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Grow-your-own for medical marijuana users?

Jan 09, 2019

BY: Citizens Count

The five-and-a-half-year-old law that allows certain licensed individuals to use marijuana for medicinal purposes also limits the number of places where the product can be sold.

Currently, there are four Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs): Lebanon, Plymouth, Dover, and Merrimack. In 2018, the governor signed legislation allowing two more dispensaries that haven’t yet been established. The dispensaries serve more than 5,000 patients, 325 caregivers and 816 health care providers licensed to access medical marijuana.

Is it enough?

To help address what supporters say are too few dispensaries, HB 364 has been offered in this legislative session to allow qualifying patients or their caregivers to cultivate cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

Similar legislation was filed in last year’s session. It was referred to a study committee, but nothing came of it.

What it allows

HB 364 says the home-grown marijuana can only be used for medicinal purposes, and it must be grown in a location that is “locked and enclosed.” 

Current law allows designated “designated caregivers” to help several patients acquire marijuana from dispensaries, for example if a patient has trouble traveling.  Under HB 364, a caregiver would only be allowed to grow marijuana for one patient. 

The legislation also limits how many plants the grower can have on the premises (two mature cannabis plants and 12 seedlings) and how much marijuana can be in the location at any one time (six ounces).

Pros and cons

Supporters say that by giving licensed users the alternative of growing their own marijuana, they don’t risk running out of product for treatment of their medical condition. Growers can also more closely regulate the quality of the product they are consuming. Growing your own medical marijuana is also significantly less expensive than buying it at a dispensary, making the drug more affordable.

Opponents say the number of dispensaries in the state — growing from four to six — is sufficient for the number of licensed users. They say home growers would be too unregulated, inviting abuses such as providing marijuana to unlicensed users. There are also concerns about the quality of home-grown marijuana.

What do you think? Should New Hampshire allow the home cultivation of medical marijuana? Let us know in the comments.

Responses to this question will be presented to legislators debating this bill, as part of our 2019 Citizen Voices® campaign. Only responses from NH residents will be counted. Please indicate if you are from NH in your response.

Comments

Terry Cox
- Webster

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 9:43am

This would be a clear gateway to total legalization of the drug. Evidence from Colorado shows a large jump in traffic deaths from marijuana. Allowing individuals to grow it would encourage unsupervised growth of new, stronger, strains that would be against medical advice.

Lisa Powers
- Manchester

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 6:18pm

This has been shared on FB and there are hundreds and hundreds of supporting comments. Not everyone will take the time to apply for membership just to respond....
. What can we do to make their opinions count?

Lisa Powers
- Manchester

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 6:15pm

Yes, I support the ability for humans to grow medicine and food without our government giving us permission. This is an embarrassment.

Heidi Lilley
- gilford

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 9:05am

I support this bill as a disabled patient who is on a very limited income having the ability to have a designated caregiver who is knowlegable in growing be able to grow for me and have a supply available of a strain that I am aware will manage my pain is what is needed and I know is what is needed for a majority of other patients. The cost for this medicine through the dispensaries is prohibitive to those of us on limited income.

Dennis Acton
- Fremont

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 5:20pm

I support this bill and as a member of the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee, I will vote to approve it. The dispensaries in NH have done an excellent job of supplying quality medications to their patients but the cost is very high. Patients who have the capability should be able to grow their own.

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