LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS
Is weed legal in New Hampshire?
Medical marijuana is legal in the Granite State for patients with qualifying conditions.
New Hampshire decriminalized marijuana in 2017. Possession of 21 grams of cannabis or cannabis-infused products with no more than 300 milligrams of THC, or up to 5 grams of hash can be punished with a fine up to $100 for a first and second offense. A third offense within three years could bring a $300 fine.
New Hampshire became the 19th state in the nation and the last in New England to allow medical marijuana in 2013 when it passed House Bill 573. The law established a list of qualifying conditions, albeit restrictive. Under the law, not only did a patient need a diagnosis of a qualifying condition, but they also had to exhibit severe symptoms of the debilitating condition.
HB 573 required dispensaries to be nonprofit and set requirements for medical marijuana cards and purchase and possession limits. The original law also did not allow for home growing.
In 2014, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a marijuana legalization bill, but it later died in the Senate.
New Hampshire decriminalized marijuana in 2017. Possession of cannabis of 0.75 ounce or less became a civil offense punishable with a $100 fine for a first or second offense and $300 for a third offense.
New legalization attempts may face an uphill battle after the November 2020 election since Gov. Chris Sununu, an opponent, was re-elected and few supporters remained in the legislature.
Where is it safe to purchase?
Medical cannabis is overseen and regulated by the Therapeutic Cannabis Program of the Department of Health and Human Services. Registered patients can purchase medical marijuana at one of the state’s dispensaries, called Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). Patients can only shop at the ATC they chose during registration. Delivery is not available.
Patients can purchase no more than 2 ounces of marijuana or marijuana products within a 10-day period and may not possess more than that amount. Patients and caregivers between them can’t possess more than 2 ounces at a time.
Find licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire
Medical marijuana cardholders can find licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire and search by major metro areas. Many dispensaries in New Hampshire offer curbside pickup services in addition to storefront sales.
Where is it safe to consume?
In New Hampshire, marijuana cannot be consumed in public. In addition, it is illegal to possess medical marijuana in school buildings or on school grounds, at public recreation and youth centers, or at a place of employment without the employer’s written permission.
Medical marijuana program
New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services oversees the Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP). New Hampshire residents 18 years or older can complete an application once they’ve received a Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis from a qualified medical professional. The patient and provider must have an ongoing relationship of at least three months (though there are some exceptions). Parents or guardians can apply for minor patients.
New Hampshire recognizes the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinal cord injury or disease
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis
Additionally, the condition must be severely debilitating or terminal, or its treatment has produced at least one of the following symptoms:
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Chemotherapy-induced anorexia
- Constant or severe nausea
- Elevated intraocular pressure, or glaucoma
- Moderate to severe vomiting
- Severe, persistent muscle spasms
- Severe pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures, or for which other treatment options produce serious side effects
Patients must visit a doctor, doctor’s assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensed in New Hampshire or a doctor or APRN licensed in Maine, Massachusetts, or Vermont to be diagnosed with a qualifying condition and receive a written certification. Patients can then visit the TCP website to register.
Applications must include:
- Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis from the patient’s physician
- State-issued ID or other proof of New Hampshire residency
- $50 application fee
A patient may designate a caregiver at any time. The designated caregiver must be 21 years or older and never convicted of a felony. They must complete an application and a background check to be approved by the TCP. The caregiver must have a Caregiver Registry ID card before assisting the patient.
While medical marijuana patients from other states are not allowed to purchase from ATCs, they can legally possess cannabis as long as they have a condition on New Hampshire’s list of qualifying conditions.
New Hampshire medical marijuana laws require that each batch of cannabis be tested by a state-licensed lab.
Labs must test for:
- Cannabinoid profile and potency
- Heavy metals
- Residual solvents (for concentrates only)
When will New Hampshire decriminalize weed?
New Hampshire decriminalized weed in 2017. Possession of 21 grams of cannabis or cannabis-infused products with no more than 300 milligrams of THC, or up to 5 grams of hash can be punished with a fine up to $100 for a first and second offense. A third offense within three years could result in a $300 fine. These charges and fines do not result in arrest records.
This page was last updated on November 11, 2020.View the marijuana laws & regulations for New Hampshire.
New hampshire medical marijuana laws
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP) is making the following temporary changes to the program.
September 4, 2020
Criminal Background Check Update
The NH State Police has restarted fingerprinting on a “voluntary” basis. The Governor’s Executive Order is still in place, and the fingerprinting requirement is still deferred, but now, applicants may choose to be fingerprinted. Please call 603‐223‐3867 to schedule an appointment at one of the NH Department of Safety’s fingerprint locations.
August 14, 2020
The Governor’s Emergency Order #8 permits telehealth for health care service delivery. The Therapeutic Cannabis Program’s prohibition on the use of telehealth for cannabis certification is temporarily suspended. The required “in person” assessment may be conducted via telehealth during the declared state of emergency.
Border State Medical Providers (Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont). Telehealth service delivery is not permitted across state borders unless an out-of-state provider is registered with the New Hampshire Board of Medicine or the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. Information about emergency licensure in NH during the declared state of emergency is available on the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification page COVID-19 Licensee Resources.
Registry ID Card Extension Has Ended . The extension described in the April 10 update below has ended. Beginning August 1 all patients must have a valid, non-expired Registry ID Card in order to purchase therapeutic cannabis.
Waiver of CAREGIVER Application Fee Is Extended. The waiver of this fee, described in the March 19 update below, has been extended until the end of the declared state of emergency.
Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). The Therapeutic Cannabis Program strongly recommends the use of face coverings (masks) by all patients and caregivers in order to access the inside of the dispensaries. The ATCs may require masks to be worn in order to enter the facilities.
Call ahead before going to your ATC for the most current information about:
- Hours of operation
- Curbside pickup or appointment-only pickup
- Access to the inside of the dispensaries
TCP Extends Registry ID Card Expiration Dates for QUALIFYING PATIENTS. All Qualifying Patient Registry ID Cards that are due to expire in the months of April, May, and June 2020 have been extended until July 31, 2020.
- New Registry ID Cards will not be issued with the new, extended expiration date.
- You will still need to show your “expired” card at your ATC in order to obtain therapeutic cannabis.
- ATCs will accept these “expired” cards until July 31, 2020.
- When you renew your card, the expiration date for your renewal card will be one year from the original expiration date.
- Registry ID Cards for Designated Caregivers are not being extended at this time. (See below for updated information on Designated Caregivers, including the waived application fee.)
29 Hazen Drive Closed to the Public. Starting Tuesday, April 7, the building at 29 Hazen Drive is closed to the public. TCP encourages applicants to send their applications through the regular mail. If you choose to hand-deliver your application, there is a locked drop-box available outside the front of 29 Hazen Drive where you can securely leave your application materials.
- ATCs are considered essential businesses
- All ATCs are currently open for business.
- All ATCs have reduced hours .
- All ATCs require patients to pre-order . Check with your ATC to see if phone or online ordering is available.
- Some ATCs have implemented “curbside” pickup of orders.
- Some ATCs have implemented appointment-only pickup.
- Patients should call ahead before going to their ATC for the most current information.
Criminal History Record Checks for DESIGNATED CAREGIVERS . Requests for criminal history record checks are being conducted remotely (via regular mail), and the requirement for FBI fingerprinting has been deferred until after the State of Emergency has ended.
- State background check is still required.
- Federal FBI background check, and fingerprinting, is temporarily deferred.
- All scheduled appointments for fingerprinting have been cancelled.
- Fingerprinting will be required within 30 days of the State of Emergency ending.
To request a state criminal history records check:
- Complete the Criminal History Record Authorization – Therapeutic Cannabis form .
- The form does not need to be notarized.
- Mail the completed form, and a check or money order for $25.00, made out to “State of NH – Criminal Records,” to:
New Hampshire State Police
Criminal Records Unit
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305
TCP will notify you after the State of Emergency has been lifted that the requirement for fingerprinting has been reinstated.
Telehealth . The Governor’s emergency order permits telehealth for health care service delivery. The requirement for an “in-person” examination for the purposes of certification and recertification for the therapeutic use of cannabis has been suspended. The required assessment may be conducted via telehealth.
TCP waives the DESIGNATED CAREGIVER application fee . The TCP is encouraging patients to designate a caregiver so that if patients become sick and cannot safely and responsibly access their ATC, they will have an alternative way of acquiring therapeutic cannabis, via their Designated Caregiver. To that end, the TCP is waiving the Designated Caregiver application fee, beginning immediately and through July 31, 2020.
If the TCP has already cashed an applicant’s check or money order, that applicant will not be issued a refund. All caregiver application fees that are received by the TCP beginning Thursday, March 19, will be returned to the sender. Note that the fee required by the Department of Safety for the criminal background check is not being waived at this time.
January 2020 Public Hearing — Qualifying Medical Conditions for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis The Therapeutic Cannabis Medical Oversight Board and the DHHS Therapeutic Cannabis Program will hold a public hearing to gather input from the public on a proposed addition to the list of qualifying medical conditions for the therapeutic use of cannabis.
Date: Wednesday, February 5
Time: 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Location: DHHS, 29 Hazen Drive, Room 312 [directions]
Written Comment Period Ends: Wednesday, February 12
Send written comments to: [email protected]
Contact: Michael Holt, (603) 271-9234, [email protected]
The following medical condition is under consideration as a qualifying medical condition for the therapeutic use of cannabis:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
Changes to the Therapeutic Cannabis Program Application Process
SB 88 made the following changes to the therapeutic cannabis law:
Medical Providers Can Certify Their Patients Sooner . Starting on November 18, 2019, a 3-month provider-patient relationship is no longer required. On that date, the NH Therapeutic Cannabis Program will begin accepting Written Certifications that have been signed by certifying medical providers who do not have a 3-month provider-patient relationship with their patients. The Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis has been updated to reflect this change.
No Photograph Needed . Starting on November 18, 2019, a photograph is not required to be submitted with an application to the Therapeutic Cannabis Program. Also, all Registry ID Cards printed on or after that date will not contain a photo of the patient or caregiver’s face. Patients and caregivers will still be required to show other photo identification at the Alternative Treatment Centers in order to purchase cannabis. The Patient Application and the Caregiver Application have been updated to reflect this change. Other changes have been made to these application forms as well.
Vaping-Related Lung Injuries
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), is investigating vaping-related lung injuries as part of a multistate outbreak associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Learn more in the DHHS fact sheet on Vaping-Related Lung Injuries .
Therapeutic Cannabis Program 2019 Data Report
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released the Therapeutic Cannabis Program 2019 Data Report . The report provides information from the Therapeutic Cannabis Registry, the annual reports from the Alternative Treatment Centers, and the Qualifying Patient Satisfaction Survey. It provides details about qualifying patients and designated caregivers who were active in the program as of June 30, 2019.
DHHS provides this report annually to the New Hampshire Legislature’s Health and Human Services Oversight Committee, the New Hampshire Board of Medicine, and the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. The report provides important information on patterns of certification in several categories: qualifying patient and designated caregiver, location, age, medical condition, symptom or side effect, and medical provider. Data from the report can then be used for analysis and research to inform future policy, educational, and clinical decisions.
In addition, the 2019 report contains an addendum related to HB 335 from the 2019 legislative session regarding the expansion of therapeutic cannabis dispensary locations in the state.
As of October 1, 2019, the program is being used by 8,566 qualifying patients, 448 designated caregivers, and 1,101 certifying providers.
(Dec. 19, 2016)
(June 30, 2017)
(June 30, 2018)
(June 30, 2019)
(Oct. 1, 2019)
The Therapeutic Cannabis Program Has Moved
New Location: Division of Public Health Services, 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH.
The Therapeutic Cannabis Program’s (TCP) office location has moved to 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH. Please use the new address when mailing application materials. If you are hand-delivering application materials, please bring them to the new office location.
Application materials will still be available and accepted at the Brown Building, at 129 Pleasant Street, Concord, and any mail addressed to 129 Pleasant Street will get to the TCP, but using this location and address may delay the processing of your application.
Over the next few months, all of the applications, forms, and information sheets will be updated with the new mailing address:
- NH Department of Health & Human Services
Therapeutic Cannabis Program
29 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301
Adobe Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.New hampshire medical marijuana laws In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Therapeutic Cannabis Program (TCP) is making the following temporary changes to the program. September 4, 2020 ]]>