CONSULTATION FEE RANGE
- $150 – $200
MMJ PURCHASING LIMITS
- 2 OUNCES OF MARIJUANA EVERY 10 DAYS
MINIMUM AGE LIMIT
In May 2022, Rhode Island legalized recreational marijuana, leaving New Hampshire as the only state in the region without legal adult-use weed. It seems as if it’s a matter of time before this changes. After all, recent polls suggest that approximately 75% of the state’s residents are in favor of legal marijuana.
Two bills to fully legalize the substance have failed to date. However, Governor Chris Sununu, who vetoed a bill allowing NH residents to grow cannabis at home, has admitted that full legalization is inevitable.
However, as things stand, the only way to access the plant is via a New Hampshire medical card. We outline how you can complete this process and answer FAQs about the state’s program. First, let’s investigate the penalties for the illegal possession, sale, and cultivation of marijuana in NH.
New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Laws
In July 2017, New Hampshire decriminalized the possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce. If caught with this amount, you will be charged with a civil violation and receive a maximum fine of $100. Furthermore, you receive the same punishment for a second offense. However, for a third offense, or if found with more than three-quarters of an ounce in your possession, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and could spend up to a year in prison.
NH is significantly stricter when it comes to the sale of weed. It is a felony offense to sell any amount; you could spend up to three years in jail for selling a quarter of an ounce! You face seven years imprisonment if convicted of selling an ounce or more.
The cultivation of marijuana is treated the same as possession. Therefore, growing just one plant is grounds for a misdemeanor charge.
Clearly, it makes sense to get an MMJ card in New Hampshire if you want legal protection, so here’s how to get yours.
How to Get a New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Card
When applying for the card, you need to show proof of residency. You can use a New Hampshire I.D., passport, bank statement, utility bill, out-of-state I.D., or another photo I.D. If you use a bill, it must be dated within the last six months.
Step 1 – Get in Touch with an NH Healthcare Provider
You can contact any physician, physician assistant (PA), or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensed in New Hampshire. Also, you can contact any physician or APRN (but not a PA) in Vermont, Massachusetts, or Maine. Only these individuals can provide you with a valid Written Certification for the therapeutic use of marijuana.
At the time of writing, the state’s medical weed law does not require medical professionals to get involved in the Program. Also, they are not legally required to provide you with Written Certification.
The Program does not keep a list of marijuana-friendly physicians nor recommend or refer patients to any physician. As a result, you may have to try out a few doctors before having success.
Step 2 – Schedule a Consultation
New Hampshire differs from many other MMJ programs because you need a “provider-patient relationship” for at least three months. During this period, the doctor must perform a full assessment of your medical history and medical condition. This process includes a physical exam.
It is unlikely that a physician will recommend you for medical marijuana unless you have one of the qualifying conditions. You also need proof that you tried several other treatment options first.
The three-month relationship rule is waived if the qualifying condition began within the last three months. It is also waived if the certifying doctor is mainly responsible for care related to the qualifying medical condition.
Step 3 – Sign up for a New Hampshire State Government Account
You can only complete the application when you have a physician’s approval. Your doctor will register you with the state’s MMJ Program as a qualifying patient. Next, your physician will return the Written Certification form when they have completed it.
You are not supposed to let your provider send the certification form to the DHHS. Patients must send in the form within 60 days of the certification date, or else the application is deemed incomplete.
Step 4 – Send Your Application & Payment to the Official NH Medical Marijuana Program
Enclose your non-refundable payment and mail or hand-deliver your application to the following address:
NH Department of Health and Human Services
Therapeutic Cannabis Program
29 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301
Step 5 – Visit a Dispensary
Once the NH Department of Health and Human Services mails you an MMJ card, you’re free to visit a licensed dispensary to get your medicine.
Who Can Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in NH?
First and foremost, only residents of the state aged 18+ may apply for a New Hampshire medical marijuana card. You can only qualify if a doctor has diagnosed you with one of the qualifying conditions we outline below. Only a licensed physician within the state can provide a recommendation.
Cost of MMJ Card in NH
The medical marijuana card cost in NH includes a non-refundable $50 application fee. Failure to tell the program about a name or address change could result in a fine of $100.
Physician’s fees vary, but you can expect to pay up to $150 for an initial consultation. This is followed by $75 per follow-up visit, usually at 3-6-month intervals. However, it is at the physician’s discretion.
In keeping with the old-school nature of the Program, you can’t pay via debit or credit card. Instead, you must send a check or money order to the treasurer’s address we listed earlier.
NH MMJ Card Qualifying Conditions
In New Hampshire, you only receive approval if you have a debilitating, severe, or life-threatening condition. According to House Bill 573, you need to have one of the following NH medical marijuana card qualifying conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Intractable pain
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury or disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Hepatitis C
The above is not an exhaustive list. You can find out more on page six of the New Hampshire MMJ Application Form.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in NH?
Once the application is received, the Program pledges to mail you the MMJ card within three weeks. As well as containing your name, address, date of birth, and photo, the MMJ card will consist of a random 10-digit registration number.
The Program notifies you in writing within ten business days if you send an incomplete application. You have 30 days from the notice date to submit the missing information. Failure to do so within six months means your request is closed and void. Reapplication at this stage means sending everything again.
How to Renew My New Hampshire Medical Card?
Your NH medical marijuana card is valid for one year. Renewing your card involves going through the same process as before, and there is no specific renewal application form. The Therapeutic Cannabis Program recommends sending your renewal application materials a minimum of 30 days before your card expires. You must pay the $50 program fee and the cost of your consultation with the doctor.
Other Information on the NH Medical Marijuana License Process
Below, you can find the answers to some frequently asked questions about the New Hampshire MMJ program.
What Types of Cannabis Can I Purchase in NH?
There don’t seem to be any restrictions on consumption methods. In New Hampshire dispensaries, you can find dry flower, edibles, concentrates, topicals, and vape cartridges.
How to Get a New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Card Using an Online Process
During the pandemic, the New Hampshire Therapeutic Program permitted the use of telemedicine. Consequently, it was possible to schedule an online consultation. However, telemedicine is no longer permitted except for renewals by the same certifying provider.
When applying for an NH MMJ card for the first time, you must visit a doctor and mail your application.
Can I Register My Child for Medical Marijuana in NH?
Yes. There is a Minor Patient Application for applicants aged 17 and below. It is a combined application for the minor and their designated caregiver. Only the minor’s parent or guardian can act as their designated caregiver. Minor patients can choose a maximum of two people to act as caregivers.
Furthermore, two Written Certification forms are required from two separate physicians. One of them must be a pediatrician.
Where Can I Purchase MMJ in New Hampshire?
You must select an Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) during your initial application. You can only purchase marijuana from the ATC you choose. If you wish to change your ATC, complete a Change of Information/Lost Card form and submit it to the Program.
At the time of writing, there are only three providers in the state, with a total of seven dispensary locations:
- Prime Alternative Treatment Centers of NH: Merrimack and Chichester
- Sanctuary ATC: Plymouth and Conway
- Temescal Wellness: Dover, Lebanon, and Keene
Incidentally, Lebanon and Keene are classified as the same ATC per the state’s MMJ program. Therefore, if you choose either Lebanon or Keene as your ATC, you’re free to use both.
Likewise, if you choose one Prime Alternative Treatment Centers location, you can use the other one. Also, picking any Sanctuary ATC location lets you shop in the other.
How Much Cannabis Can I Buy & Possess?
A qualified patient can purchase a maximum of two ounces during a 10-day period. You are not allowed to have more than two ounces in your possession at any time. If you have a caregiver, the two of you can’t possess more than two ounces combined at any time.
Can You Grow Marijuana in New Hampshire with a Medical Marijuana Card?
At present, home cultivation is not allowed. In February 2020, the NH Senate passed SB 420. If passed, this bill would have allowed MMJ patients or their caregivers to grow cannabis in private residences. The bill permitted a maximum of three mature plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings. However, SB 420 did not get through the House, and subsequent legislation allowing adults aged 21+ to cultivate marijuana at home failed.
Where Can I Use My MMJ?
You are not permitted to use marijuana in any public place. Possessing it on school grounds or in school buildings is also illegal. This restriction also applies to places of employment without the employer’s express written permission.
Does New Hampshire Have Reciprocity with Any Other State?
Yes. In August 2021, the state passed House Bill 605, permitting MMJ cardholders from other states and Canada to buy marijuana from New Hampshire dispensaries. However, visitors can’t buy weed from an NH alternative treatment center more than three times in one year. While visiting patients can buy larger amounts if they have a statement from their physician, HB 605 doesn’t specify any maximum amounts.
What Are the Caregiver Rules?
New Hampshire medical marijuana card holders can designate a caregiver. They must submit a particular form for approval to the program and submit to a criminal background check. This individual must be at least 21 years of age. They will receive a Registry Identification Card, which allows them to assist you with your medical use of marijuana.
Your caregiver must not have a felony on their criminal record. They can receive compensation for actual costs but not labor or time. In July 2021, the application fee for caregivers was removed.
What If I Lose My Medical Card in New Hampshire?
You must tell the Program in writing within ten days of discovering your card is lost. Submit a Change of Information/Lost Card form with a money order or check for $10. The Program will provide you with a new card, which also includes a unique 10-digit I.D. number, within five days of receiving the form.
When Did Medical Marijuana in New Hampshire Become Legal?
The state of New Hampshire took a significant step forward in July 2013. At this time, Governor Maggie Hassan signed a medical marijuana bill into law. Although it was a start, it was widely regarded as one of the country’s strictest MMJ card laws. Patients could only use it if they had a debilitating medical condition and tried all other available treatment methods.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Manchester
If you live in Manchester, New Hampshire’s most populated city, you should find it easy to schedule a consultation with a doctor. However, there is no MMJ dispensary in Manchester itself. Fortunately, the Merrimack and Concord dispensaries are about a 20-minute drive away in either direction.
MMJ Card for Veterans in NH
Veterans can apply for an MMJ card in New Hampshire. However, as many veterans get their healthcare via the VA, their physicians can’t legally recommend that patients look for medical marijuana. Moreover, they can’t certify conditions that permit veterans to qualify for a card.
Therefore, veterans need to seek a physician outside the VA system to certify them. In New Hampshire, that means seeing a new doctor for at least three months and paying out of pocket.
Final Thoughts on Getting a New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Card
The New Hampshire MMJ program has expanded after initially being fairly restrictive. These days, there are dozens of qualifying conditions and an increased number of physicians willing to certify patients.
It seems very likely that NH will ultimately legalize recreational weed, but residents may have to wait a few more years. An MMJ card is the only way to legally access marijuana in the Granite State until this happens.