Is Weed Legal in New Hampshire?

Marijuana is legal in New Hampshire for medical use, not recreational use. Marijuana is defined under New Hampshire law as “any parts and compound of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not, including the seeds and resin derived from the plant.

According to the New Hampshire medical marijuana laws, it is illegal for medical patients to have up to two ounces of marijuana in their possession. New Hampshire decriminalized the possession of up to one-third of an ounce of marijuana in 2017.

However, note that possessing recreational marijuana in New Hampshire can get you into trouble with the law and attract a fine of $100. Is weed legal in New Hampshire? How do you get legal marijuana in New Hampshire? Stay glued to learn more.

Medical Marijuana Legalization in New Hampshire

In 2013, New Hampshire enacted “House Bill 573” to allow the use of medical cannabis, making it the 19th and last New England state to legalize marijuana for medical use. The law established a list of mandatory, albeit restrictive, conditions for the use of marijuana.

According to the cannabis legalization law in New Hampshire, patients must have a qualifying condition and severe symptoms to receive medical marijuana. Medical conditions qualifying patients for the use of legalized marijuana in New Hampshire include:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Lupus
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Epilepsy
  • Hepatitis C
  • Muscular dystrophy

Furthermore, the condition must be terminal or severely debilitating, or at least one of the following side effects must have resulted from the treatment of the condition:

  • Seizures
  • Constant or severe nausea
  • Constant vomiting
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia
  • Excruciating, ongoing muscle spasms
  • Chemotherapy-induced anorexia
  • Glaucoma
  • Increased intraocular pressure (IOP) or glaucoma
  • Persistent, severe pain that hasn’t responded to medication or surgical treatment or for which alternative therapies produce negative side effects.

Legalization History

On the other hand, the law requires dispensaries to be non-profits. HB 573 established guidelines for medicinal marijuana cards and purchasing and possession limits. Additionally, the original law governing the use of marijuana does not allow for the cultivation of the cannabis plant at home.

In 2014, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted in favor of legalizing marijuana. However, the bill was never taken up for a vote in the state senate. In 2017, medical marijuana use was legalized, and cannabis possession was decriminalized in New Hampshire.

After the 2020 election, any attempts towards legalization may face an uphill road since Governor Chris Sununu (an opponent) was re-elected, and there are likely to be few supporters in the legislature.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that Governor Chris Sununu has taken more action than any other New Hampshire governor in history to address the issues surrounding marijuana reform. According to Sununu’s office, the governor decriminalized marijuana use and approved bills to make it easier for people to obtain marijuana for medical use.

How to Purchase Legalized Marijuana in New Hampshire?

The Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP) in New Hampshire is run by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. Applicants must be legal residents of New Hampshire and at least 18 years old to submit a request for a “Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis.” To be eligible, the caregiver must have had an ongoing relationship with the patient for at least three months (with some exceptions). Patients under 18 must have written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Registered patients can get medical marijuana from Alternative Treatment Centers across the state (ATCs). However, patients can only purchase medical marijuana at the ATC where they registered their name; plus, there is no option for delivery.

Also, patients are limited to purchasing no more than 2 ounces of marijuana or marijuana-infused products within ten days. Furthermore, patients are restricted to possessing no more than that amount.

How to Register for a Medical Marijuana Card

Patients with qualifying conditions must visit a professional physician or doctor’s assistant licensed in New Hampshire to receive a written certification. Qualifying patients can also receive a written certification from an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensed in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Massachusetts.

Patients with written certification for the “Therapeutic Use of Cannabis” can head to the TCP website to register. In addition to the written certification, the applicant must have a $50 application fee and acceptable proof of New Hampshire residency.

On the other hand, patients are free to designate a healthcare provider at any time. To be eligible to act as a designated caregiver, one must be over 21 and have no criminal record. Plus, the caregiver must complete an application and a background check to be approved by the TCP. To assist a patient, a caregiver must first register with the “Caregiver Registry” and obtain an identity card.

Cannabis Lab Testing in New Hampshire

Qualifying patients from other states aren’t allowed to make purchases at ATCs. However, they can legally possess cannabis if they suffer from one of the qualifying conditions listed by New Hampshire. 

According to the laws governing the use of medical marijuana in New Hampshire, each batch of cannabis must undergo testing by a state-approved lab. The labs must test the potency and cannabinoid profile of each batch of cannabis. Plus, they must test for impurities like:

  • Microbes
  • Mycotoxins
  • Chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Residual solvents
  • Heavy metal

Where to Find Licensed Cannabis Dispensaries in New Hampshire

New Hampshire residents with medical marijuana cards can search online for the nearest licensed dispensary in their county or city. Most New Hampshire dispensaries offer storefront cannabis sales alongside curbside pickup services.

New Hampshire Cannabis DUI Laws

The laws forbid drivers from driving while under the influence of marijuana, whether for medical or personal use. A New Hampshire driver’s license is always considered to include implied consent to a physical test to determine if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you refuse such tests, you might lose your license for 180 days or face two years of jail time if you have a DUI conviction on your record. Additionally, the refusal will be presented as evidence in a legal proceeding. The offender has the right to pay and request additional tests from a provider of their choosing.

DUI Penalties

Here are the penalties for breaking the DUI cannabis laws in New Hampshire:

  • First Offense

A first DUI cannabis offense is classified as a “Class B misdemeanor.” First, offenders must pay a fine of $500 and undergo a drug test within 14 days of their conviction. In addition, the court will suspend their driving privileges for nine months to two years. However, to regain driving privileges, offenders must complete an impaired-driver education program approved by the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Second Offense (Within Ten Years)

A second DUI cannabis offense is classified as a “Class A misdemeanor.” The offender will pay a fine of $750, spend 17 days in a county correctional facility and face a three-year driver’s license suspension. Furthermore, within 30 days after the offense, the offender must schedule an evaluation for a substance use disorder. Additionally, they must complete an evaluation for substance use disorder within sixty days after release.

  • Third Offense (Within Ten Years)

A third DUI cannabis offense is also classified as a “Class A misdemeanor.” You’ll have to pay a $750 fine for a third offense and spend at least 180 days in county jail. Plus, within 30 days of committing the offense, the offender must schedule an evaluation for a substance use disorder.

Additionally, they must complete an evaluation for substance use disorder within the first sixty days after their release. Lastly, the court will suspend their driver’s license indefinitely and not restore it for at least five years.

  • Fourth and Subsequent Offenses

Fourth and subsequent offenses are classified as “Felony.” For fourth and subsequent offenses, the offender must spend at least 180 days in county jail and pay a $750 fine. Plus, the offender must schedule an evaluation for a substance use disorder within 30 days of committing the offense and 60 days following release. Lastly, the court will indefinitely revoke their driver’s license and not restore it for at least seven years.

FAQs: Legality Of Marijuana In Hampshire

  • Where is marijuana legal?

Marijuana is currently legal in over 20 states in the US. States like Alaska, California, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, and Vermont have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use. Most of these states permit both personal marijuana cultivation and commercial sales.

Most states place laws on the amount of cannabis a user may produce for personal use. Additionally, the commercial sale of cannabis is usually regulated and taxed and requires licensing. On the other hand, it is illegal to move cannabis over state borders. That means you can’t purchase cannabis in Colorado, where it is legal, and transport it into New Hampshire.

  • Will New Hampshire ever decriminalize weed? 

The state of New Hampshire decriminalized the usage of medical cannabis in 2017. However, there’s a limit to the amount of medical cannabis you can possess. For example, possessing more than two ounces of cannabis at a time can attract a fine of over $100.

For first-time offenders, possessing cannabis for personal use carries no mandatory jail time or criminal record, only monetary penalties. The offense is considered a “minor traffic violation.”

  • Does New Hampshire allow users to grow cannabis at home?

The state of New Hampshire doesn’t allow the cultivation of cannabis for personal use. Doing so will attract a fine or result in incarceration.

  • Will consuming cannabis in public get you in trouble?

Possessing and consuming cannabis in public places in New Hampshire is illegal, whether for medical or personal use. This means you can’t consume or possess cannabis at your workplace, school grounds, or public recreation center.

Conclusion: Is Weed Legal In New Hampshire?

More and more states in the US are trying to legalize cannabis and make it more accessible to users. The state of New Hampshire has decriminalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Certain conditions like cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Crohn’s disease qualify patients to use marijuana for medical purposes in New Hampshire.

However, note that patients must register their names at the ATC before they can use medical marijuana. Plus, note that patients can’t use medical marijuana on school grounds, youth centers, and other public places.

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