Members of the House and Senate gave final approval today to a revised version of House Bill 573, which establishes a regulated system of medical cannabis distribution in New Hampshire.
The amended bill, which lawmakers passed by a 284 to 66 vote, creates of four state-sanctioned marijuana dispensing facilities to produce and distribute cannabis to state-qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation. Patients diagnosed with one of approximately twenty qualifying conditions – including cancer, hepatitis C, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, or multiple sclerosis – would be permitted to legally possess up to than two-ounces of cannabis. Under the proposed law, patients must obtain cannabis only from a state-licensed facility. Qualified patients will not be provided with any legal protections to possess or use cannabis prior to the establishment of such facilities.
As originally passed by the House, the measure allowed for qualified patients to have the option to grow their own cannabis. The measure also allowed for physicians to recommend cannabis for the treatment of post-traumatic stress. Both provisions were stripped from the bill by the Senate at the request of Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan.
Governor Hassan has publicly stated that she will sign the reconciled version of HB 573 into law. New Hampshire will become the 19th state to allow for the limited, legal use of medical cannabis.
The NORML Team