Therapeutic Cannabis Program
January 11, 2017
Therapeutic Cannabis Program 2016 Data Report
RSA 126-X:10 requires: (1) the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services shall report annually on the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis Program established under RSA 126-X to the Health and Human Services Oversight Committee established under RSA 126-A:13, to the NH Board of Medicine, and to the NH Board of Nursing; and (2) the report shall be in electronic format to allow for identification of patterns of certification by patient and caregiver, location, age, medical condition, symptom, or side effect, and provider, and for analysis and research to inform future policy, educational, and clinical decisions.
In accordance with RSA 126-X:10, the Department of Health and Human Services presents the Therapeutic Cannabis Program 2016 Data Report . This report presents information from the Therapeutic Cannabis Registry, the Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) Annual Reports, and the Qualifying Patient Satisfaction Surveys.
The Therapeutic Cannabis Program 2016 Data Report reflects information from the Therapeutic Cannabis Registry about qualifying patients and designated caregivers who are active in the program as of December 19, 2016. The information from the Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) is from the date that the first registration certificate authorizing the sale of therapeutic cannabis by an ATC dispensary was issued, which occurred in April 2016, through September 15, 2016. The Therapeutic Cannabis Program 2016 Data Report also contains the results of a Qualifying Patient Satisfaction Survey administered by the ATCs to active qualifying patients during the period of October 1 through October 31, 2016.
Petitions for Approval of a Severely Debilitating or Terminal Medical Condition Not Listed as a Qualifying Medical Condition
RSA 126-X:1, IX(b) allows the NH Department of Health and Human Services to add medical conditions which are not listed as “qualifying medical conditions” under RSA 126-X:1, IX(a) to the list of eligible conditions for the Therapeutic Cannabis Program. Administrative rule He-C 401.09 establishes the process for medical providers to request the addition of such conditions through a petition process.
Petitions may be submitted to the Department by medical providers throughout the months of January and July, beginning in January 2017.
- Petitions for Approval of a Severely Debilitating or Terminal Medical Condition Not Listed as a Qualifying Medical Condition – Information Sheet
- Petition for Approval of a Severely Debilitating or Terminal Medical Condition Not Listed as a Qualifying Medical Condition – Form
September 22, 2016
Pursuant to RSA 126-X:4, VI, the Department is required to provide to therapeutic cannabis cardholders a notice explaining federal law regarding the possession of cannabis and that possession of a state registry identification card does not protect a person from federal criminal penalties. The notice being provided has been updated to include additional language regarding a federal firearms notice.
August 10, 2016
Prime Alternative Treatment Center has received a registration certificate for its therapeutic cannabis dispensary in Merrimack, NH. Prime ATC’s dispensary will begin operations on Thursday, August 11, at which point qualifying patients and designated caregivers registered with Prime ATC will be able to obtain therapeutic cannabis.
Prime’s dispensary is the fourth and final dispensary to begin operations as part of the State’s Therapeutic Cannabis program, which is now fully launched. Prime ATC joins Sanctuary ATC’s dispensary in Plymouth and Temescal Wellness’ dispensaries in Dover and Lebanon.
Qualifying patients and designated caregivers must select one of the four ATC dispensaries and can only obtain therapeutic cannabis at their designated ATC. Applications for potentially qualifying patients and designated caregivers, medical provider certification, and other important information can be found by following the links on this page.
August 2, 2016
Qualifying Medical Conditions
Effective August 2, 2016, ulcerative colitis has been added as a qualifying medical condition for the therapeutic use of cannabis. This is the result of the passage of HB 1453 (Chapter 173:1 of the Laws of 2016).
The Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis has been updated to include ulcerative colitis as a qualifying medical condition.
July 8, 2016
Effective June 10, 2016, physicians and advanced practice registered nurses licensed in the states of Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont are permitted under New Hampshire state law [RSA 126-X:I, VII(a)(3)] to issue a “Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis” to their patients who are residents of New Hampshire. If approved, these patients will be allowed to participate in New Hampshire’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program.
In addition to meeting all other applicable requirements in NH law and NH administrative rule, certifying medical providers in Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont must be primarily responsible for the patient’s care related to his or her qualifying medical condition.
Both the Written Certification Addendum and the Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis must be completed by certifying medical providers in those states that border New Hampshire.
On Monday, December 28, 2015, the Department began to issue Registry Identification Cards by mail to Qualifying Patients and Designated Caregivers whose applications have been approved. Applications are being processed in the order received by the Therapeutic Cannabis Program. The Program's deadlines for notifying applicants of missing information, for approving or denying an application, and for issuing cards will now apply.
Registry Identification Cards issued to Qualifying Patients and Designated Caregivers cannot be used to purchase therapeutic cannabis in New Hampshire until the Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) dispensary selected by the Qualifying Patient opens. The ATC dispensaries are expected to open in Spring 2016.
Qualifying Patients and Designated Caregivers have a personal responsibility to maintain the integrity of the Therapeutic Cannabis Program by preventing the diversion of their therapeutic cannabis. The Program strongly advises all patients and caregivers to:
- Keep cannabis in a locked container in the trunk or cargo portion of the vehicle when transporting cannabis.
- Have their registry identification card with them when in possession of cannabis.
- Store cannabis in a locked box at home.
Purpose and Mission
In June 2013 the New Hampshire Legislature passed House Bill 573 (Chapter 242 of the Laws of 2013), relative to the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Governor Maggie Hassan signed HB 573 (RSA 126-X) into law effective July 23, 2013. RSA 126-X creates an exemption in state law from criminal penalties for the therapeutic use of cannabis provided that its use is in compliance with RSA 126-X. The NH Legislature placed the responsibility for administering the program within the NH Department of Health and Human Services. The Department's primary responsibilities include:
- Maintaining a registry of, and issuing registry identification cards to, eligible qualifying patients who have been certified by their medical provider to have a qualifying medical condition and associated symptoms;
- Issuing registry identification cards to designated caregivers who are authorized to assist qualifying patients with the therapeutic use of cannabis; and
- Issuing registration certificates to a maximum of four alternative treatment centers in the state for the cultivation, production, and dispensing of cannabis to qualifying patients, or their designated caregivers.