Health: The growth of marijuana as medicine in N.H.

  • DISA Global Solutions DISA Global Solutions

  • AP file AP file

  • Marijuana plants are pictured at the Baker's marijuana nursery at Baker Medical Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Oklahoma City. When voters in conservative Oklahoma approved medical marijuana in 2018, many thought the rollout would be ploddingly slow and burdened with bureaucracy. Instead, business is booming so much cannabis industry workers and entrepreneurs are moving to Oklahoma from states with more well-established pot cultures, like California, Colorado and Oregon. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) Sue Ogrocki

  • The Commission on Alcohol and Other Drugs discusses legalization on Jan. 25, 2019. Monitor file

  • FILE - In this May 5, 2015 photo, marijuana plants grow at a Minnesota Medical Solutions greenhouse in Otsego, Minn. Advocates for legalizing marijuana have long argued it would strike a blow for social justice after a decades-long drug war that disproportionately targeted minority and poor communities. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, File) Glen Stubbe

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 photo patient service associates Savannah Stuitje, left, and Josh Hirst, right, stand at a counter that features a display of vape dispensers, below, that could be used for legal recreational cannabis, at New England Treatment Access medical marijuana dispensary, in Northampton, Mass.New England Treatment Access, and another store in Leicester, Mass., have been given the green light to begin selling recreational pot on Tuesday, Nov. 20, making them the first commercial pot shops in the eastern United States. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) Steven Senne

  • Newly transplanted cannabis cuttings grow at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts. AP file

  • Kendall Smith talks father and son, Jim Millay, left, and Ben Millay, middle, of Springfield, Vt., through setting up their own personal cannabis grow at White River Growpro in White River Junction, Vt., Sunday, July 1, 2018. Vermont law now allows citizens to possess two mature and four immature plants. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to James M. Patterson

  • FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2017, file photo, James MacWilliams prunes a marijuana plant that he is growing indoors in Portland, Maine. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, privately signed the state's marijuana bill into law, making the Vermont the first in the country to authorize the recreational use of the substance by an act of a state legislature. The law, which goes into effect July 1, allows adults to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, two mature and four immature plants. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File) Robert F. Bukaty

  • The New Hampshire House listens to a bill about legalizing recreational use of marijuana on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Concord, N.H. The House voted to send the bill to its Ways and Means Committee. If enacted, it would allow adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to cultivate it in limited quantities. (AP Photo/Holly Ramer) Holly Ramer

  • AP file AP file

  • Linda Horan and her lawyer Paul Twomey AP file

  • FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, a man smokes medical marijuana at his home in Belfast, Maine. Sniff and search is no longer the default for police in some of the 33 states that have legalized marijuana. Traditionally, an officer could use the merest whiff of weed to justify a warrantless vehicle search, and whatever turned up could be used as evidence in court. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File) Robert F. Bukaty

Monitor staff
Published: 12/10/2020 5:42:04 PM

In 2016, New Hampshire established a Therapeutic Cannabis Program, that allows Granite Staters with a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, PTSD, and epilepsy, to buy medicinal marijuana. Caregivers and physicians can also qualify for the program, with appropriate documentation. Those who qualify are required to buy the drug through one of the state’s four “Alternative Treatment Centers.”

Growth of New Hampshire’s therapeutic cannabis program has doubled, or more, in every qualifying demographic since the program began.

Qualifying Patients: 2,089 used the program in 2016, 8,566 participated in 2019

Designated Caregivers: 129 used the program in 2016, 488 participated in 2019

Certifying Providers: 560 used the program in 2016, 1,101 in 2019

Marijuana legislation in N.H.

2013: Maggie Hassan, the then Governor of New Hampshire, signed a bill that allowed seriously ill Granite Staters to use cannabis for medical reasons.

2015: Linda Horan, a stage four lung cancer patient, sues the state and wins the right to have a medical marijuana card.

2016: The first New Hampshire dispensary opens its doors to patients.

2017: Gov. Chris Sununu signed a marijuana decriminalization bill that reduces penalties for possessing small amounts of the substance. Adults could no longer be arrested for having less than 0.75 of an ounce of weed. Instead of jail time, those found in possession of the drug are fined, the proceeds of which go to statewide substance abuse prevention programs

2019: A bill was signed that allowed those who received convictions for possession of cannabis to have their records annulled.

2019: The Senate and House approved a bill that would allow patients and caregivers to grow their own cannabis. Gov. Sununu vetoed the bill.

2020: The State House passed a bill that would have legalized possession of marijuana. The Senate shelved the bill.

Commonly asked questions

How does New Hampshire stack up against other states?

Marijuana is fully legalized in 15 states in the U.S, including Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. Legalization advocates have called New Hampshire an “island of prohibition” because of its strict marijuana restrictions compared to its closest neighbors.

New Hampshire: Marijuana is somewhat legal, medical use is allowed.

Maine: Marijuana is fully legal, medical use is allowed

Vermont: Marijuana is fully legal, medical use is allowed

Massachusetts: Marijuana is fully legal, medical use is allowed

What conditions can medical marijuana be used for?

In New Hampshire, a variety of conditions can qualify you for the therapeutic use of cannabis. Some of these conditions include cancer, PTSD, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

Is medical marijuana safe?

According to the Mayo Clinic, more research needs to be done on the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana. However, there are some documented side effects of the drug including increased risk of heart attack, hallucinations or mental illness, dizziness and increased heart rate.

Is marijuana effective as medicine?

The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved a couple of THC- and CBD-based medications for a variety of conditions, such as a lack of appetite, childhood epilepsy and naturopathic pain. More research needs to be done into the efficacy of marijuana based medicines to determine the extent of the benefits.


Prime Alternative Treatment Centers: 380 Daniel Webster Hwy, Merrimack

Sanctuary ATC: 568 Tenney Mountain Hwy, Plymouth

Temescal Wellness (two locations): 26 Crosby Rd #11-12, Dover, and 367 NH-120 Unit E, Lebanon

Teddy Rosenbluth bio photo

Teddy Rosenbluth is a Report for America corps member covering health care issues for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. She has covered science and health care for Los Angeles Magazine, the Santa Monica Daily Press and UCLA's Daily Bruin, where she was a health editor and later magazine director. Her investigative reporting has brought her everywhere from the streets of Los Angeles to the hospitals of New Delhi. Her work garnered first place for Best Enterprise News Story from the California Journalism Awards, and she was a national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists Best Magazine Article. She graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology.

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