The New Hampshire House of Representatives has approved a bill to allow medical marijuana patients to grow their own plants for personal use.
Weeks after moving through committee, the full chamber passed the legislation from Rep. Wendy Thomas (D) on a voice vote as part of the uncontested consent calendar on Wednesday.
The measure—which would allow patients and designated caregivers to cultivate up to three mature plants, three immature plants and 12 seedlings—now heads to the Senate.
Plants would have to be grown in an “enclosed, locked space” at a location that would have to be reported to regulators at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The bill would also expand the number and types of plants that the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries could cultivate for patients, increasing the limit per patient to 80 mature plants, 160 immature plants and an unlimited number of seedlings. As it stands, the cap is 80 plants and 160 seedlings.
“This bill addresses two major problems for this community—access and price,” the majority report on the measure from the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee says. “The closest Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) may be far away and the cost of this product is high. Most therapeutic cannabis patients will continue to purchase their product from ATCs and those who choose to grow their own will be able to purchase seedlings from the ATC or grow from seeds according to their preference.”
Matt Simon, director of public and government relations at Prime Alternative Treatment Centers of New Hampshire, told Marijuana Moment that by his count this is the 11th medical cannabis home grow bill to pass the House since 2009.
“Patients have been waiting far too long for home cultivation to become legal in the ‘Live Free or Die’ state,” he said. “Perhaps now that home grow has been legalized for patients and adults in every other New England state, this will finally be the year it becomes law in New Hampshire.”
(Disclosure: Simon supports Marijuana Moment’s work through a monthly pledge on Patreon.)
The floor vote on home grow comes about a week after the House approved a second cannabis legalization bill for the session, one that contains virtually no regulations or limitations on cannabis.
The chamber also separately passed a comprehensive legalization, taxation and regulation measure that’s being sponsored by bipartisan leaders last month. (Full Story)