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new hampshire marijuana legalization

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New Hampshire

Is weed legal in New Hampshire?

Medical marijuana is legal in the Granite State for patients with qualifying conditions.

New Hampshire decriminalized marijuana in 2017. Possession of 21 grams of cannabis or cannabis-infused products with no more than 300 milligrams of THC, or up to 5 grams of hash can be punished with a fine up to $100 for a first and second offense. A third offense within three years could bring a $300 fine.

Legalization history

New Hampshire became the 19th state in the nation and the last in New England to allow medical marijuana in 2013 when it passed House Bill 573. The law established a list of qualifying conditions, albeit restrictive. Under the law, not only did a patient need a diagnosis of a qualifying condition, but they also had to exhibit severe symptoms of the debilitating condition.

HB 573 required dispensaries to be nonprofit and set requirements for medical marijuana cards and purchase and possession limits. The original law also did not allow for home growing.

In 2014, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a marijuana legalization bill, but it later died in the Senate.

New Hampshire decriminalized marijuana in 2017. Possession of cannabis of 0.75 ounce or less became a civil offense punishable with a $100 fine for a first or second offense and $300 for a third offense.

New legalization attempts may face an uphill battle after the November 2020 election since Gov. Chris Sununu, an opponent, was re-elected and few supporters remained in the legislature.

Where is it safe to purchase?

Medical cannabis is overseen and regulated by the Therapeutic Cannabis Program of the Department of Health and Human Services. Registered patients can purchase medical marijuana at one of the state’s dispensaries, called Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). Patients can only shop at the ATC they chose during registration. Delivery is not available.

Patients can purchase no more than 2 ounces of marijuana or marijuana products within a 10-day period and may not possess more than that amount. Patients and caregivers between them can’t possess more than 2 ounces at a time.

Find licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire

Medical marijuana cardholders can find licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire and search by major metro areas. Many dispensaries in New Hampshire offer curbside pickup services in addition to storefront sales.

Where is it safe to consume?

In New Hampshire, marijuana cannot be consumed in public. In addition, it is illegal to possess medical marijuana in school buildings or on school grounds, at public recreation and youth centers, or at a place of employment without the employer’s written permission.

Medical marijuana program

New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services oversees the Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP). New Hampshire residents 18 years or older can complete an application once they’ve received a Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis from a qualified medical professional. The patient and provider must have an ongoing relationship of at least three months (though there are some exceptions). Parents or guardians can apply for minor patients.

Qualifying conditions

New Hampshire recognizes the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal cord injury or disease
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

Additionally, the condition must be severely debilitating or terminal, or its treatment has produced at least one of the following symptoms:

  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Chemotherapy-induced anorexia
  • Constant or severe nausea
  • Elevated intraocular pressure, or glaucoma
  • Moderate to severe vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Severe, persistent muscle spasms
  • Severe pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures, or for which other treatment options produce serious side effects

Registry process

Patients must visit a doctor, doctor’s assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensed in New Hampshire or a doctor or APRN licensed in Maine, Massachusetts, or Vermont to be diagnosed with a qualifying condition and receive a written certification. Patients can then visit the TCP website to register.

Applications must include:

  • Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis from the patient’s physician
  • State-issued ID or other proof of New Hampshire residency
  • $50 application fee

A patient may designate a caregiver at any time. The designated caregiver must be 21 years or older and never convicted of a felony. They must complete an application and a background check to be approved by the TCP. The caregiver must have a Caregiver Registry ID card before assisting the patient.

Reciprocity

While medical marijuana patients from other states are not allowed to purchase from ATCs, they can legally possess cannabis as long as they have a condition on New Hampshire’s list of qualifying conditions.

Testing

New Hampshire medical marijuana laws require that each batch of cannabis be tested by a state-licensed lab.

Labs must test for:

  • Cannabinoid profile and potency
  • Chemicals
  • Heavy metals
  • Microbes
  • Mycotoxins
  • Pesticides
  • Residual solvents (for concentrates only)

FAQ

When will New Hampshire decriminalize weed?

New Hampshire decriminalized weed in 2017. Possession of 21 grams of cannabis or cannabis-infused products with no more than 300 milligrams of THC, or up to 5 grams of hash can be punished with a fine up to $100 for a first and second offense. A third offense within three years could result in a $300 fine. These charges and fines do not result in arrest records.

This page was last updated on November 11, 2020.

View the marijuana laws & regulations for New Hampshire.

Marijuana Legalization

The sale and use of recreational marijuana are both currently illegal in New Hampshire.

State law permits people with certain medical conditions to receive medical marijuana prescriptions. Learn about medical marijuana in New Hampshire.

According to a 2019 UNH poll, 68% of New Hampshire residents support legalizing small amounts of marijuana while 27% are opposed.

Marijuana laws in NH

New Hampshire law classifies marijuana as a restricted, illegal substance.

In 2017, the state decriminalized the possession of small quantities of marijuana. This means the possession of quantities up to 3/4 of an ounce no longer carries a jail sentence. Learn more about marijuana decriminalization. Today, those found guilty under this law face only a violation and must pay fines between $100 and $300. Violations are the least serious offenses in the criminal justice system.

Minors convicted of possession can still lose their licenses for up to 5 years.

“The idea that we can continue to make outlaws out of a wide swath of the population is a continuation of failed public policy.”

Possessing quantities over 3/4 of an ounce is still a criminal act. If you’re caught with marijuana more than three times within a three-year period, you can face criminal charges. It is also illegal to grow any marijuana plants.

New Hampshire has a drugged driving law. This means it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance such as marijuana.

Selling or intent to sell marijuana is also a serious felony punishable by a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Where is marijuana legal?

Across the country, voters in ten states have passed measures legalizing recreational marijuana. This includes all the states bordering New Hampshire.

It is illegal to transport marijuana over state borders. That means marijuana can’t be purchased in a state where it is legal, such as Maine or Massachusetts, and then transported into New Hampshire.

“To go to a full recreational marijuana when other states are seeing all the problems it has and issues it is bearing – it’s definitely not something I’m supportive of right now.”

Marijuana is still illegal according to federal law, which applies even in states that have legalized marijuana. Because of this, businesses dealing in legal marijuana encounter difficulty following federal tax and banking rules.

Marijuana controversies

There are many legal and economic problems to sort out if marijuana is to be legal.

Most legalization proposals regulate and tax marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol or tobacco. In 2019, a bill to legalize recreational use passed the New Hampshire House. The bill would have taxed the drug, limited the places it can be used, and restricted it to users over 21 years old. This bill stalled in the Senate because of disagreements about how to legalize the drug. Some of the many objections that led to the bill’s failure in the Senate included:

  • Disagreements about how high (if any) to set a tax on marijuana
  • Disagreements about how much money the state can hope to raise through taxation
  • Difficulties enforcing marijuana DWI laws
  • Potential links between marijuana and psychosis

What you can do

Care about whether marijuana is legal for recreational use in New Hampshire? Find your representatives and tell them what you think.

The sale and use of recreational marijuana are both currently illegal in New Hampshire. State law permits people with certain medical conditions to receive medical marijuana prescriptions. Learn about medical marijuana in New Hampshire. According to a 2019 UNH poll, 68% of New Hampshire residents support legalizing small amounts of marijuana while 27% are opposed.