New Hampshire: Governor Signs Bills Expanding Pool of Patients Eligible for Medical Cannabis, Other Changes

Autism and Marijuana

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed legislation into law, House Bill 89, expanding the pool of patients eligible for medical cannabis access.

The new law, which takes effect on July 21, permits physicians to authorize patients with moderate or severe insomnia to use medical marijuana. It also permits adults and/or pediatric patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to receive medical cannabis recommendations under specific circumstances.

Several small clinical trials, such as this one and this one, have recently shown that plant-derived cannabis extracts are effective and well-tolerated in patients diagnosed with ASD.

The Governor also signed into law House Bill 163, which directs health department officials and staff at medical cannabis dispensaries to provide materials and counseling specific to the potential “risk of cannabis use during pregnancy.” Studies have generally shown inconsistent results with respect to maternal marijuana use and neonatal health outcomes.