HB 442: Use of Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes was passed on 16th March 2011 with a majority of 221-96 – 69.7%.
A word of caution here: when a state legalizes marijuana it always takes a while for the administrative functions to be set up. In other words, just because the House has passed the Bill, don’t expect to be able to get your medical marijuana tomorrow! However, the new Bill does allow for the state to license facilities that will then be allowed to produce and distribute medical marijuana to patients who qualify under the auspices of the legislation.
As details of application processes are released we will update them here. In the meantime, however, here is the gist of the Bill:
HB442 removes state-level criminal penalties for use and possession of medical marijuana by qualified patients of ‘an amount of usable marijuana that does not exceed 2 ounces.’ Visitors to New Hampshire from states where medical marijuana has been legalized are covered by the New Hampshire legislation – that is they will receive the same protection from arrest and prosecution as could be expected by a resident of New Hampshire.
A qualifying patient is somebody who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition. The physician will be required to issue a written statement to the effect that the patient’s medical condition will be alleviated by the use of marijuana. The written statement will be valid for one year only.
Alternative Treatment Centers
Patients will obtain their medical marijuana from alternative treatment centers, which are defined as: a not-for-profit entity registered under RSA 126-V:8 that acquires, possesses, cultivates, manufactures, delivers, transfers, transports, sells, supplies, or dispenses marijuana, or related supplies and educational materials, to a registered qualifying patient who has designated it, either by dispensing it directly to the registered qualifying patient or by dispensing it to his or her registered designated caregiver.
- An alternative treatment center may accept marijuana seeds, seedlings, plants, or useable marijuana from other registered alternative treatment centers in New Hampshire.
- An alternative treatment center may transfer or sell marijuana seeds, seedlings, plants, or usable marijuana to other registered alternative treatment centers in New Hampshire.
- An alternative treatment center may accept a donation of marijuana seeds or seedlings, without compensation, from individuals and entities from jurisdictions outside of New Hampshire who are authorized to cultivate medical marijuana in their home state
- Provided that at least 3 applications have been submitted that score sufficiently high to receive a certificate within 18 months from the passage of this bill, the department shall issue alternative treatment center registration certificates to the three highest-scoring applicants
- If after two years it becomes apparent that 3 treatment centers aren’t sufficient to cope with the demand, applications will be invited for a further two treatment centers
- Must be at least 21 years of age, even if that person is already a licensed health care professional
- Cannot be qualifying patients
- Agrees to acquire medical marijuana from an alternative treatment center and deliver it to the patient.
- Must never have been convicted of drug-related offense
- Who are not licensed health care professionals may care for just one patient at a time
Qualifying Medical Conditions
- A chronic or terminal condition
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures for more than 3 months
- Severe nausea
- Severe vomiting
- Severe, persistent muscle spasms
The following information will be required for registration:
(a) Written certification from a physician
(b) Application or renewal fee
(c) Name, residential and mailing address, and date of birth of the qualifying patient, except that if the applicant is homeless, no residential address is required
(d) Name, address, and telephone number of the qualifying patient’s physician
(e) Name, address, and date of birth of the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver, if any.
(f) Name and address of the alternative treatment center that the qualifying patient designates; a qualifying patient may designate no more than one alternative treatment center at any time.
(g) A statement signed by the qualifying patient, pledging not to divert marijuana to anyone who is not allowed to possess marijuana pursuant to this chapter and acknowledging that their diversion of marijuana is punishable by a class B felony and revocation of one’s registry identification card, in addition to other penalties for the illegal sale of marijuana
(h) A complete set of fingerprints for the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver, if any
(i) A signed statement from the designated caregiver, if any, agreeing to be designated as the patient’s designated caregiver and pledging not to divert marijuana to anyone who is not allowed to possess marijuana pursuant to this chapter and acknowledging that their diversion of marijuana is punishable by a class B felony and revocation of one’s registry identification card, in addition to other penalties for the illegal sale of marijuana
For applicants under the age of 18 years
(a) The qualifying patient’s physician has explained the potential risks and benefits of the medical use of marijuana to the custodial parent or legal guardian with responsibility for health care decisions for the qualifying patient; and
(b) The custodial parent or legal guardian with responsibility for health care decisions for the qualifying patient consents in writing to:
(1) Allow the qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana;
(2) Serve as the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver;
(3) Control the acquisition of the marijuana and the frequency of the medical use of marijuana by the qualifying patient; and
(c) The custodial parent or legal guardian completes an application on behalf of the minor
Application fees have not yet been agreed.