New Hampshire’s therapeutic cannabis law is finally expanding to include patients who suffer from chronic pain. HB 157 went into effect on Tuesday, adding “moderate to severe chronic pain” as a qualifying condition. This new law will allow many more Granite Staters to use cannabis as an alternative to prescribed opioids — a critically important reform for a state that is struggling to turn the tide against opiate addiction.
Related: Long-Term Study on Marijuana's Impact on Opioid Use Now Funded
Until this week, patients could only qualify with a pain diagnosis if their pain was deemed to be “severe” and related to one of the specific medical conditions provided for in the law. As a result, it was much easier for medical providers to prescribe opioids than to certify patients for therapeutic cannabis. Patients who would like to apply now that the law has changed can access the updated application forms here.
Related: NH Adding PTSD to List of MMJ Qualifying Conditions
For those who are waiting for the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that is scheduled to take effect on August 27.
About the Author: Matt Simon is the New England Political Director and Legislative Analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project. Founded in 1995, Marijuana Policy Project is the largest advocacy organization in the United States that's sole focus is ending marijuana prohibition.