Nov 20, 2014 11:14 AM
Kevin Landrigan: Medical marijuana rules approved; first big hurdle cleared for NH law
A legislative panel approved operating rules needed to open a dispensary to give marijuana to medically eligible patients.
Now state bureaucrats have to move very quickly to comply with the state law that calls for the first dispensary to get its license by the end of January.
Marijuana Policy Project New Hampshire Director Matt Simon said he's skeptical the state can meet that deadline.
State Sen. John Reagan, R-Deerfield, one of the law's prime authors, says state officials are working overtime to do it.
Reagan is preparing legislation to expand the number of medical conditions that could receive what's known as therapeutic cannabis and to permit these centers to run smaller satellites in more remote regions of the state.
Seventeen months ago, New Hampshire became the 19th state to allow those with serious medical conditions to legally get and use marijuana for chronic pain.
There are 23 states and the District of Columbia where medical marijuana is legal.
New Hampshire's law requires at least two treatment centers to exist in the state and no more than four.
Mary Castelli, senior division director for the Department of Health and Human Services, said there would need to be three to pay for the cost of state regulation.