New Hampshire is home to a medical cannabis program, but the recreational use of marijuana is not legal even if it has been decriminalized for offenders who are found in possession of 0.75 oz or less of flower marijuana or 5 g or less of THC concentrate. First- and second-time offenders face a fine of $100. Third-time offenders face a fine of $300, provided the period of time between the first violation and the third violation is less than 3 years. Fourth-time offenders face misdemeanor charges and a fine of $1,200, but no jail time, provided all four violations occur within 3 years. Possession of more than 0.75 oz or more than 5 g of concentrate is a misdemeanor punishable by 1 year of incarceration and a maximum fine of $350.
Cultivation of marijuana is illegal, even for patients enrolled in the state’s medicinal cannabis program. The punishment is based on the total weight of the plants.
Patients who have enrolled in the state’s program can possess 2 oz of cannabis that can be purchased at a medicinal dispensary. Any physician, PA, or APRN who is licensed to practice in New Hampshire is permitted to issue a patient written certification for the state’s medical cannabis program. Qualifying conditions include:
• ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
• Alzheimer's disease
• Chemotherapy-induced anorexia
• Chronic pain
• Chronic pancreatitis
• Crohn’s disease
• Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
• Elevated intraocular pressure
• Hepatitis C
• Multiple sclerosis
• Muscular dystrophy
• Nausea or vomiting
• Opioid use disorder (as of August 10, 2021, following the passage of HB 605)
• Parkinson’s disease
• Persistent muscle spasms
• PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
• Severe pain
• Spinal cord injury or disease
• Traumatic brain injury or disease
New Hampshire does have a reciprocity program. As of August 10, 2021, out-of-state patients will be allowed to purchase cannabis at dispensaries in the state if they can prove they have a valid recommendation. Moreover, out-of-state patients cannot be charged with possession if they have one of the above qualifying conditions and a valid card authorizing them to possess medical cannabis from another jurisdiction.
For more information, see the state’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program website: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/tcp/index.htm.