The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services will begin issuing the first round of ID cards to patients who qualify for medical marijuana, in order to legally purchase and possess cannabis as early as next week.
State health officials said they’ll begin issuing the cards Monday. Health officials originally planned to withhold the cards until dispensaries opened in the state, but they were advised by the attorney general to hand them out now after Alstead resident, Linda Horan, successfully sued the state to obtain her card.
“As we begin to issue registry identification cards to qualifying patients who want them, we look forward to those patients being able to access therapeutic cannabis at dispensaries in New Hampshire,” DHHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas said in a statement.
New Hampshire’s medical marijuana dispensaries won’t begin operating until spring of 2016. The cards will allow qualifying patients to legally possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana, meaning they could buy it in other states without fear of facing charges.
The decision to issue cards comes after Linda Horan, an Alstead resident with late-stage lung cancer, argued in court that she may not live long enough to see the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries open. She won the case, prompting the attorney general to advise the state to give out cards before the dispensaries open.
The Legislature approved medical marijuana in 2013, registry identification cards will be issued by mail beginning on Monday to qualifying patients and designated caregivers whose applications have been approved.
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