampshire patient. VIII. “Provider-patient relationship” means at least a 3-month medical relationship between a licensed provider and a patient that includes an in-person exam, a history, a diagnosis, and a treatment plan appropriate for the licensee’s medical specialty. IX.(a) “Qualifying medical condition” means the presence of:
(1) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C currently receiving antiviral treatment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pancreatitis, spinal cord injury or disease, traumatic brain injury, or one or more injuries that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient’s provider; and (2) A severely debilitating or terminal medical condition or its treatment that has produced at least one of the following: elevated intraocular pressure, cachexia, chemotherapy- induced anorexia, wasting syndrome, severe pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects, constant or severe nausea, moderate to severe vomiting, seizures, or severe, persistent muscle spasms. (b) The department may include a medical condition that is not listed in subparagraph (a) that the department determines, on a case by case basis, is severely debilitating or terminal, based upon the written request of a provider who furnishes written certification to the department. X. “Qualifying patient” means a resident of New Hampshire who has been diagnosed by a provider as having a qualifying medical condition and who possesses a valid registry identification card issued pursuant to RSA 126-W:4. XI. “Registry identification card” means a document indicating the date issued and expiration date by the department pursuant to RSA 126-W:4 that identifies an individual as a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver.
Distribution or cultivation includes possession with intent to distribute or cultivate marijuana in the state of New Hampshire. Those who are arrested in result of distribution or cultivation will be punished to the fullest extent of the law based on the marijuana penalties and guidelines in New Hampshire outlined below.
A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with this chapter, if the qualifying patient possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed the following:
A designated caregiver who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for assisting a qualifying patient if the designated caregiver possesses or cultivates an amount of marijuana that does not exceed the following:
Possession of any amount is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 1-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,000.
As of September 16, 2017, the possession of marijuana has been decriminalized. Though, you can still face a fine if you are caught with any amount. The first and second offenses will net a $100 fine. The punishment rises if there are three or more offenses within a three-year period. If The third offense will result in a $300 fine and the fourth offense could result in a class B misdemeanor charge.