NEW HAMPSHIRE: After almost five years of gubernatorial vetoes blocking medical marijuana legislation, New Hampshire is set to become the 19th state in the country, and the last in New England, to allow seriously ill people to use marijuana for medical purposes.
The state Legislature passed a bill sanctioning medical marijuana on June 26 , and the bill now awaits final approval of Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan.
The Legislature passed two medical marijuana bills in 2009 and 2012, only to have former Democratic Gov. John Lynch veto them , but Hassan has said she will sign the recent medical marijuana bill into law.
“Medical marijuana will ease the suffering of New Hampshire’s seriously ill patients,” Hassan wrote in support of the bill in an email to the Ledger-Transcript Tuesday. “This is a compassionate policy that can help patients seeking relief from certain conditions when other treatments may not be effective.”
House Bill 573 permits patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and other conditions to possess up to two ounces of marijuana upon their doctors’ recommendations. Patients will obtain the marijuana from one of four nonprofit, state-authorized “alternative treatment centers.” The N.H. Department of Health and Human Services must license two alternative treatment centers within the next 18 months.