Jun 15, 2016 12:11 PM

Medical marijuana dispensary company holds symposium on pain in Portsmouth

NH1.com

PORTSMOUTH - A medical marijuana dispensary hosted a symposium on pain Tuesday in Portsmouth, telling attendees that marijuana is being used to successfully treat some types of chronic pain.

Many of those who attended expressed frustration. They say they’ve tried in vain to get their doctors to certify them to receive medical marijuana cards.

Michelle Poulin has Crohn’s Disease and says she’s been trying for months to find a doctor who will agree to certify her, and thereby allow her to apply for a card that admits her into medical marijuana dispensaries.

“I want to get off pain pills, and I want to do this legally,” Poulin explained.

Anne Hooper was also at the symposium expressing difficulty in finding a local doctor who believes marijuana is an effective medicine.

“I’ve been in pain for 14 years and I take opioids every day,” said Hooper.

Hooper says she wants to try marijuana to see if it works as well, or better, than the opioids she’s currently taking.

There are three medical marijuana dispensaries open now in NH. Two were opened last month by Temescal Wellness in Dover and Lebanon. They are serving 300 patients.

The first-of-its kind symposium in New Hampshire was held by Temescal Wellness and it featured Dr. Jeremy Spiegel, who currently helps people in Maine and Massachusetts obtain medical marijuana cards. He says some institutions don't allow their doctors to prescribe marijuana.

The Executive Director of Temescal Wellness, Anthony Parrinello, says many of their patients are weighing whether to use marijuana instead of opioids to treat their pain, because they’re worried about opioid addiction.

“No one ever died of [marijuana] overdose. But opioids have caused many overdoses,” said Parrinello.

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