Home Grow Advances!

Great news: yesterday, a N.H. House Committee voted to approve the therapeutic cannabis home cultivation bill in a nearly unanimous vote! The House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs voted 19-1 to advance HB 431. Next, we expect it will pass the House with little or no opposition.

We will be sure to let you know when a public hearing is scheduled for this bill in the state Senate. This will likely be sometime in April.

Legalization Hearing Scheduled

In other news, a second House committee has scheduled a hearing on the adult-use legalization bill that passed the House in February. On Monday morning (3/13) at 9am, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a public hearing on HB 639. Unlike the previous committee, this committee will focus primarily on the bill’s fiscal impacts: the tax structure, fees, and spending.

As amended by the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, HB 639 would authorize the N.H. Liquor Commission to regulate adult-use cannabis. Unlike last year’s HB 1598, this bill envisions sales being conducted by private retailers, not state-run stores. A 15% tax would be levied on cultivators. You can read a summary of the amended bill here.

Prime ATC strongly preferred the original bill, which included home cultivation and automatic annulment of criminal records for past cannabis offenses. As introduced, HB 639 would have created a stand-alone Cannabis Commission, with oversight from an independent Advisory Board.

Although we preferred the original version, the amended bill still includes important provisions to ensure patients aren’t left behind. We believe HB 639, as amended, gives ATCs a reasonable path forward and does not seriously threaten the viability of the Therapeutic Cannabis Program.

After the committee completes its work, the bill will likely pass the House and proceed to the Senate, where its fate remains unclear. We will continue working to educate legislators and seek improvements as the process continues.

Tell Legislators What You Think

If you’d like to share your opinions on HB 639 with the Ways and Means Committee using the House’s remote testimony form, follow these simple steps:

  • Enter your name and address
  • Select the hearing date (3/13)
  • Select “Ways and Means” as the committee and select HB 639 as the bill number, then indicate whether you support or oppose the bill
  • (Optional) Type your comments into the box or upload your written testimony
  • Submit the form

Thank you for your interest in improving N.H. cannabis policies! We will continue to share important updates as these bills move forward.

NH State House dome

Home Cultivation Bill Scheduled!

So far, most of the talk about cannabis policy in 2023 has centered on adult-use legalization bills. That will change next Thursday afternoon when three therapeutic cannabis bills receive public hearings in a House committee. Prime ATC believes all three of these bills are worthy of support. We expect many patients will be particularly excited about HB 431, which would make limited home cultivation legal for registered patients and caregivers.

The three bills will be considered on Thursday, February 9, by the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs. If you feel strongly about any of these bills, you are welcome to testify in person. You can also submit written testimony using the House’s Remote Testimony Submission Form. Alternately, you can email your thoughts to the committee using this address: HHSEA@leg.state.nh.us.

The public hearings will take place in the Legislative Office Building, Room 201-203. Here are more details on the three bills:

HB 611 (1pm) would delete the requirement that patients must have “not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures” or that they must have experienced “serious side effects” from other treatment options before they can be certified with “severe pain” as a qualifying symptom. It makes no sense that patients should have to try opioids or surgeries before being certified for therapeutic cannabis. Prime ATC supports HB 611.

HB 610 (1:30pm) would authorize any New Hampshire medical provider who is licensed to prescribe drugs to humans and who possesses an active DEA registration to certify patients for the Therapeutic Cannabis Program. Many patients report that they have difficulty finding a provider who is knowledgeable about therapeutic cannabis. This 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, two certifications are required for minor patients and one must be from a pediatrician, but this is problematic because many children are served by family practice providers rather than pediatricians. Prime ATC supports HB 610.

HB 431 (2pm) would allow limited home cultivation for registered patients and caregivers. The possession limit would be three mature plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings per patient. Prime ATC supports HB 431.

IMPORTANT: This committee has supported home cultivation bills many times in the past. If you testify or communicate with the committee, please keep this in mind and be courteous and respectful.

If you’d like to share your opinions on any or all of these bills using the House’s remote testimony form, follow these simple steps:

  • Enter your name and address.
  • Select the hearing date (2/9).
  • Select “Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs” as the committee and select the bill number, then indicate whether you support or oppose the bill.
  • (Optional) Type your comments into the box or upload your written testimony.
  • Submit the form.

If you’d like, you can also write or call your own representatives directly (look them up here).

Thank you for taking time to learn more about bills that would impact the Therapeutic Cannabis Program! We will continue to share regular updates.

photo of Capitol dome