The New Hampshire Senate has approved a bill that would allow medical cannabis patients and caregivers to grow their own medical cannabis.
Medical cannabis was legalized in New Hampshire in 2013, but growing cannabis or personal use is still considered a felony. The newly proposed legislation, aptly titled Senate Bill 420, would allow for registered patients and caregivers to grow up to three mature plants, three immature plants and 12 seedlings each. A similar bill cleared the house and senate last year, but was vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu, who cited public safety concerns as the reason for the veto. The house achieved enough votes to override the veto, but the Senate fell just a few votes short of doing the same. “This bill presents Gov. Sununu with a great opportunity to continue his evolution on cannabis policy,” said Matt Simon, New England political director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “Patients all over New Hampshire are benefitting from cannabis as an alternative to opioids, but many are unable to afford the expensive products that are available at dispensaries.”
Earlier this year, New Hampshire expanded its medical cannabis program, adding to its list of qualifying conditions and approving more patients that can be treated with medical cannabis. The state is also considering a bill that would legalize cannabis for adult use, but the bill wouldn’t allow retail sales. “This bill will give patients and their caregivers the ability to grow their own medicine at greatly reduced cost compared to the prohibitive costs that they would have had to pay at a dispensary, which might not even have the type of medical cannabis that patients needs to treat their conditions,” Tom Sherman, a Democrat from Rye, said.