For New Hampshire medical cannabis patients, a “grow-your-own” option for cannabis medicine could mean affordability and easy access.
Luckily for patients, a bill going through the New Hampshire state legislature aims to allow just that. House Bill 364, which would allow patients to grow up to three mature plants, along with some restrictions, passed the state Senate with a 14-10 vote.
While there are about 7,000 approved medical cannabis patients in New Hampshire, there are only four clinics that sell cannabis medicine. Backers of HB-364 are concerned that the strictly controlled access is limiting patients’ access. “Therapeutic cannabis can be very expensive when sold at an Alternative Treatment Centers, and some patients have had to turn back to opioids as a cheaper option to ease their pain,” said Sen. Tom Sherman.
However, the Senate stripped away a provision that would allow home growers to “gift” home-grown cannabis to other approved patients. The concern was that it would be too easy to give cannabis, and that home-grown cannabis would find its way into unlicensed user’s hands.
Even with that change, some feel that home-grown cannabis is still too much of a risk.
“I think right now the places that we’ve authorized to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes—we have many, many controls over that place, including walls, cameras, etc.,” said Sen. James Gray last week. “And opening up to home grow just doesn’t seem to make sense to me. It’s still illegal federally.”
Now, lawmakers will have to come to an agreement on the bill before it can go on the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu. It is unknown if he will sign the bill. While the state’s Democratic party supports cannabis legalization in their platform, Sununu has spoken out against legalization and vowed to veto legalization legislation.