New Hampshire Announces Medical Marijuana Providers

After two years of delays and politicking, New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program has taken a critical step in the implementation process, but it will likely be several months before dispensaries are open and patients are served.

On June 9, 2015, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced the three approved medical marijuana providers for the state. Those providers are as follows: Prime Alternative Treatment Centers of New Hampshire, Temescal Wellness, Inc. and Sanctuary ATC.

“Now that the selections have been made, we will work closely with the selected treatment centers to make them operational as soon as possible,” said Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas in a written statement.

There will be a total of four medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, each with its own designated area of operation. Although running four dispensaries for an entire state sounds unfeasible, it is actually a reasonable scenario for a state the size of New Hampshire.

According to the United States Census Bureau, New Hampshire has a population of 1.3 million. John Martin, manager of the bureau of licensing and certification at the DHHS, estimates that approximately one to two percent of the state’s population will use the dispensaries. That means each dispensary will be responsible for approximately 3,317 to 6,635 patients.

Temescal Wellness will operate in zones one and three, which covers Belknap, Strafford, Rockingham, Cheshire, and Sullivan County. Prime Alternative Treatment Centers will operate in zone 2, which covers Hillsborough and Merrimack County. Sanctuary ATC will operate in zone 4, which includes Coos, Grafton and Carroll County.

In order for the dispensaries to open up, each company will still have to obtain local approval. This includes a public hearing as well as certification from local zoning officers that dispensaries are complaint with local law.

To prevent any delays, Temescal Wellness board president Ted Rebholz told the New Hampshire Union Leader that his company has been working with local municipalities and already has a list of potential build sites.

“We want to make sure we take the utmost care and deliberation in working with local stakeholders, community groups,” Rebholz said. “We did do a lot of outreach in a limited number of towns in the run-up to the application, and now we’re basically continuing that discussion.”

Once a location has been selected, the three companies will be required to submit applications for registration by August 27 of this year, after which each site will be subject to a compliance inspection by the DHHS. Officials with DHHS estimate that it will be between eight or nine months before the first dispensary is open.

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