People suffering from chronic pain can now get medical marijuana in New Hampshire, thanks to a law extending the treatment to cover new conditions that takes effect this week. Later in the month, people with post-traumatic stress disorder will also qualify.
Chronic pain is the most common reason why people seek out medical marijuana, according to a National Academies of Sciences report earlier this year. Add PTSD, and New Hampshire's medical marijuana market is looking at some major changes.
Governor Chris Sununu recently signed a bill into law that would eliminate the requirement that hair braiders obtain a license to do their work. These licenses were often expensive to obtain and, some argued, unnecessary, in part because no potentially dangerous chemicals are involved.
This could open the door to employment for workers, many of whom are African American, who learned this skill at a young age from family members.
The House held a hearing Wednesday on a bill that would cut business taxes in the state.
The state projects that it will lose about eighty million dollars in revenue by 2021 if the tax cut passes, assuming the economy follows current trends.
But supporters argue that the cut would have positive impacts on local businesses. Bruce Berke, the New Hampshire Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says that cutting taxes will lead to growth.
More than 50 businesses have started in New Hampshire in the past six months thanks to a law allowing laid-off workers to fund them with their unemployment benefits. That’s according to the Small Business Development Center at UNH, which administers the so-called “Pathway To Work” program.
The EPA is proposing stricter emissions standards for wood stoves. Manufacturers would have to build stoves that burn 80 percent cleaner than current models. And for the first time, pellet stoves would be held to the same standards. The EPA says pollution from these heaters is linked to asthma attacks, heart attacks, and stroke.
The plan includes more than 100 policy recommendations covering nine areas believed to be essential to the state’s economy. The recommendations include some classic BIA issues, like streamlining access to the Research and Development tax credit and increasing STEM education. But there’s also a recommendation to emphasize arts, culture and history in schools.
New Hampshire retailers are expecting their holiday sales to be up four percent, slightly higher than what's expected nationally. The Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire says 73 percent of those businesses surveyed are anticipating their 2013 holiday sales will be the same or better than last year.
The president of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire has been reappointed to a ninth term on an advisory panel to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Jim Roche was reappointed to serve on the Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. Membership is by invitation only and is limited to chamber presidents and chief executive officers. The group advises the U.S. Chamber of Commerce board of directors; enhances the U.S. Chamber's lobbying and coalition work; recommends programming; and strengthens outreach to the business and chamber community.
An expanded “Auto Dealer Bill of Rights” law is set to take effect today. It offers auto and equipment dealers protections from some requirements set by manufacturers. But a key part of the law is now on hold.
The steadfast fixture of arcades and bars has dwindled as the gaming industry has moved towards handheld devices and home consoles. Only one pinball production company remains. However, Jack Guarnieri is looking to revive the once uber-popular gaming machine.
Some employers are willing to try anything to incentivize employees to work harder and increase productivity. But what exactly are employees looking for in a job these days, aside from the pay? Business NH Magazine's annual competition identifies the top ten best New Hampshire companies to work for and what makes them so great. Matthew Mowry is editor for Business NH Magazine and he joins us to talk about who came out on top.
You may have heard of "flash mobs," where a mass of people invade a public space to make a scene. Now the idea has been turned on its head by "cash mobs," where large crowds of consumers show up at small businesses to spend money. But it's not just about propping up the local economy.
It's 5 o'clock on a Friday, and mostly quiet in the Lander's Men's Store, a mom-and-pop clothing store in Jamestown, N.Y. But shop owner Ann Powers is anticipating a mob.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, every state must have a health insurance exchange in place by January 2014. An exchange is a clearinghouse of sorts where people and small business can go to buy insurance and also find out which tax rebates they may use to help them buy coverage.
New Hampshire has one of the worst prescription drug abuse problems in the country. The state now ranks 5th in the nation for percentage of residents who abuse medications such as percocet, vicodin, and oxycodone, according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control. The problem is especially alarming among young people. New Hampshire has the second highest rate of 18-25 year olds who abuse prescription drugs in the nation.
Danielle Fiore , 24, says she was addicted to painkillers for most of her childhood.
"I had fractured my ankle and I was prescribed vicodin and it felt good. I was ten or eleven," she says. "As time went on I would get something else hurt or a toothache or something and I would get more painkillers. I have a bunch of teeth missing because I would complain and get them pulled so I would get pain killers."
Currently New Hampshire has no prescription drug monitoring program. The program, which is up and running in 48 other states, is initially funded through federal grants. The proposal to create a centralized prescription database that doctors and law enforcement could check to track so called "doctor shoppers" has been defeated several times in the state Legislature. A new bill is now being considered this session and its sponsor Senator Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, is hopeful that there is enough support for a statewide prescription monitoring program this time. He cites the growing number of overdose deaths in the state from prescription drugs. In the last decade overdose deaths from these medications have more than tripled.
For those who oppose a statewide prescription drug database privacy is a major issue. Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, says such a program goes against the Granite State's core philosophy.
"This is New Hampshire, this is the 'Live Free or Die' state, " says Kurk. "One of the major reasons this bill has not been adopted is because most people feel it’s the independent philosophy, personal responsibility philosophy that prevails and that government should be small and not interfere with people’s lives."
Many of the state's independent pharmacists are also against a monitoring program because they worry they will end up footing the bill. The database would be drawn from pharmacy records. Rick Newman, a lobbyist for the New Hampshire Independent Pharmacy Association, says the small business people he represents will be end up carrying the burden of the costs of such a database.
"I can’t sit here as anyone with any kind of intelligence and disagree that’s there's a problem with people abusing prescription drugs in this country, of course there is," says Newman. "The question becomes whose burden is that? We can’t pass laws to put the burden on the small business person because they happen to be one part of the pipeline."
Emergency room doctors and those that treat pain say they are often confronted by patients who may be faking symptoms to get narcotics for their addiction or to sell on the street.
"I want people who have legitimate pain to get the proper pain medications that they need," say Dr. David Heller, an emergency room physician at Portsmouth Hospital. "But I don’t want to feed somebody’s addiction and I don’t want to write a prescription for drugs that are going to be sold to my kids or my kid's friends."
With demand for cremation, secular services, and environmentally friendly burials rising, funeral directors are adapting what could be called new end-of-lifestyle choices. Max Rivlin-Nadler is editor of Full Stopmagazine. He discovered an industry scrambling to meet new demands while attending the 130th National Funeral Director's Conference, held this year in Chicago.