Medical Cannabis: NH Lawmakers Revoke Governor’s Veto

New Hampshire legalized medical cannabis, but using cannabis for recreational purposes is still prohibited. The state legalized medical marijuana in 2013.

Rajiv  Nanjapla - Author

Nov. 20 2020, Updated 12:50 p.m. ET


New Hampshire has legalized medical cannabis, but using cannabis for recreational purposes is still prohibited. The state legalized medical marijuana after Governor Margaret C. Hassan signed New Hampshire’s medical marijuana bill on July 23, 2013. In June 2017, Governor Chris Sununu signed the HB 160 and HB 157 bills to become laws. The laws gave patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and moderate to severe chronic pain access to medical cannabis.

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Lawmakers revoke governor’s veto

In July, Governor Sununu vetoed the bill. Notably, the bill eliminated the need for patients to be in contact with a doctor or medical provider for at least three months before being certified to access medical cannabis. On September 19, New Hampshire lawmakers revoked the governor’s veto, according to NHPR. The bill’s supporters stated that the government didn’t need to come in between the doctor and the patient while certifying the patient’s condition.

However, lawmakers didn’t revoke the governor’s veto on allowing registered patients and caregivers to grow cannabis in their houses, as reported by the Marijuana Policy Project.

Currently, New Hampshire has four dispensaries. The state had more than 7,000 registered patients last year. Earlier this year, the state approved existing dispensaries to open a second dispensary after receiving approval from the state regulator.

Progress in recreational cannabis

On July 18, 2017, Governor Sununu signed the New Hampshire’s Decriminalization Bill, which made the possession of a small quantity of cannabis a non-criminal offense. The bill was the first significant step in legalizing recreational marijuana. On May 7, the House of Representatives voted in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis. However, on May 30, the Senate voted to hold up its action until January 2020.

The people in New Hampshire support legalizing adult-use cannabis. A survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire indicated that two-thirds of the residents support legalizing recreational marijuana.

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Growing hemp business in the US

Since December 2018, hemp has been legal at the federal level. However, the FDA hasn’t approved any CBD products apart from Epidiolex. Recently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged the FDA to set the policy for the sale of CBD products within 120 days. To learn more, read CBD Products: McConnell Wants FDA to Ease Regs.

Despite the uncertainty, many cannabis players are moving ahead with their expansion plans in the US. In July, Aurora Cannabis (ACB) announced a partnership with the UFC. The company will study whether hemp-derived CBD products treat pain and inflammation in MMA athletes. The company plans to utilize the data to produce hemp-derived CBD topicals. To learn more about the company’s progress in CBD markets, read Aurora Cannabis Focuses on the US CBD Market.

On September 5, Cronos Group (CRON) acquired four of Redwood Holding Group’s subsidiaries. The subsidiaries manufacture and market CBD-infused skincare and consumer products under the brand name “Lord Jones.” We expect the acquisitions to boost Cronos Group’s hemp business in the US. The company reported its second-quarter earnings on August 8. Since then, Cronos Group has lost 28.7%. The stock fell due to wider-than-expected operating losses and weakness in the cannabis sector. To learn more, read Why Cronos Group’s Q2 Earnings Failed to Impress.

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In February, Tilray (TLRY) completed the acquisition of Manitoba Harvest. The company manufactures hemp food products. We expect the acquisition to boost Tilray’s hemp business in the US. The company reported its second-quarter earnings on August 13. Since then, the company has lost 37% of its stock value. Tilray’s stock price fell due to the lower-than-expected bottom line.

Recreational cannabis in other states

Currently, only 11 states have legalized adult-use marijuana. Among the 11 states, eight states started selling cannabis for recreational purposes. Illinois, which became the eleventh state to legalize recreational cannabis, will start selling marijuana in January 2020. Michigan legalized recreational cannabis in November 2018. Notably, Michigan will start the commercial license allotment process on November 1. Read Recreational Cannabis: How Is Michigan Shaping Up? to learn more. To learn about New Jersey’s progress in legalizing recreational cannabis, read Cannabis Legalization: New Jersey Continues to Wait.


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