Is Marijuana Legal in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire marijuana laws changed when the state became the 19th in the nation and the last in New England to pass medical marijuana legalization in 2013 with House Bill 573. The law established a list of qualifying conditions for New Hampshire medical marijuana, albeit restrictive. Under the law, not only did a patient need a diagnosis of a qualifying condition, but also had to exhibit severe symptoms of the debilitating condition.
The law required dispensaries to be nonprofit and set requirements for medical marijuana cards and purchase and possession limits. The original law also did not allow for home growing.
The New Hampshire medical society did not include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition. In 2014, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a marijuana legalization bill, but it later died in the Senate.
New Hampshire decriminalized marijuana in 2017. Possession of cannabis of three-fourths of an ounce (0.75 oz) or less will incur a $100 fine for a first or second offense, and $300 for a third offense, rather than leading to harsher misdemeanor charges. Four offenses within three years would result in misdemeanor charges.
A new legalization attempt, HB 656, that seemed destined for a vote in March 2018 before being delayed for study would have legalized cannabis. Among its provisions, it would permit adults 21+ to possess up to three-fourths of an ounce (0.75 oz) of marijuana; five (5) grams, or 0.18 ounce, of hashish and certain marijuana-infused products; permits adults to cultivate up to six (6) marijuana plants at home in a secure location not visible from other properties, and to possess and process the marijuana produced from those plants at home. It would permit gifting to other adults the maximum possession limits of marijuana or hash; up to 300 milligrams, or 0.01 ounce, of marijuana-infused products; or three (3) immature plants. Smoking or vaping in public would be punishable by a $100 fine and violation of cultivation limits could result in a $750 fine.
New Hampshire is making slow but steady progress toward joining its neighboring New England states Massachusetts and Vermont in legalizing recreational marijuana. The state has allowed medical marijuana since 2013 and decriminalized possession of a small amount in 2017.
In November 2018, a commission studying legalization of recreational cannabis released a report with 50 recommendations. However, as yet there is no timeframe or a vote set during the current legislative session. In March 2018, a bill that would have legalized possession and home growth for personal use was shelved and sent back for further study.
Among the population, legalization has strong support. A 2017 University of New Hampshire poll found 68 percent of New Hampshire adults support legalizing marijuana.
Medical cannabis is overseen and regulated by the Therapeutic Cannabis Program of the Department of Health and Human
Where is it safe to purchase & consume?
Medical marijuana may be purchased at one (1) of four (4) dispensaries, called Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs), located in Dover, Merrimack, Lebanon, and Plymouth. Applications to open new centers are currently closed.
A patient must choose in writing an ATC from which to purchase. Patients can change ATCs but can only buy from one at a time. A qualifying patient must be 18 years or older and provide a Registry ID card when purchasing marijuana. They must keep the ID card and have it at all times when in possession of cannabis in public or face a $100 fine.
Patients can purchase no more than two (2) ounces, or 56.7 grams, of marijuana or marijuana products within a 10-day period and may not possess more than that amount. Marijuana cannot be consumed in public. In addition, it is illegal to possess medical marijuana in school buildings or on school grounds, at public recreation and youth centers, or at a place of employment without the employer’s written permission from.
There are no delivery services.
to Be to Consume?
Each batch of cannabis grown within an ATC should be tested for its cannabinoid profile. Cannabinoids to be tested include THC, THCV, CBC, CBD, CBN, and CBG. These tests must be completed at an accredited testing lab. Water and soil tests also required.
Qualifying Conditions and Patient Rights
Patients must have qualifying conditions and exhibit debilitating or severe symptoms. New Hampshire recognizes the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C for patients currently receiving antiviral treatment
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinal cord injury or disease
- Traumatic brain injury
- One or more injuries that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient’s provider.
Additionally, the condition must be severely debilitating or terminal, or its treatment has produced at least one of the following symptoms:
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Chemotherapy-induced anorexia
- Constant or severe nausea
- Elevated intraocular pressure, or glaucoma
- Moderate to severe vomiting
- Severe, persistent muscle spasms
- Severe pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures, or for which other treatment options produce serious side effects.
Qualified patients must be New Hampshire residents 18 years or older and complete an application. For minors, a parent or legal guardian must apply. A Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis from a qualified medical professional must also be provided. The patient and provider must have an ongoing relationship of at least three (3) months, with some exceptions.
There is a $50 application fee, plus medical charges. Gifting of medical marijuana is illegal.
Any physician or advanced practice registered nurse who is licensed in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, or Vermont is permitted to issue a Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis.
A patient may designate a qualified individual as a caregiver at any time. The designated caregiver must be 21 years or older, never convicted of a felony, complete an application and be approved by the Program. The caregiver must have a Caregiver Registry ID card before providing assistance.