The state of New Hampshire has taken some steps toward creating reasonable cannabis access policies that its constituents have shown support for, but it still has a ways to go.
Recreational Marijuana in New Hampshire
On July 18, 2017, New Hampshire’s new governor Chris Sununu (R) signed into law House Bill 640, which makes the first and second offense of possession of up to three quarters of an ounce of cannabis or up to five grams of hash a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine, rather than a criminal offense. A fine of up to $300 for any subsequent offense within three years may be applied. A fourth offense within a three-year period may result in a person being charged with a misdemeanor. Police cannot arrest someone for a cannabis violation, and minors caught with possession are subject to a delinquency petition. The money collected from fines will go to a fund dedicated to alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment.
With the passing of the law, New Hampshire became the 22nd U.S. state to decriminalize marijuana and the last of the New England states. It goes into effect 60 days after signing.
Medical Marijuana in New Hampshire
New Hampshire took a huge step forward by passing a comprehensive medical marijuana law in 2013. Gov. Maggie Hassan signed House Bill 573 to legalize medical marijuana on July 23, 2013, but the rollout was plagued with delays and the first dispensary didn’t open until April 2016. Under the law, registered patients are allowed to possess up to 2 ounces of usable marijuana.
The state currently has four open and operational dispensaries. The law does not allow for qualified patients to cultivate marijuana at home.
In order for patients to be eligible for New Hampshire’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program, a licensed physician or advanced practice registered nurse must issue a written certification that certifies that a patient has BOTH a condition listed here AND a symptom listed in the second list:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chronic Pancreatitis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (effective 8/27/2017)
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (effective 8/27/2017)
- Spinal Cord Injury or Disease
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chemotherapy Induced Anorexia
- Elevated Intraocular Pressure
- Moderate to Severe Chronic Pain (effective 8/15/2017)
- Moderate to Severe Vomiting
- Severe Pain That Has Not Responded to Previously Prescribed Medication
- Persistent Muscle Spasms
- Wasting Syndrome or Cachexia
CBD from Hemp Oil in New Hampshire
Consumption of CBD hemp oil is federally legal, as CBD hemp oil falls under the same importation and commerce laws as other hemp products. New Hampshire has no further laws in place specifically related to CBD (cannabidiol) from hemp oil, so it is legal for all to purchase and consume.
Cultivation of Cannabis in New Hampshire
Growing cannabis for medical or personal purposes remains illegal. Governor Maggie Hassan signed House Bill 421 in July 2015, authorizing the University of New Hampshire to grow industrial hemp for research purposes.
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