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New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Bill Gets Final Legislative Approval, Governor Will Sign Bill Soon

June 27th

CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire state lawmakers gave final approval to a bill Wednesday that will allow state residents with serious illnesses obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The bill will now be transmitted to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who announced last week that she will sign it into law.

“This legislation has been a long time coming and is a much-needed victory for those with serious illnesses who find significant relief in medical marijuana,” said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, which lobbied in support of the bill.

“The vast majority of Americans believe people suffering from debilitating conditions should be able to use medical marijuana, and it is time for other states to follow suit,” Simon said. “People suffering from cancer and HIV/AIDS in New York and other states are just as deserving of sensible and compassionate laws as those here in New Hampshire.”

House Bill 573, sponsored by State Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), will allow residents with certain debilitating illnesses, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/. . . . . READ MORE

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Maine Adopts Law Allowing Medical Marijuana for PTSD

June 26th

AUGUSTA, ME – Maine residents suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will soon be allowed to treat their symptoms with medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. A bill adding PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, LD 1062, became law Tuesday without the governor’s signature.

A similar measure was signed into law earlier this month in Oregon, and medical marijuana is currently allowed in the treatment of PTSD in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Mexico.

“There is mounting evidence demonstrating the benefits of medical marijuana for individuals suffering from PTSD,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Maine lawmakers should be commended for taking action to ensure veterans and others living with PTSD are able to use medical marijuana to alleviate their symptoms and live healthy and productive lives. They deserve nothing less.

“A growing number of states are beginning to consider allowing the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of PTSD,” Boyer said. We hope they will move forward and follow the example that has been set. . . . . READ MORE

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Final Vote on New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Bill Expected Today

June 26th

CONCORD, NH — The New Hampshire legislature is expected to vote today on a medical marijuana compromise bill after successful negotiations last week reconciled differences between bills passed previously in both chambers.

The bill, House Bill 573,  allows qualifying patients to obtain medical marijuana from one of four special dispensaries across the state beginning in 2015, abandoning the House’s proposal that patients or their caretakers would be allowed to grow their own marijuana.

The vote, expected Wednesday afternoon, is expected to pass both chambers, sending the bill to the desk of Governor Maggie Hassan for final approval.

Governor Hassan has said that she will sign the bill, now that the compromise has been reached and her concerns have been addressed.

“I encourage the full legislature to pass this compromise so I can sign this legislation into law,” Hassan said last week.

“Allowing doctors to provide relief to patients through the use of appropriately regulated and dispensed medical marijuana is the compassionate and right policy for the State of New Hampshire,” Gov. Hassan said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Hassan, who voted in favor of medical marijuana. . . . . READ MORE

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Vermont’s First Two Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Now Open

June 25th

BURLINGTON, VT — Two years after the Vermont legislature approved the expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program to allow four dispensaries statewide, the first two have opened in Burlington and Montpelier.  A third is expected to open soon in Brandon.

The two dispensaries, Champlain Valley Dispensary in Burlington, which opened Monday, and Vermont Patients Alliance, which opened last week in Montpelier, were both awarded licences by the by the state Department of Public Safety nine months ago.

Because of “unexpected hurdles” in the strictly regulated program, the dispensaries are just now opening.

The Vermont Legislature passed Senate Bill 17 in May 2011, paving the way for the dispensaries to open in the state. Strict guidelines regulating the medical marijuana dispensaries were written by the Vermont Department of Public Safety, who also oversee the Vermont State Police, and were carefully written to help prevent federal interference in the state’s medical marijuana program.

The rules mandate background FBI checks for dispensary operators, significant video security and one-at-a-time appointment-only service at the d. . . . . READ MORE

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Final Vote on New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Bill Wednesday

June 24th

CONCORD, NH — The New Hampshire legislature will vote Wednesday on a medical marijuana compromise bill after successful negotiations last week reconciled differences between bills passed previously in both chambers.

The bill, House Bill 573,  allows qualifying patients to obtain medical marijuana from one of four special dispensaries across the state beginning in 2015, abandoning the House’s proposal that patients or their caretakers would be allowed to grow their own marijuana.

The vote, scheduled for Wednesday, is expected to pass both chambers, sending the bill to the desk of Governor Maggie Hassan for final approval.

Governor Hassan has said that she will sign the bill, now that the compromise has been reached and her concerns have been addressed.

“I encourage the full legislature to pass this compromise so I can sign this legislation into law,” Hassan said last week.

“Allowing doctors to provide relief to patients through the use of appropriately regulated and dispensed medical marijuana is the compassionate and right policy for the State of New Hampshire,” Gov. Hassan said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Hassan, who voted in favor of medical marijuana legalizati. . . . . READ MORE

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New Hampshire Lawmakers to Vote on Medical Marijuana Compromise Next Week

June 21st

CONCORD, NH — The New Hampshire legislature will vote next week on a medical marijuana compromise bill after successful negotiations Tuesday that reconciled differences between bills passed previously in both chambers.

The bill, House Bill 573,  allows qualifying patients to obtain medical marijuana from one of four special dispensaries across the state beginning in 2015, abandoning the House’s proposal that patients or their caretakers would be allowed to grow their own marijuana.

The vote, scheduled for Wednesday, is expected to pass both chambers, sending the bill to the desk of Governor Maggie Hassan for final approval.

“I encourage the full legislature to pass this compromise so I can sign this legislation into law,” Hassan said earlier this week.

Governor Hassan has said that she will sign the bill, now that the compromise has been reached and her concerns have been addressed.

“Allowing doctors to provide relief to patients through the use of appropriately regulated and dispensed medical marijuana is the compassionate and right policy for the State of New Hampshire,” Gov. Hassan said in a statement Tuesday.

Hassan, who voted in favor of medical marijuana legalizatio. . . . . READ MORE

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New Hampshire Poised to Legalize Medical Marijuana

June 19th

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire is poised to become the final New England state to authorize the medical use of marijuana after a compromise was reached Tuesday between the Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled House on a bill already passed by both chambers.

Both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature have already voted to pass House Bill 573, but because of changes made by the Senate, a compromise between the two chambers needed to be reached by Thursday.

In the compromise reached Tuesday, the number of dispensaries allowed in the state was reduced from five to four, medical marijuana patients will not be permitted to grow their own marijuana, and post-traumatic stress disorder was removed from the list of qualifying conditions for the medical marijuana program.

House lawmakers, who approved a version of the medical marijuana bill that included home cultivation of up to three marijuana plants by patients with a veto-proof  286-64 vote in March, agreed to drop the home cultivation provision in exchan. . . . . READ MORE

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ME: Portland City Council to Hold Marijuana Legalization Hearings July 15

June 18th

PORTLAND, ME — The Portland City Council voted unanimously Monday to hold a public hearing on the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana by adults.

The hearing will be held Monday, July 15 in response to a citizen-proposed ordinance that would allow adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

After the hearing is held, the city council will have to either decide whether to adopt the ordinance as written, send the referendum to the voters, or offer an alternative proposal alongside the ordinance proposed by residents.

If the council elects to send the proposal to voters, a vote would have to be scheduled on the referendum within 90 days.

If approved by voters, the initiative would allow adults aged 21 and over to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana with city limits.

The proposal would prohibit smoking of marijuana in public spaces, such as schools and on public transportation,and allow landlords to prohibit it in their apartments.

Proponents of the ordinance gathered over 3,200 signatures to place the proposal on the ballot this year, far more than the 1,500 signatures that were required.

It’s unclear what effect the ordinance would have as it would contradict both state and federal law, although the possession of up to 2.5 ounces has been decriminal. . . . . READ MORE

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New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Talks: Home Cultivation, PTSD Out

June 18th

CONCORD, NH —  Home cultivation and post-traumatic stress disorder are both out of New Hampshire’s pending medical marijuana law — for now.

In a negotiation session between both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature Tuesday,  House lawmakers agreed to drop the home-grown provision, in exchange for having an oversight commission start work as soon as the bill is enacted.

They also agreed to not include post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying medical condition.

The two chambers much negotiate a compromise between the two versions of House Bill 573, which the legislature has already voted to pass. But because of amendments in the Senate to make the bill more appealing to Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), lawmakers must agree on the final language of the bill before the legislative session ends on Thursday.

Now, despite the loss of home cultivation and PTSD as a qualifying condition, medical marijuana is closer to becoming a reality in the Granite State, the only state in New England that does not currently allow the medical use of marijuana.

New Hampshire State Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright, one of the co-sponsors of. . . . . READ MORE

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NH Lawmakers Must Reach Medical Marijuana Compromise by Thursday

June 16th

CONCORD, NH — With a looming Thursday deadline, the pressure is on New Hampshire lawmakers to reach a compromise in recently passed legislation that would allow the Granite State to join the rest of their New England neighbors in allowing the medical use of marijuana.

Both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature have already voted to pass House Bill 573, but because of amendments in the Senate to make the bill more appealing to Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), lawmakers must agree on the final language of the bill before the legislative session ends on Thursday.

Negotiators from both chambers will meet Tuesday to try to resolve their differences and reach a compromise bill that will be sent to the desk of Gov. Hassan for approval.

A veto-proof majority of the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 286-64 in favor of  the bill in March, followed by a 18-6 vote in the Senate in May. But the Senate versio. . . . . READ MORE

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