Medical marijuana patients were hoping to get home cultivation rights. The Senate has stalled the legislation, although the House advanced it. If House Bill 1476 advanced, patients could have grown 2 mature plants and possessed up to 12 seedlings. Patients would have also been permitted to “gift” medicine to other cardholders but could not accept compensation for it.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee said that the bill had too many unanswered questions, according to the New Hampshire Watchdog. Instead, the legislation has been referred back to the committee to undergo further study. If recommendations or suggestions are not made on the legislation prior to the end of the biennial session, the bill is killed automatically.
Senator Martha Hennessey fought hard for the legislation, noting the urgency of the need for home cultivation for patients.
She said, “We still haven’t found a way …to provide some of the medications to some of the people who are most in need. We have increased the number of dispensaries, but we need more. And those with disabilities often cannot get to the dispensaries we do have. Once they do get there… they can’t afford it because it’s costing approximately [$300] to $400 dollars an ounce.”
Senator Bob Giuda seems to be on the same page as Senator Hennessey.
Senator Giuda said, “You go down any street in this state, in any town in this state, and you can buy marijuana walking down the street. It’s already there. This is a question about medical marijuana, and I’ve always supported the use of it, I will likely do the same here, because again we’re dealing with people who are in difficult circumstances, remote and paying just exorbitant prices.”
Senator Sharon Carson had several questions regarding home cultivation, she said, “There is a question of, how are these people going to get these plants? You can’t just buy anything off the street because this is supposed to be medicine, medicine with very different types that are specific to different conditions. So, buying generic pot off the street is not supposed to really work too well.”
Some fear that allowing home cultivation would create problems for law enforcement. They are also concerned with proper regulation and oversight of home cultivation.
Senator John Reagan suggested that the legislators take a look at how neighboring states are handling home cultivation.
He said, “In Maine, the original program for therapeutic cannabis was grow your own. o since 1999, Maine has allowed people to grow their own plants. … My new police chief in Deerfield was the police chief of Orono, Maine, home of the University of Maine. … So, I asked him, ‘Well, how did you deal with this potential horror?’ and he said it’s a non-event. He said there’s not a police chief in Maine that’s worried about homegrown cannabis.”
The final vote was 14-10 in favor of studying the matter further before moving forward with advancing legislation.