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New Hampshire Marijuana Laws

Updated September 2019

The state of New Hampshire has taken some steps toward creating reasonable cannabis access policies that its constituents have shown support for, but it still has a ways to go. Learn more about New Hampshire marijuana laws below.

Recreational Marijuana in New Hampshire

Is marijuana legal in New Hampshire? In short, no. However, on July 18, 2017, New Hampshire’s new governor Chris Sununu (R) signed into law House Bill 640, which makes the first and second offense of possession of up to three quarters of an ounce of cannabis or up to five grams of hash a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine, rather than a criminal offense. A fine of up to $300 for any subsequent offense within three years may be applied. A fourth offense within a three-year period may result in a person being charged with a misdemeanor.

Under New Hampshire marijuana laws, police cannot arrest someone for a cannabis violation, and minors caught with possession are subject to a delinquency petition. The money collected from fines will go to a fund dedicated to alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment.

With the passing of the most recent law, New Hampshire became the 22nd U.S. state to decriminalize marijuana and the last of the New England states. It went into effect 60 days after signing.

Medical Marijuana in New Hampshire

New Hampshire took a huge step forward by passing a comprehensive medical marijuana law in 2013. Gov. Maggie Hassan signed House Bill 573 to legalize medical marijuana on July 23, 2013, but the rollout was plagued with delays and the first dispensary didn’t open until April 2016. Under the law, registered patients are allowed to possess up to 2 ounces of usable marijuana.

The state currently has four open and operational dispensaries. The law does not allow for qualified patients to cultivate marijuana at home.

In order for patients to be eligible for New Hampshire’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program, a licensed physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or a physician assistant must issue a written certification that certifies that a patient has BOTH a condition listed here AND a symptom listed in the second list:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Spinal Cord Injury or Disease
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Chemotherapy Induced Anorexia
  • Elevated Intraocular Pressure
  • Moderate to Severe Chronic Pain
  • Moderate to Severe Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Severe Pain That Has Not Responded to Previously Prescribed Medication
  • Persistent Muscle Spasms
  • Seizures
  • Wasting Syndrome or Cachexia

CBD from Hemp Oil in New Hampshire

Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.

Cultivation of Cannabis in New Hampshire

Growing cannabis for medical or personal purposes remains illegal.

Hemp can be cultivated legally by licensed growers. Governor Maggie Hassan House Bill 421 in July 2015, authorizing the University of New Hampshire to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. In July 2019, Gov. Chris Sununu signed House Bill 459 to amend the state’s existing hemp law. The new bill officially legalizes hemp and establishes a committee to study the federal guidelines on growing hemp.

Legal Status of Other U.S. States

Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.

Sources

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With more states legalizing the use of marijuana it can be hard to stay up to date on New Hampshire marijuana laws. Click to learn more about marijuana laws in NH!

LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS

New Hampshire

Is weed legal in New Hampshire?

Medical marijuana is legal in the Granite State for patients with qualifying conditions.

New Hampshire decriminalized marijuana in 2017. Possession of 21 grams of cannabis or cannabis-infused products with no more than 300 milligrams of THC, or up to 5 grams of hash can be punished with a fine up to $100 for a first and second offense. A third offense within three years could bring a $300 fine.

Legalization history

New Hampshire became the 19th state in the nation and the last in New England to allow medical marijuana in 2013 when it passed House Bill 573. The law established a list of qualifying conditions, albeit restrictive. Under the law, not only did a patient need a diagnosis of a qualifying condition, but they also had to exhibit severe symptoms of the debilitating condition.

HB 573 required dispensaries to be nonprofit and set requirements for medical marijuana cards and purchase and possession limits. The original law also did not allow for home growing.

In 2014, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a marijuana legalization bill, but it later died in the Senate.

New Hampshire decriminalized marijuana in 2017. Possession of cannabis of 0.75 ounce or less became a civil offense punishable with a $100 fine for a first or second offense and $300 for a third offense.

New legalization attempts may face an uphill battle after the November 2020 election since Gov. Chris Sununu, an opponent, was re-elected and few supporters remained in the legislature.

Where is it safe to purchase?

Medical cannabis is overseen and regulated by the Therapeutic Cannabis Program of the Department of Health and Human Services. Registered patients can purchase medical marijuana at one of the state’s dispensaries, called Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). Patients can only shop at the ATC they chose during registration. Delivery is not available.

Patients can purchase no more than 2 ounces of marijuana or marijuana products within a 10-day period and may not possess more than that amount. Patients and caregivers between them can’t possess more than 2 ounces at a time.

Find licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire

Medical marijuana cardholders can find licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire and search by major metro areas. Many dispensaries in New Hampshire offer curbside pickup services in addition to storefront sales.

Where is it safe to consume?

In New Hampshire, marijuana cannot be consumed in public. In addition, it is illegal to possess medical marijuana in school buildings or on school grounds, at public recreation and youth centers, or at a place of employment without the employer’s written permission.

Medical marijuana program

New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services oversees the Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP). New Hampshire residents 18 years or older can complete an application once they’ve received a Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis from a qualified medical professional. The patient and provider must have an ongoing relationship of at least three months (though there are some exceptions). Parents or guardians can apply for minor patients.

Qualifying conditions

New Hampshire recognizes the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal cord injury or disease
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

Additionally, the condition must be severely debilitating or terminal, or its treatment has produced at least one of the following symptoms:

  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Chemotherapy-induced anorexia
  • Constant or severe nausea
  • Elevated intraocular pressure, or glaucoma
  • Moderate to severe vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Severe, persistent muscle spasms
  • Severe pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures, or for which other treatment options produce serious side effects

Registry process

Patients must visit a doctor, doctor’s assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensed in New Hampshire or a doctor or APRN licensed in Maine, Massachusetts, or Vermont to be diagnosed with a qualifying condition and receive a written certification. Patients can then visit the TCP website to register.

Applications must include:

  • Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis from the patient’s physician
  • State-issued ID or other proof of New Hampshire residency
  • $50 application fee

A patient may designate a caregiver at any time. The designated caregiver must be 21 years or older and never convicted of a felony. They must complete an application and a background check to be approved by the TCP. The caregiver must have a Caregiver Registry ID card before assisting the patient.

Reciprocity

While medical marijuana patients from other states are not allowed to purchase from ATCs, they can legally possess cannabis as long as they have a condition on New Hampshire’s list of qualifying conditions.

Testing

New Hampshire medical marijuana laws require that each batch of cannabis be tested by a state-licensed lab.

Labs must test for:

  • Cannabinoid profile and potency
  • Chemicals
  • Heavy metals
  • Microbes
  • Mycotoxins
  • Pesticides
  • Residual solvents (for concentrates only)

FAQ

When will New Hampshire decriminalize weed?

New Hampshire decriminalized weed in 2017. Possession of 21 grams of cannabis or cannabis-infused products with no more than 300 milligrams of THC, or up to 5 grams of hash can be punished with a fine up to $100 for a first and second offense. A third offense within three years could result in a $300 fine. These charges and fines do not result in arrest records.

This page was last updated on November 11, 2020.

View the marijuana laws & regulations for New Hampshire.