medical marijuana

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A growing majority of Granite Staters support loosening state laws on marijuana, according to a survey from WMUR and the University of New Hampshire.

Sixty percent of residents support legalizing marijuana. That’s up from 54 percent a year ago. Support is strongest among liberals, younger adults and non-churchgoers.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed off on a bill that expands the use of medical marijuana to those with epilepsy, lupus and Parkinson’s disease. Currently about a dozen other illnesses are included under the law.

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New Hampshire is among twenty three states that allow therapeutic use of cannabis. Yet often, the process of dispensing it can be rife with legal and logistical challenges, We’ll look at how implementation efforts are shaping up in this state and find out what’s happening elsewhere, as these laws continue to spread across the country.

O'Dea

Three companies have been selected to open the state’s first four medical marijuana dispensaries.

The state has announced which companies will be allowed to move forward with plans to open a medical marijuana dispensary.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill allowing doctors to prescribe the overdose reversal drug Narcan may soon become law after the Senate passed the measure on Thursday.

If Governor Maggie Hassan signs off on the legislation– doctors across the state will be able to put Narcan in the hands of family, friends and users. Currently first responders and law enforcement are allowed to administer it.

The Governor would not say if she would back the bill but said she will closely review it.

Republican Andy Sanborn of Bedford says this bill is about saving lives.

NHPR

 

The New Hampshire House will take up legislation Wednesday aimed at ensuring licensed medical marijuana dispensaries pay property taxes.

The dispensaries, none of which have been opened, will be licensed by the state under the medical marijuana laws. A bill already passed by the Senate closes a loophole in the 2013 law that may have allowed the dispensaries not to pay taxes. A House committee unanimously recommends passage.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

It will be a busy week at the New Hampshire State House with more than one hundred bills slated for votes by Friday. The bills range from decriminalizing up to a half an ounce of marijuana to tacking $5 onto marriage licenses to fund domestic violence prevention.

Nineteen other states, including the rest of New England, have adopted similar measures to make the possession of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. Should it pass the house, and decriminalization bills have before, it will face an uphill climb.

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 As the state considers applications to run four medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, some towns and cities are preparing for the new law by updating their zoning rules.

New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law requires dispensaries be more than 1,000 feet from a school or drug free zone. But during Town Meeting on Tuesday, voters in Epping will decide whether to restrict dispensaries to industrial locations.

  One of the 14 applicants who would operate a medical marijuana dispensary in the state is eyeing a location in Dover.

A group affiliated with Wellness Connection of Maine says it wants to operate in the seacoast region. Board member Bill Eldridge says it would also be named Wellness Connection.

“Many of the things that have been developed in Maine, we plan to license their intellectual property and run similar operations with the same high standards in New Hampshire if we receive a license.”

  The New Hampshire House committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs will hear bills to expand the medical marijuana law Wednesday.

One bill would reintroduce a home-grow provision which had been proposed in a failed bill last year and it was cut from the therapeutic cannabis law’s original language.

It would allow qualified patients to grow a certain amount of cannabis in their home and require them to report their cultivation location to the state.

David Trawin via Flickr CC

The state Department of Health and Human Services stopped accepting applications for medical marijuana dispensary licenses this afternoon.

As of Wednesday morning, the state had received 14 applications. Though DHHS officials are tightlipped about who applied and for what locations, contract director Eric Borrin says that all four areas of the state are represented.

“A majority of the folks that submitted letters of intent did respond with full applications.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture

A house committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would restrict where the state’s low-income residents can use EBT cards.

The bill would ban people from using EBT cash benefits at businesses that primarily engage in tattooing and body piercing. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Charles McMahon (R-Rockingham), says the ban would also extend to smoke shops and future medical marijuana dispensaries.

A Maine company that was considering Littleton for a medical marijuana store lost interest because the available store was in the drug-free zone of a high school, according to town officials...

The company, The Wellness Connection, operates four facilities in Maine.

While medical marijuana is legal in New Hampshire, the federal government still prohibits it use.

Three parole officers who planned to seek a license to run one of four medical marijuana dispensaries in the state have pulled out of the application process.

Rex Bunnell and his partners had hoped to run what New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law calls an ‘Alternative Treatment Center’ in Concord. But a financial backer decided not to invest $1.7 million into the venture.

“So they pulled their money out and when they did that, that only gave us a little less than a week to try to come up with a substantial amount of money.”

The state’s first medical marijuana vapor lounge opened this weekend in Providence, but the legality of the lounge remains murky.

Elevated Vapor Lounge, located in downtown Providence opened Saturday.  Rhode Island medical marijuana patients can utilize the space to vaporize their doctor prescribed product.  And since state law bans smoking indoors, vaporizing is only thing allowed.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2006. Federal law continues to ban its sale.

West Coast Cannabis / Flickr/CC

  The Department of Health and Human Services will soon begin asking for license applications from people who want to operate one of four medical marijuana dispensaries. A few proposals have already surfaced and some are partnering with outside companies.

Rex Bunnell hopes to find himself behind the counter of an Alternative Treatment Center, or ATC. That’s what the state calls its medical marijuana dispensaries.

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A 12,600-square-foot medical marijuana dispensary proposed in Epping, New Hampshire, has not been well received by some selectmen, despite the fact that medical marijuana is now legal in the state.

Selectman Jim McGeough said Monday night that Epping is a bedroom community and isn't the right place for a dispensary. He suggested a location like the Pease International Tradeport or a spot near a hospital would be a better place for it.

The $2 million proposal now goes before the town planning board on Dec. 11.

David Trawin via Flickr CC

A medical marijuana dispensary has been proposed in Epping, New Hampshire, after the state passed a law allowing seriously ill residents to use marijuana to treat their illnesses.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the plan will be presented to selectmen on Monday night at Epping Town Hall.

The program is being administered through the Department of Health and Human Services, which plans to license up to four facilities in the state.

  A legislative committee has signed off on rules to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. But the vote hinged on new legislation to fix a possible tax issue.

Prospective medical marijuana patients and advocates are urging state health officials to issue registry cards as soon as possible.

The number of people who can obtain medical marijuana would increase under a bill that has now passed the Legislature and is on its way to the governor for his signature.

The bill also calls for a study to determine how much money the state could reap in new tax revenue if marijuana is legalized in the future.

Under Vermont’s current medical marijuana law, no more than 1,000 people can be registered to receive marijuana in total from the four dispensaries in the state. Those dispensaries are located in Burlington, Montpelier, Brattleboro and Brandon.

Frustration With Medical Marijuana Delays

Apr 17, 2014
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Last year, supporters of marijuana use for health purposes cheered when a bill became law. They’ve since been frustrated, however, over the timeframe of dispensaries and patient cards, also the lack of a “grow your own” option.  But others say patience is needed, that implementation should be done carefully to avoid dangerous mistakes.

GUESTS:

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Now that New Hampshire has a law allowing for the use of medicinal marijuana, it might not surprise you to find advertisements about how people can obtain registration cards for the program.

There’s only one catch: there is no such registration card as of yet, and that raises some serious questions about those advertisements and who’s behind them.

DD via Flickr Creative Commons

With licensed dispensaries not expected to open until next year, medical marijuana advocates hope a bill could bring relief to patients sooner by letting them grow their own.

The bill went before a Senate committee today.

New Hampshire became the last New England state to legalize medical marijuana last year, but Matt Simon with the Marijuana Policy Project says the rulemaking process is delaying its implementation.

 

The attorney general's office is advising against issuing identification cards this summer to New Hampshire residents eligible to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana for medicinal purposes under a new state law.

A House committee is scheduled to hear three bills on Thursday that propose changes to the state’s medical marijuana law.

New Hampshire Public Radio / Flickr Creative Commons

You would think that the commissioner of the state’s largest agency has one of the biggest to-do lists of the year, and for Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas, you’re probably right. A new year brings new challenges for Toumpas: with Medicaid, there’s the implementation of its managed care program, as well as the continuing debate over its expansion.

The commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services says he’s concerned about the cost to his department of implementing the state’s new medical marijuana law.

Appearing on The Exchange, Nicholas Toumpas says there is no shortage of issues facing his staff as it works through the early stages.

“There are legal issues that we have, there are systems issues that need to be developed, there are protocols that need to be developed, there is staffing that is required in order to go off and certify and license.”

After a few attempts and two defeats by veto, New Hampshire became the last New England state to pass a medical marijuana bill into law. The law is one of the strictest in the country as users cannot grow their own plants and the list of ailments allowed are small. Now as the state prepares for it, it also has to answer questions around dispensing the drug and how to keep it in the right people's hands. We'll look at the big unanswered questions and what roadblocks still may be in the way.

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