Hearings Scheduled for 4/20

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled public hearings for five cannabis bills on April 20, beginning at 1pm. The list of bills includes HB 431 (home cultivation) and HB 639 (adult-use legalization). These hearings will take place in Room 100 of the State House in Concord.

Here’s a quick rundown on the five bills, in the order they are scheduled:

1pm: HB 360 would legalize cannabis for adults with no limits or regulations. The Senate seems very unlikely to take this bill seriously. Prime ATC has not taken a position on HB 360.

1:15pm: HB 431 would legalize home cultivation for registered patients and caregivers. Prime ATC supports HB 431.

1:30pm: HB 610 would make it easier for patients to be certified with a “severe pain” diagnosis. If it passes, the current requirements that patients have “not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures” or that they have experienced “serious side effects” from other treatment options would be deleted. This is important because patients should not have to try opioids or surgeries before being certified for therapeutic cannabis. Prime ATC supports HB 610.

2:00pm: HB 611 would allow therapeutic cannabis certifications by any New Hampshire medical provider who is licensed to prescribe drugs to humans and possesses an active DEA registration. Many patients report that they have difficulty finding a provider who is knowledgeable about therapeutic cannabis. This bill would help by allowing a broader range of providers, including naturopathic doctors, to certify patients. The bill would also allow family practice providers who provide pediatric care to certify minor patients. Currently, N.H. requires two certifications for minor patients, and one must be from a pediatrician. However, this is problematic because many children are served by family practice providers rather than pediatricians. Prime ATC supports HB 611.

2:15pm: HB 639 would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older and regulate cannabis production and sale by private businesses. Unlike last year’s HB 1598, this bill prioritizes the needs of patients and does not threaten the ongoing viability of the Therapeutic Cannabis Program. You can read more about this bill and why Prime ATC supports it here.

Note: most of these hearings are scheduled for only 15 minutes, but some will surely last much longer. As a result, the hearing on HB 639 may begin much later than the scheduled time of 2:15. In other words, we should expect this to be a long afternoon.

How Can You Support These Bills?

If you’d like to help advance cannabis policy reforms in New Hampshire, this is the week to get involved! The Senate has blocked reform efforts in the past, so it’s very important that senators hear from their constituents on this issue.

Here are five ways you can support any or all of these bills:

(1) Sign in to indicate your support to the committee.

It’s easy to sign in and register your support from home. Just visit the Senate’s remote sign-in page and follow these simple steps! You can do this now or anytime between now and April 20. If you choose to attend the hearing in person, there will be a sign-in sheet in the committee room for each bill.

(2) Call or email your state senator.

There are only 24 state senators in N.H., so each vote is critical. If you don’t already know who your senator is, you can look them up and find their contact information here. Sending a personal email may take more time than signing in on the remote sign-in page, but it is well worth doing. If senators don’t hear from enough supporters who live in their district, they may use that as an excuse to vote “no.”

You can also call your senator’s office and ask for their support. The call will likely either be answered by a staff member or go to voice mail. Here’s a sample script you can use:

“Hi, my name is ________ and I live in ________(city or town). I’m calling to ask that Senator ________ support HB ___.” Feel free to mention as many bills as you’d like. You can also briefly explain why you support cannabis policy reform, but it’s best to keep your message short and sweet.

(3) Call or email Gov. Chris Sununu.

In the past, Gov. Chris Sununu has not supported home cultivation for registered patients and caregivers or adult-use legalization. If you’d like to share your opinions with his office, you may do so via this webform or by calling his office. The number is 603-271-2121. You can use the same script as above, substituting “Governor” for “Senator.”

(4) Testify at the hearing or submit written testimony.

If you’d like to testify in person, you can sign up in the committee room. Due to time constraints, we should limit our testimony to no more than two or three minutes per person.

If you’d like to submit written testimony or simply email the committee members to express your opinions, visit the committee’s webpage and click “Email Entire Committee.”

(5) Share details with your friends!

Do your friends support cannabis policy reform? Do they know the Senate will soon be considering these bills? Share our blog and encourage your friends to take action!

IMPORTANT: If you decide to testify at the public hearing or communicate with elected officials, please be courteous and respectful. Elected officials tend to respond unfavorably if advocates appear disrespectful of the legislative process.

Thank you for your interest in improving N.H. cannabis policies! 

photo of capitol dome

Four Days of 420!

Why settle for one day of 420 sales when you can enjoy Four Days of 420? We are pleased to announce that all products will be 20% off from Tuesday, April 18, to Friday, April 21, while supplies last. In addition, patients will receive 4x loyalty points during the sale!

Mark your calendars and plan to visit your nearest Prime dispensary during our Four Days of 420! Check out our menu if you’d like to place an order!

4 days of 420 sale graphic

Seniors, military veterans, and patients enrolled in the Compassionate Care Program will receive an additional 10% discount. Sale may not be combined with other discounts or loyalty points redemptions. While supplies last. No rainchecks. Orders must be picked up by end of sale to receive discounts and 4x loyalty points.

Legalization Bill Advances

The New Hampshire House voted 272-109 to advance HB 639, a bill that would legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. Next, the bill will proceed to the Senate for further consideration. Governor Chris Sununu has not expressed support for legalization, so the bill’s fate remains uncertain. However, the bipartisan momentum behind this bill appears to be stronger than ever before.

In February and March, Prime ATC worked closely with the two House committees that considered HB 639. We primarily focused on ensuring that the bill protects patients and preserves the Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP). As you may recall, last year we had no choice but to oppose another legalization bill, HB 1598, because it presented a serious threat to the TCP.

HB 639: A Much Better Approach

Last year’s legalization bill would have created a state-run retail monopoly for adult-use cannabis without making any effort to preserve the TCP. Fortunately, HB 639 takes a much more sensible approach:

  • Cannabis would be sold by private retailers, not state-run stores.
  • Safe, legal access would be established for adults and expanded for patients.
  • ATCs could serve adult-use consumers if they meet requirements including prioritizing patient access.
  • New businesses could serve patients if they meet requirements for a “therapeutic cannabis endorsement.”
  • The tax rate (12.5% at the wholesale level) would be the lowest in the region.

Unfortunately, the bill is still far from perfect. We testified in favor of the home cultivation and annulment provisions, and we were disappointed when the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee removed them. Regardless of what happens with HB 639, we will continue to advocate for those policies. In related news, we expect that the therapeutic cannabis home grow bill (HB 431) will be scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate soon. We will share that information as soon as it becomes available.

Here is an updated summary of HB 639, and you can find the bill itself here.

If you’d like to share your thoughts with your state senator, you can look up their contact info here!

photo of state house

E-Day: El’s Army Invades!

Our much anticipated “E-Day” is finally here: El’s Army is invading Prime ATC! This is a welcome invasion, and we are more than happy to see these soldiers arriving at our dispensary locations.

As you can see in the photo below, we decided to bundle our three phenotypes together and sell them as “El’s Army Pheno Box Set.” This way, patients can sample each of the three phenotypes to see how they differ. We are also enclosing a survey and requesting feedback on each phenotype so we can decide which of the three (if any) we should grow again. If you’d like to be one of the first patients to try this flower and provide feedback, visit our menu and place an order today!

When you return your completed survey, we will happily reward you with a $5 store credit.

El's Army Pheno Box Set Contents. Camoflauge box, three 1g samples, and a survey.
El’s Army “Battle of the Buds” Pheno Box Set

But before you sample the new flower, we would like to finish telling you about these interesting plants. When we concluded our last blog, El’s Army had just entered the flowering phase, and the three phenotypes were already showing significant variations.

One Very Hazy Pheno!

The most obvious difference was that phenotype #4 reached for the sky much more quickly and aggressively than phenos #1 and #2. A few plants even grew up into our lights, which created some challenges for our cultivation team.

photo of El's Army plants
El’s Army Pheno #4 stretches up into the lights while other soldiers seem to be in less of a hurry.

So why would pheno #4 display such different characteristics than its siblings? For an explanation, we can look back at the genetics. In our first blog, we told you El’s Army was bred by Dynasty Genetics, a cross of Moose and Lobsta x Super Silver Haze. Here’s what we said about these “parents” of El’s Army:

“Moose and Lobsta has emerged as a popular sativa-dominant hybrid in New England. It is known for its fruity, skunky smell and overtones of diesel fuel. Super Silver Haze is an award-winning sativa prized for its energizing, uplifting effects.” 

“Meet the Winner!”

To gain a deeper understanding, we asked Prime’s Director of Cultivation, Antonio Garcia, to share his insights. He told us pheno #4 exhibited rapid growth and other characteristics associated with the Super Silver Haze lineage. Antonio also mentioned that patients who have been visiting Prime for years may find that this pheno reminds them of two of our previous Haze cultivars: Tangerine Haze and Moonshine Haze.

“The other two phenotypes (#1 and #2) I would say are a little more unique,” he said. “I’m really excited to see what patients think.”

One thing all three phenos had in common: they all produced beautiful colas!

photo of beautiful El's Army flower, pre-harvest
El’s Army flower, pre-harvest

Will El’s Army Occupy Prime’s Menus?

Ultimately, we will base our decision about the future of El’s Army on patients’ feedback. If you find that one of these phenos is especially helpful in relieving your symptoms, please be sure to let us know!

Here’s what the three phenos ended up looking like after they were harvested, shucked, cured, and trimmed:

Also, like all our products, each batch was tested by an independent testing lab before being packaged and added to our menus.

Antonio told us he “would love to grow El’s Army again” if patients find it helpful. All three “mom” plants are standing by, ready to propagate, as we wait for patients to try these phenos and complete our survey!

For more insights, check out this video interview with Antonio discussing El’s Army!

Previous blogs:

Meet the Winner!

El’s Army Grows

El’s Vegetating Army

Born to Run!

The Born to Run Foundation provides specialized prosthetics to children and young adults who want to live a fun and fulfilling life. Their goal is to show amputees that having a disability does not mean they are incapable of playing sports and being active, and to show them that being different is something to embrace.

In April, you can help us support this worthy cause by purchasing cookies or brownies. We will donate $1 for every cookie sold and $2 for every brownie!

Visit our menu if you’d like to place an order.

"Born to Run Foundation" graphic

For more information on Prime’s support for worthy causes such as this, check out our Community Outreach page!

Total Madness!

It’s time for the final phase of our Madness Sale: Total Madness! From Friday, March 31, to Monday, April 3, everything that wasn’t already on sale is 20% off!

You already know about Vape Madness and Flower Madness. Those sales will continue until Monday, April 3, while supplies last. During Total Madness, all products except vape cartridges and Rough Cut flower will be 20% off!

Visit our menu if you’d like to place an order!

graphic explaining Total Madness sale

Seniors, military veterans, and patients enrolled in the Compassionate Care Program will receive an additional 10% discount. Sale may not be combined with other discounts or loyalty points redemptions. While supplies last. No rainchecks. Orders must be picked up by end of sale to receive discounts.

April Education!

Spring is here, and it’s a great time to grow your knowledge about plants! This April, we are offering several educational opportunities to learn about therapeutic cannabis and to talk with our wonderful staff. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please call us at either dispensary or email us at info@primeatc.com.

Evolution Expo

Evolution Expo is an event hosted by Holistic NH, which seeks to connect patients and providers with alternative healing modalities. We are excited to be there for the second year in a row to share information about Prime ATC and the therapeutic cannabis program. The event will take place at the Grappone Center in Concord on Sunday, April 2 from 9:00am until 4:00pm, and it is open to the public. If you register beforehand, the event is free, or it’s $10 at the door. Please stop by and say hello at our booth if you decide to attend!

Matt and Alicia smiling at the booth

Cannabasics Class

This new class is a great way to learn about the basics of therapeutic cannabis. Whether you are completely new to therapeutic cannabis or you are very experienced, you can always learn more about this amazing plant. We will host this class via Zoom, and it is open to anyone who is interested, including people who are not currently registered with the therapeutic cannabis program. Join us on Thursday, April 6 at 5:00pm via Zoom for our first ever Cannabasics Class! Please sign up for the class ahead of time so we can send you the Zoom link.

Tinctures vs. Edibles

Both tinctures and edibles are great ways to consume cannabis, especially for anyone who doesn’t want to smoke or vape. This new class will help you understand the pros and cons of these two methods of consumption. For new patients, you can learn more about the product options and how they work. For experienced patients, you may learn a way to target symptoms that you haven’t been able to relieve with other products. Join us on Wednesday, April 12 at 5:00pm via Zoom! Please sign up for the class ahead of time so we can send you the Zoom link.

Patient Support Group

Every month, we host a Patient Support Group on Zoom so patients can share stories and experiences. We have had a great group of people the last few months and have room for more. One benefit to using Zoom is that you can consume cannabis while we talk! This month’s Patient Support Group will be on Tuesday, April 25 at 5pm via Zoom. Please sign up beforehand so we can send you the link.

If you’d like to sign up for a class, please email us or call us at either of our locations.

Goodbye, Medical Debts!

Great News: our campaign to eliminate medical debt in northern New England more than doubled expectations! RIP Medical Debt leveraged our donation of $10,157 to eliminate a whopping $2.2 million in outstanding medical debts! Prime ATC’s campaign ultimately benefited 1,957 families in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

graphic with happy woman announcing that our campaign to eliminate medical debt doubled expectations

How was this possible, you might ask? RIP Medical Debt used our donation to purchase bundled medical debt portfolios on the secondary debt market, and then forgave that debt at pennies on the dollar. On average, $1 is leveraged to abolish $100 in debts. When debt relief recipients open the yellow envelope from RIP Medical Debt, they are told that their debt has been bought by a third party and erased with no strings attached. They owe nothing on the debt and face no tax penalty. 

Prime ATC donated 20% of all capsule sales in January and February to support this effort. Thanks to all patients who participated by buying capsules or by donating directly! We would also like to thank United Canna Supply for stepping up with a generous donation of $1,157!

Here’s a county-by-county breakdown of medical debts that have been eliminated as a result of this campaign:

PDF with county-by-county breakdown of debt relief statistics
Results from RIP Medical Debt Campaign

Our Community Outreach program is off to an amazing start in 2023! We are currently raising money for the national MS Society and will announce the results of that campaign soon.

El’s Vegetating Army

After a few weeks in our propagation room, El’s Army advanced to the vegetative stage, or “Veg,” as it is frequently called.

For any Prime ATC cultivar, this process begins on “Transplant Day.” We begin by carefully and lovingly placing each rooted cut into a 1 gallon pot filled with coconut fibers, known as “coco coir.” Coco coir is commonly used in indoor cannabis cultivation as an alternative to living soil because bringing a living soil indoors can introduce pests and pathogens.

After being transplanted, the plant is watered with a special blend of nutrients and supplements to ease its transition into the vegetative stage. Each transplant is given a new barcode to keep track of the plant until it is harvested.

photo of rooted cuttings ready to transplant into 1 gallon pots
These El’s Army cuttings have successfully propagated, and they are ready to be transplanted into 1 gallon pots.

When this process is complete, the transplants move into our triple-tiered “Veg Room.” By using a vertical grow method we are able to fit more plants in Veg with less square footage. The plants may spend as little as four days in this room or up to three weeks, depending on the cultivar. El’s Army spent about two weeks in Veg, where they benefited from higher temperatures, humidity, and CO2 in preparation for the next phase.

photo of three-tiered Veg room
These El’s Army plants may look tiny in their new pots, but they won’t be tiny for long!

Flower Time!

Our El’s Army soldiers are now ready for the final stage of their development: the flowering stage! All new cultivars are flowered in our pods, which are retrofitted shipping containers. Each pod has its own CMH lights, HVAC, and irrigation lines, allowing us to run smaller batches of plants and carefully manage every aspect of the flowering process.

photo of plants in pod ready to flower
It’s Flower Time!

When the flowering stage begins, plants are “necked up.” Lower branches and fan leaves are removed, since these will be shaded out as the plants grow taller.

close-up of plants in pod with irrigation lines feeding each pot
These El’s Army soldiers have been “necked,” and now they are ready to reach for the sky!

Soon, these plants will produce beautiful colas! Here’s a preview:

small photo of beautiful cannabis flower, pre-harvest

Check back soon for our final El’s Army Blog: Flower to the Dispensary Shelf!

Previous El’s Army blogs:

Meet the Winner!

El’s Army Grows

Flower Madness!

It’s time to take our March Madness Sale to the next level: Flower Madness! From now until April 3, 14g containers of Rough Cut Flower will be on sale for $125 each, or any two for only $200!

The following cultivars will be available, while supplies last: Heavenly Sativa, Power Nap, Star Mints, and Temple of the Dawg.

In addition to Flower Madness, our Vape Madness Sale will also continue until April 3.

Next week, we will introduce yet another layer of madness to this sale. Visit our menu if you’d like to place an order!

Flower Madness sale graphic