New Hampshire Lawmakers Vote To Expand Medical Marijuana Program With New Conditions And Higher Possession Limits

The medical cannabis expansion legislation comes as lawmakers are also considering broader recreational marijuana legalization.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin

The New Hampshire House approved a group of bills expanding the state’s therapeutic cannabis program Thursday—as lawmakers continue to grapple with whether to legalize marijuana for everyone.

The chamber voted to pass House Bill 1278, a bill to add debilitating or terminal conditions to the list of qualifications for using therapeutic cannabis, also known as medical marijuana. In a separate vote, the House approved House Bill 1349, which allows those with generalized anxiety disorder to be part of the therapeutic cannabis program.

Both bills would require the patient to obtain a recommendation from a medical provider that they be prescribed medical cannabis.

The House also approved a bill to increase the amount of cannabis a medical marijuana patient can possess at one time. House Bill 1350 would raise the limit from 2 ounces to 4. Currently, the state’s cannabis decriminalization law allows people to possess up to three-quarters of an ounce.

And the House passed House Bill 1581, which would create an opportunity for the state’s alternative treatment centers to create greenhouses. The centers cultivate and distribute the state’s therapeutic cannabis; the bill would require them to receive permission from the Department of Health and Human Services, which regulates medical marijuana.

The votes came weeks after the House passed a broader bill legalizing the possession and use of cannabis in New Hampshire for all residents over 21 and creating a model to allow commercial sales at state-licensed cannabis stores. That bill is being tinkered with in the House Finance Committee and must pass the whole House by April 11 in order to make it over to the Senate in time for calendar deadlines. It will then face hearings and debate in the Republican-led Senate.

This story was first published by New Hampshire Bulletin.

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