CONCORD, NH — Legislation that seeks to allow for the physician-authorized use of cannabis has been introduced in New Hampshire, and is scheduled for a committee hearing on Thursday.
A coalition of over a dozen state lawmakers are backing legislation, House Bill 573, for the physician authorized use and cultivation of marijuana by qualified patients.
Introduced by State Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), H.B. 573 would allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Patients would be able to grow up to four marijuana plants in their homes or obtain marijuana through one of five state-licensed alternative treatment centers.
House Bill 573 is before the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs. It is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, February 21 at 10 a.m. ET in Rooms 205-207 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord.
Members of the House and Senate last year approved similar legislation to allow for the use and home cultivation of cannabis by qualified patients. That measure was vetoed by then-Gov. John Lynch.
Newly elected Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan supports the legal use of cannabis therapy. The governor as recently reaffirmed her support to the media. According to The Concord Monitor newspaper, “the next (medical marijuana) bill is likely to become law.”
A University of New Hampshire statewide telephone poll of 581 adults revealed that 79 percent of New Hampshire residents favor allowing doctors to authorize specified amounts of marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses.