The Therapeutic Cannabis Program was established in 2013, under RSA 126-X. That law establishes exemptions from criminal penalties for the therapeutic use of cannabis in New Hampshire.
The Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP) maintains a confidential registry of qualifying patients, their caregivers, and their certifying medical providers. The program processes applications and issues cannabis registry ID cards to eligible patients and caregivers. The registry ID cards allow cardholders to purchase therapeutic cannabis from one of the state’s licensed Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). The ATCs are independently operated, not-for-profit entities responsible for the cultivation, production, and dispensing of therapeutic cannabis to qualifying patients in New Hampshire. The program regulates the ATCs for safety, quality, and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Therapeutic Cannabis Program Rulemaking to Implement Recent Statutory Changes
He-C 401 (TCP Registry Rules) is being updated to implement recent law changes from 2021 and 2022. These changes include:
- Adding qualifying medical conditions: insomnia, autism spectrum disorder, and opioid use disorder;
- Removing requirements for designated caregivers to undergo a state and federal criminal background check;
- Adding requirements for certifying medical providers to provide counseling to women of child-bearing age about the risks of cannabis use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding and to adolescents about the risks of cannabis use in adolescence;
- Adding allowance for providers to issue a written certification for a duration of up to 3 years, and adding requirements for extending a written certification for up to 3 years if previously issued for a shorter duration; and
- Removing requirements related to patients designating one alternative treatment center (ATC) at a time.
See the Rulemaking Notice and Initial Proposal for detailed public hearing and comment information.
- Public Hearing: Tuesday, November 22, 2022, 12:00pm, at DHHS, Brown Building, Auditorium, 129 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301
- Public Comment Period Ends: Thursday, December 1, 2022
Criminal Background Checks Are No Longer Required for Designated Caregivers
Starting on July 24, 2022, Designated Caregivers don’t need to get a state and federal criminal background check.
HB 1661, which was signed by the Governor in June, removes the background check and fingerprinting requirement for caregiver applicants. There is still a requirement to not have a felony conviction. The minimum requirements to be a therapeutic cannabis caregiver are: (1) you must be at least 21 years old, (2) you must never have been convicted of a felony in this or any other state, and (3) an approved qualifying patient must have designated you as their caregiver.
Applications and information sheets located here have been updated based on this new law.
What do I need to apply for or renew my Registry ID Card?
The process and paperwork is the same each year whether you are a new applicant or renewing your card:
- A completed Patient Application
- A completed Written Certification (from your provider)
- $50 Application Fee: A check or money order, payable to “Treasurer-State of NH”
- Proof of NH Residency. This must include your name, your NH address, and a date. For example, a copy of your driver’s license or state ID, a utility or medical bill, or a current lease, etc. If a bill, it needs to be dated within the last 6 months. Proof of residency is not required if renewing at the same address.
Where do I mail/drop off the application packet?
Mail to: DHHS – TCP, 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301
You can drop off your application packet at 29 Hazen Drive in Concord. There is an orange dropbox in front of the building that is checked daily, and another dropbox inside the building between the lobby reception windows.
What if I forgot to include one of the application items?
Send it separately and include a note saying you already sent the other items. Include your name and date of birth.
Is there still a requirement to send a passport size picture/photo?
No, the picture requirement was discontinued in November 2019.
Do I have to return my expired card?
No. Please cut it up and dispose of it in the trash.
What if I want to cancel my card?
Mail us your card and a note stating you no longer want to be part of the program.
My renewal notice has a suggested deadline. What if I miss that deadline?
We want to get your renewal ID card to you before your current ID card expires. If you send your renewal application in late, we may not be able to process it before your expiration date, especially if your application needs to be corrected by you or your medical provider. Send your renewal application in as soon as you are able to, even if it’s late, keeping in mind that your card may have a short lapse.
There is no penalty and no extra requirements if you reapply late.
Plan on seeing your medical provider 2 to 3 months before your card expires to have them complete the Written Certification for your renewal.
How long does it take to get a card?
We will review your application and send a “Notice of Incomplete Application” within 10 days of receiving it if your application is incomplete. If your application is complete, we will mail your card within 3 weeks.
Can I call to check the status of my card?
Please only call us if it has been more than 3 weeks without getting a Notice of Incomplete Application or receiving a card. We have more than 12,000 active patients and limited staff resources.
How do I change my name or address, or get a replacement card if I lost mine?
Use the Change of Information/Lost Card Form. There is no fee for a change of name/address. There is a $10 fee for a replacement card if you lost yours.
How long are the medical provider signatures on my Written Certification good for?
Signatures are good for 6 months. Have your provider re-sign and re-date the documents if it has been longer than 6 months.
I can’t find a medical provider to certify me for the program / My provider will no longer certify me. What can I do?
- ANY physician (MD or DO), APRN, or PA can certify their patients for the program. There is no requirement for a medical provider to register with the program as a “marijuana doctor.”
- Talk to your current provider(s) about your interest in the program, and ask if they will complete the Written Certification.
- If you don’t have a provider, or none of your providers will complete the Written Certification for you, please call one of the Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) in the state. The NH ATCs are allowed to maintain lists of providers that may be taking new patients for cannabis certification.
What if my provider is out of state? Can they certify me?
Yes. A physician (MD, DO) or APRN (but not PAs) in Massachusetts, Maine, or Vermont can certify you for the program, but that provider must be your primary care provider or a specialist who is actively treating you for your qualifying medical condition.
Who do I make the check or money order out to?
“Treasurer – State of NH”
Do you take cash?
Can I pay online?
Do you have a reduced application fee for financial hardship?
No, but the ATCs have a discount program for cannabis products. Contact the ATCs for information.
I have a current NH license or State ID, but it has my old address on it. Can I still use it for proof of NH residency?
Therapeutic Cannabis Program Information
If I have a Patient Registry ID Card, can I be a Caregiver for another patient?
Yes. You will be issued a separate Caregiver ID card.
How do I apply to be a Caregiver?
- You must be 21 years old and not have a felony conviction.
- Send us a Caregiver Application.
- If your patient did not already designate you as their Caregiver on their Patient Application, send us a Caregiver Designation Form as well.
Is there an application fee for Caregivers?
There is no application fee for Caregivers to apply or renew.
Recent Program News
September 13, 2021
Patients Can Now Access All Therapeutic Cannabis Dispensaries in the State
Starting today, all registered patients and caregivers are allowed access to ALL of the Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) dispensary locations in the state. New Hampshire patients and caregivers can now visit and purchase cannabis from any New Hampshire dispensary. SB 162, signed by the Governor this summer, makes this expansion of access possible.
July 1, 2021
New Rules for Patients, Caregivers, and Medical Providers
On July 1, 2021, new administrative rules become effective for He-C 401, Therapeutic Cannabis Program – Registry Rules. These rules affect qualifying patients, designated caregivers, and certifying medical providers. All applications and forms have been updated to align with the new rules. These updated forms can be found in the Document Library. This is a list of rule change highlights:
- The application fee for Designated Caregivers has been removed
- The fee for a replacement Registry ID Card has been reduced from $25 to $10
New Application Types
- Two new application types have been added: Minor Patient Application and Guardianship Patient Application
- These are combined applications for both the patient and caregiver applicants
- These patients can have up to 2 designated caregivers (caregivers must be parents or legal guardians)
- The fee for the these application types is $50
Application Processing Changes
- The program will accept a Written Certification that is up to 6 months old from the date of the medical provider’s signature
- For patients, proof of residency is not required for renewal applications if there hasn’t been a change of address
- For caregivers, a lapse of registration of one year or longer will require a new criminal history records check
- For incomplete applications, if missing information is not received within 6 months of an incomplete notice, the application will be closed, and the applicant will need to reapply, including payment of the fee
Medical Provider Changes
Telemedicine is now allowed for follow-up care and for recertification (renewal) by the same certifying provider
A provider may withdraw a previously issued Written Certification for cause
A provider may extend a short-duration Written Certification (less than one year duration) without the patient having to reapply
Registry ID Cards are no longer required to be returned to the Program. Please destroy outdated Registry ID Cards
June 28, 2021
With the end of the declared state of emergency in New Hampshire, Emergency Order #8 is no longer in effect. The temporary allowance of telemedicine for cannabis certifications has ended. The required in-person physical examination of a patient shall not be conducted via telemedicine for an initial certification for the therapeutic use of cannabis. New administrative rules will become effective on July 1, which will allow telemedicine to be used for any follow-up visits after an initial certification and for recertifications (renewals) by the same certifying medical provider.
June 24, 2021
New Qualifying Medical Conditions
HB 89 has been signed into law by Governor Sununu, and it will be effective on June 24, 2021. This bill adds two new qualifying medical conditions for the therapeutic use of cannabis.
Autism Spectrum Disorder. This has been added as a stand-alone qualifying medical condition for those people who are 21 years of age or older. For those people under age 21, the certifying medical provider must consult with a second provider who is certified in child and/or adolescent psychiatry, developmental pediatrics, or pediatric neurology. That second provider must: (1) confirm that the autism spectrum disorder has not responded to previously prescribed medication or that other treatment options produced serious side effects, and (2) support certification for the use of therapeutic cannabis.
Moderate to Severe Insomnia. This has been added as a qualifying medical symptom, which means that the certifying medical provider must certify that the person has a qualifying medical condition that is causing the insomnia.
The Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis has been updated to reflect these two new qualifying medical conditions.
Therapeutic Cannabis Program 2020 Data Report
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released the Therapeutic Cannabis Program 2020 Data Report. The report provides information from the Therapeutic Cannabis Registry, the annual reports from the Alternative Treatment Centers, and the Qualifying Patient Satisfaction Survey. It provides details about qualifying patients and designated caregivers who were active in the program as of June 30, 2020.
As of May 31, 2021, the program is being used by 11,948 qualifying patients, 582 designated caregivers, and 1,264 certifying providers.