Around 60% of Americans support legalizing marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. An additional 31% believe it should have federal legalization for medicinal use, putting the final support for some legalization of cannabis at 91%.
As more people continue advocating for state laws, there have been several changes over the years that have spurred legalization or decriminalization. New Hampshire is not the most cannabis-friendly state, but there are some updated New Hampshire medical marijuana laws you might be interested in.
Luckily, we have the ultimate guide for you. In our article, we will review various cannabis laws in New Hampshire, how they compare to federal laws, and how you can get started with medical marijuana purchases today.
Keep reading on for more information!
Federal Cannabis Laws
To better understand New Hampshire’s cannabis laws, it is important to dive into federal regulation. At the federal level, cannabis is a Schedule I drug.
Schedule I drugs have no medicinal use and have high abuse potential. While this law stood the test of time for several decades, pieces of it were revised in 2018.
Hemp and other cannabis products were removed as Schedule I drugs. However, anything that contains more than 0.3% THC remains a Schedule I federal drug, limiting its use and research capacities.
State Cannabis Laws
The law becomes more convoluted when you look at the state level. Even in states where it is illegal, dispensaries can still hold valid licenses.
This is primarily how some states have limited recreational use but continue dispensing medical marijuana. Dispensaries follow strict regulations, including local laws. Technically, when state laws and federal laws do not coincide, the federal law trumps.
Obviously, that hasn’t been the case with marijuana, primarily because of enforcement. Currently, there are 38 states, including Washington D.C., that have legalized medical marijuana. Nineteen of those states have also legalized the recreational use of marijuana, providing access to cannabis for many Americans.
New Hampshire Cannabis Laws
Recently, New Hampshire attempted to pass a law that would allow adults 21 or older to grow and/or possess marijuana. However, the bill was voted down by the New Hampshire Senate. Currently, recreational marijuana use is not legalized in New Hampshire.
It is considered “decriminalized” versus legalized. The difference in terminology is that while New Hampshire marijuana possession is still illegal for recreational use, there are no penalties or prosecution if it is under a certain amount.
Contrarily, legalization entails retracting a once-banned substance for use without prosecution or action being taken against them. In New Hampshire’s case, cannabis is primarily decriminalized, but you can still face penalties for possession.
The current cut-off is 3/4 ounce. If you are 18 or older and possess under 3/4 ounces, you may only face minor fines. However, these fines increase with ongoing offenses. This also applies to marijuana-infused products such as edibles.
The law becomes harsher when a person possesses more than 3/4 ounces of marijuana in New Hampshire. At that point, you could be tried with a misdemeanor charge and face up to one year in prison. Additionally, you will also accrue heftier fines than adults who possess under 3/4 ounces.
Hash, concentrates, and paraphernalia also has unique charges and legal action. Five or more grams of hash is classified as a misdemeanor under New Hampshire law. You could face imprisonment and fines.
Selling paraphernalia is another misdemeanor charge with up to $2,000 in fines. If someone dispenses or sells marijuana that does not fall under the strict medical marijuana laws, it is considered a first-time felony.
Fines can quickly rise to hundreds of thousands of dollars and multiple years in prison. Without going into excessive details, the higher the weight or previous felonies, the more time and money could be added to sentences and fines. Lastly, selling marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school zone could double both those penalties.
New Hampshire Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana falls under a different classification. In New Hampshire, medical marijuana has been legalized since 2013. Current patient possession limits are two ounces, but the laws are always changing, and it is essential that you follow local legislation closely for any changes.
Medical marijuana possession rules do not change if you have a caregiver. For example, you and your caregiver cannot both obtain two ounces under one card.
Do you need a prescription? Nope.
All you need is a qualified medical marijuana card that you can use at a state dispensary. Currently, no bills have passed that allow caregivers or homeowners to grow their own marijuana for medicinal purposes. Recent bills have been introduced, but there is no definitive end in sight on when you can start cultivating and harvesting your own.
New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Diagnoses
Most patients have questions surrounding what medical diagnoses help them qualify for a medical marijuana card. In New Hampshire, here is a comprehensive list of the medical conditions needed:
- Intraocular pressure
- Specific types of muscle spasms
- Hepatitis C
- Chemotherapy anorexia
- HIV or AIDS
- Chronic or severe pain
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Brain injury
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Wasting syndrome
Compared to other states, New Hampshire has a fairly large list of medical conditions that can qualify for medical marijuana. In some states, they are not as explicitly stated. Instead, your physician may deem a medical condition “qualification” for a card. Again – as laws change and adapt, there could be other medical conditions not listed here that may qualify.
There are two ways you can find more information about this: New Hampshire State Health Department or your physician. Likely, your physician may have the most recent knowledge on any qualifying diagnoses since they work closely with health departments.
Purchasing or Possessing CBD Oil
Are there any limitations on purchasing CBD for medical use? Hemp-based CBD products are legal in the United States. Essentially, you do not need specific cards or clearance for purchasing CBD.
There could be some restrictions on age, such as meeting the requirements of 18 or 21 to purchase CBD products. Most of these changes arose in 2018 when President Trump signed a Farm Bill that legalized hemp products containing less than 0.3% THC. This new hemp policy allows dispensaries to sell CBD products like oils.
There are several effects of using THC versus CBD on the body. The psychoactive component of THC has largely been one of the reasons it has been sluggish along the legalization front.
On the other hand, CBD does not contain the same psychoactive components and essentially won’t give you a high. Currently, there are FDA-approved THC and CBD-derived products for very specific medical conditions.
CBD demonstrates weak binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors, unlike THC, which shows stronger binding to both. Primarily, THC binds to CB1 receptors, resulting in greater effects on the central nervous system. Experts predict that this may be why medicinal THC uses benefit appetite, nausea, and pain.
While CBD does affect the endocannabinoid system, it is less understood. However, it is speculated that CBD does have some sort of an impact since it can affect mood and promote relaxation.
How To Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New Hampshire
To purchase cannabis from a dispensary, you must meet certain criteria and have a valid medical marijuana card in New Hampshire. There are three essential steps to this process:
- Meet with your physician
- Register through the New Hampshire State Health Department website
- Submit certification and pay your fee
After review, you should receive your medical marijuana card in the mail. One of the easiest methods of obtaining a medical marijuana card is working directly with cannabis experts. Doctors of Cannabis make this process easier.
You can book an appointment directly online with a licensed physician. You will discuss your current medical conditions and treatment. If approved, you will receive a certificate you can submit for a medical marijuana card.
Unlike some physicians or online portals, our experts are well-versed in the process of submitting certifications or documentation for a cannabis card. It can ease your stress and make the application steps much more seamless.
Is It Legal to Purchase a Medical Marijuana Card Online?
Not every state allows a smooth transition toward getting your medical marijuana card online. You should be able to meet with a physician via telehealth.
The benefit of choosing an online platform is that they do most of the leg work for you. You simply schedule an appointment, and they will set you up with the right physician in your state. Typically, all you will need is a certificate from your physician and proof of residency when you register online on the State Health Department website.
What Type of Marijuana Can You Purchase?
There are several types of marijuana that dispensaries can give you with a valid medical card. There are also different forms that marijuana comes in, such as:
- Dried leaves
There is an endless variety of how you can take marijuana – remember that it must meet outlined criteria on weight. When researching marijuana strains or types, you will likely encounter three popular choices:
Indica is more well-known for its relaxation and calming effects. On the other hand, sativa strains are often reported as having more energy. It is rare that you see one extreme or the other.
Most strains are hybrid options, including sativa, indica, or other strains. Ultimately, finding a reliable dispensary is the most important piece. They will deliver high-quality strains and can provide more education on what you are looking for.
Medical Marijuana Side Effects
Like other medications or alternative treatments, there are some risks to using medical marijuana. First, it is crucial to find a marijuana form that works for you. You do not need to smoke cannabis to achieve the benefits.
Many people with medical marijuana cards find significant benefits from topical or oil forms. Next, don’t go overboard. Instead, talk to marijuana physician experts about your diagnosis and what regimen might work best for you.
Do not ever operate machinery or drive while using marijuana, even for medicinal purposes. Like many medications, it is still a substance that could alter your reaction time and motor skills. Some other side effects that you may encounter are:
- Lung damage (if smoked)
- Dry mouth
- Impaired concentration
There is also a risk of dependence and abuse. However, compared to opioids, this is a more natural and long-lasting treatment that has been cultivated and used for centuries.
Should You Get a Medical Marijuana Card?
After you have talked with a physician and received a certification for your marijuana card, you may wonder if it is the right treatment option for you. Here are a few benefits of following through with a medical marijuana card:
- It is legal in New Hampshire
- It can be effective at managing health symptoms
- There are various strains
You have more options than prescription medications or invasive treatments. There are several marijuana strains and consumption that could alter how you feel and your symptom management. Cannabinoids also work on various bodily systems, resulting in more system effects.
Receive Your New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Card
New Hampshire medical marijuana laws state that there are certain conditions that may qualify you for using medical marijuana. You must meet with a physician and receive certification while submitting an application and a fee.
Afterward, there are several state dispensaries that you can visit for your local cannabis needs. Remember to uphold state regulations on weight and use – you cannot sell or give marijuana to someone else.
Now that you know more about state laws in New Hampshire, it is time to begin the process. Visit Doctors of Cannabis and choose your state to get started!