New Hampshire House Approves Medical Cannabis Expansion Bills

New Hampshire House Approves Medical Cannabis

The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed several bills on Thursday that would improve the state’s medical cannabis program, allowing more patients to access the treatment and increasing the amount of cannabis they can possess.

New Conditions and Higher Possession Limits

One of the bills, HB 605, would add moderate to severe insomnia and autism spectrum disorder to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis, which currently includes 15 other conditions such as chronic pain, PTSD, and cancer. The bill would also increase the possession limit for patients and caregivers from two ounces to four ounces of cannabis every 10 days.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Wendy Thomas, said she introduced the bill after hearing from many patients who struggle with insomnia and autism, and who could benefit from medical cannabis as an alternative to prescription drugs. She also said the current possession limit is too low for some patients who need higher doses of cannabis or who live far away from dispensaries.

The bill passed the House with a voice vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Home Cultivation and Delivery Options

Another bill, HB 350, would allow patients and caregivers to grow their own cannabis at home, up to three mature plants and three immature plants per person, with a maximum of 12 plants per household. The bill would also allow dispensaries to deliver cannabis to patients who are homebound or have difficulty accessing transportation.

New Hampshire House Approves Medical Cannabis

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Renny Cushing, said the bill would provide more options and affordability for patients, especially those who live in rural areas or face financial hardships. He also said the bill would reduce the risk of diversion and abuse by requiring patients and caregivers to register their cultivation sites with the Department of Health and Human Services and to keep their plants in a secure location.

The bill passed the House with a roll call vote of 214-137 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Other Medical Cannabis Bills

The House also passed two other bills related to medical cannabis on Thursday. One of them, HB 605-FN, would allow health care providers to certify patients for medical cannabis for any condition that they deem appropriate, rather than having to follow a specific list of qualifying conditions. The other one, HB 629-FN, would protect patients and caregivers from being arrested or prosecuted for possessing or transferring cannabis that was obtained legally under the state’s medical cannabis program.

Both bills passed the House with voice votes and now head to the Senate for consideration.

Legalization Efforts Continue

The medical cannabis expansion bills come as lawmakers are also considering broader recreational cannabis legalization. Two bills have been pre-filed for the 2024 legislative session, one that would allow regulated commercial sales and another that would allow only cultivation, possession, and gifting among adults. However, both bills face strong opposition from Gov. Chris Sununu, who has vowed to veto any legalization bill that reaches his desk.

A commission that was formed to study the feasibility of legalization through a system of state-run stores failed to reach a consensus last year, after a series of contentious meetings and a list of demands from the governor. The commission voted against recommending the legislation it had drafted, but some lawmakers said they would still pursue legalization in the new year.

By Oliver Davies

Oliver Davies is a dedicated marijuana and drugs news writer at CBD Strains Only. With a background in journalism and a passion for staying informed about the latest developments in the marijuana industry, Oliver's articles provide valuable insights and analysis. Through his expert reporting, Oliver aims to keep readers up-to-date on the ever-evolving landscape of marijuana and drug-related news.

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