Home Grow, PTSD Removed from New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Proposal

Home Grow, PTSD Removed from New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Proposal

New Hampshire is poised to become the final New England state to allow medical marijuana, but the proposal continues to see changes at the request of the Governor.

CONCORD, NH —  A Senate committee voted to pass a proposal to make New Hampshire the final New England state to allow the medical use of marijuana Monday, but not until the bill was amended to appease Governor Maggie Hassan.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education & Human Services voted 5-0 to recommend the full Senate prove House Bill 573,  which has already been passed by the House with over 80% support.

Two key elements were removed from the House-approved bill.  Under the Senate-amended bill, patients will now longer be allowed to grow their own medical marijuana, and PTSD was removed from the list of qualifying conditions.

Other changes to the bill reduced the number of authorized dispensaries allowed statewide from five to four, added a requirement that patients get written permission from a property owner before using medical marijuana on privately owned land, and eliminated protections for out of state medical marijuana patients traveling with marijuana in  New Hampshire.

The changes were made at the request of Gov. Maggie Hassan, who called several lawmakers last week to make clear she wouldn’t sign a medical marijuana bill with a home-grow provision, citing concerns about the state’s ability to regulate such operations.  Hassan prefers a dispensary-only option, similar to Massachusetts’ recently enacted law.

As a state senator in 2009, Hassan voted in favor of a medical marijuana bill that included home cultivation, although the bill was later amended to a dispensary-centric model.  That bill passed in the legislature but was vetoed by former Governor John Lynch.

Advocates argue that the removal of the home-growing provision will leave patients with no legal source of marijuana for two or more years while alternative treatment centers are being developed. The House approved version of the bill would have allowed qualifying patients to cultivate up to three mature plants.

“The bill has strong support among state legislators, and we are willing to make any reasonable compromise in order to meet the immediate needs of seriously ill New Hampshire citizens,” said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We are confident that legislators can arrive at a solution that recognizes the immediate needs of patients and addresses the governor’s concerns.”

“We are willing to make any reasonable compromise in order to meet the immediate needs of seriously ill New Hampshire citizens,” Simon said, suggesting allowing patients to cultivate their own medicine for the first three years of the program, or until the dispensaries are fully operational.

Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), the bill’s primary sponsor, said that allowing  both medical marijuana dispensaries and allowing home cultivation by patients and their caregivers are necessary to ensure patient access.

“We know we’re going to pass something,” Schlachman said following the committee vote. “Right now, our biggest concern is whether we’re passing something that meets the needs of patients immediately who have been waiting a long time for legal access to something that is critically important to their health and well-being, given the medical challenges that they face.”

“I want to emphasize how grateful I am to have a governor who has gone on record in support of the use of therapeutic cannabis. I think that’s critically important,” Schlachman added.

Because the cost of medical marijuana from a dispensary may exceed several hundred dollars per ounce, placing it beyond the financial means of some patients, allowing them to grow their own would give them greater flexibility in their medication options.  Other patients may lack the resources, knowledge or time to grow their own medicine, opting instead to purchase their medicine from a dispensary.

A Granite State Poll conducted earlier in February found that 79% of New Hampshire adults support allowing doctors to recommend marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses.

Nineteen jurisdictions in the United States, including all other states in New England, allow the medical use of marijuana.  Under the proposed bill, registered medical marijuana patients from other states would not be allowed to purchase marijuana at dispensaries, but will still be able to bring up to two ounces of medical marijuana into the state.

If the Senate passes House Bill 573, the two chambers will need to meet to compromise on the final language of the bill before it is sent to the Governor for approval.

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  • Boo Radley

    ” Live Free or Die” my ass! New Hampshire, the only police state in New England.

    It will be years if ever before patients in NH have legal access to marijuana

    “added a requirement that patients get written permission from a property owner before using medical marijuana on privately owned land” Really?

    New Hampshire govt seems like it would fit better in the repressive south

    • jim renfrew

      its all about who is going to make the money off the patients. she mind ass well stick the bill up her ass

  • orison squirrel

    are you Fn kidding me,.,.. That kinda pricey shit,, my dose requires 2grams aday.. thats $$1300.00 fucking dollars.. This is a medicine thats suppose to be affordable., its fuck not. Just another get on the band wagon get rich scam for those that are able.. Those that are sick and cant tend to themselves just get fucked on..

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  • Mike

    “The changes were made at the request of Gov. Maggie Hassan, who called
    several lawmakers last week to make clear she wouldn’t sign a medical
    marijuana bill with a home-grow provision, citing concerns about the
    state’s ability to regulate such operations. ”

    Governor,
    If you want to regulate marijuana, you need to simply legalize it.

    On the other hand, if the goal is to provide legal access for patients, just do it. Doing away with home grow has a big impact on those already priced out of the market for conventional healthcare. Unless you’ve made specific provision for low-income access, taking away home grow just says that you’re interested in only helping those who can afford your expensive government-spec weed.

  • anonymous

    Just saying but is there a way to impeach for telling us one thing to only got elected and then screwing us over in the end?? My guess is no seeings how all politicians love to lie. Oh and one more thing this is supposed to be the “Live Free or Die” state, oh Mrs. Hassan how about you actually try and do good for this state and not continue to drag us deeper into debt, I leave you on this not Mrs. Hassan get off your ass and try to help the people of NH and earn the right to that title you are so proud to have.

  • Matthew

    Somebodys not getting my vote next time around.

  • Steve

    Just got back from vacation and remembered how much this state sucks. Go west, my friends and see how much easier things are when it comes to marijuana laws. States are trying to add PTSD to the list of ailments to be treated by MM, yet N.H. is going in the other direction. Three cheers for the state with the most fucked-up motto.
    I’ve all but given up on our elected officials and will travel a couple hrs to get what I need. I throw up a big middle finger to this state and the people who run it. Unfortunately, you can’t tell what you are going to get when you vote someone in because they all lie. Re-election is more important than following the will of the people.
    One last thing. I did find it odd that out in Vegas, I don’t recall anyone w/out some kind of alcoholic beverage in their hands, some passed out at the foot of the escalators, yet I thought to myself, “this is O.K. and I can’t even smoke a friggin joint”? I will admit, bud is easy to get out there and prices won’t make your head spin.

  • Adnlies420

    This is back door prohibition ……………..

    • Mike

      Exactly right. Don’t be lulled into believing the war is won at the first battle. They’re trying to see if they can get away with prohibitionlite. This is going on in Washington State and Colorado, as well as with many of the new medical marijuana initiatives.

      What’s happening is the politicians KNOW ending prohibition is a majoritarian position. They HAVE to be able to say they voted for medical marijuana and legalization, depending on the jurisdiction.

      But when they VOTE, they’re voting for sham bills that do as little as possible and place ridiculous restrictions on what actually gets passed. Net change? As little as possible.

      Yes, everyone of these suckups who betrays the true cause needs to see competition in both the primary and general elections. Doesn’t matter what party they’re in. Once several of these folks pay the political price for betraying their constituents, the others will quickly fall into line and join with the newly elected anti-prohibitionists to get government out of OUR weed patch.

  • gabriele

    They are saying that it will be 18 months and cost $200,000 to start up. Why nobody are talking to established growers in New Hampshire? My husband got arrested last year for growing pot ( he had a biggest opperation in NH). Instead of making him rot in jail for something that more than half of Americans think should be legal, ask him to help. He has an extensive first hand knowledge of the business.
    We are looking for someone to help writing letters ( english isn’t my first language) in hope to get him out of jail. If anyone can help, please e-mail me at gabriele13@gmail.com

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