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Medical Marijuana Becomes NH Law

Medical Marijuana now legal in every New England state.

Gov. Maggie Hassan signed the medical marijuana bill into law July 23, 2013.
Gov. Maggie Hassan signed the medical marijuana bill into law July 23, 2013.
New Hampshire becomes the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana after Gov. Maggie Hassan signed the bill into law July 23.

Hassan issued a statement after signing House Bill 573 – "cannabis for therapeutic purposes" – into law:

"Allowing doctors to provide relief to patients through the use of appropriately regulated and dispensed medical marijuana is the compassionate and right policy for the State of New Hampshire, and this legislation ensures that we approach this policy in the right way with measures to prevent abuse.

"By providing strong regulatory oversight and clear dispensing guidelines, this bill addresses many of the concerns that were expressed throughout the legislative process. HB 573 legalizes the use of medical marijuana in a way that makes sense for the State of New Hampshire and gives health providers another option to help New Hampshire’s seriously ill patients.

"I thank the Legislature and the numerous advocates who worked in support of this bipartisan measure for their dedication to the wellbeing of all Granite Staters."

The New Hampshire House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bill this spring as a mechanism to deliver therapeutic relief to qualified patients with cancer and other diseases and conditions. Hassan, however, oppose part of the original bill that called for allowed eligible people a "home grow" option with up to three mature marijuana plants. The Senate, while supportive of the effort, heard the governor's concerns and removed the "home grow" option from the bill.

Karen O'Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, cheered the new law as a victory seven years in the making. 

"The newly enacted law will allow patients with serious illnesses to obtain marijuana from four non-profit, state-licensed alternative treatment centers,," O'Keefe said in an email blast. "Even more exciting, medical marijuana is officially legal in all six states that comprise New England."

A large, bi-partisan group of lawmakers sponsored the bill this year, including Rep. Donna Schlachman, D-Exeter, Rep. Andrew Renzullo, R-Hudson, Rep. Don LeBrun, R-Nashua, Rep. Sylvia Gale, D-Nashua, Rep. Patricia Lovejoy, D-Stratham, Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, and Sen. John Reagan, R-Deerfield.
robo hiker July 23, 2013 at 04:23 PM
My back hurts.
The Maddruid James R. Hunt July 23, 2013 at 05:20 PM
As someone who has Crohn's this is a blessing finally. Other similar suffers of this illness have been able to achieve near full remission and avoid very invasive surgeries. Thank you Gov Hassen for being a champion of reason and thank you to the NH legislators for your hard work on finally getting this bill to pass.

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