4 cannabis dispensaries get the OK to hang a shingle in NH

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CONCORD, NH – The Department of Health And Human Services has announced that three applications have been approved for four alternative treatment centers in New Hampshire, aka cannabis dispensaries.

DHHS spokesman Jake Leon said there has been a lot of interest in dispensaries, and it’s still somewhat of a controversial issue.

“We estimate it will still be another eight to nine months before any of them are up and running. It’s the first step in a long process. Now that the companies have been named, they can go forward working with the various communities,” Leon said. “There have been some reservations, so it’s up to the companies to work with patients, elected officials and residents to pave the way.”

The three companies – Prime Alternative Treatment Centers of NH Inc., Temescal Wellness Inc. and Sanctuary ATC – were selected from a pool of 14 applicants who answered the RFP.

Manchester falls within geographic Area 2, where one dispensary has been approved. City officials have been eyeing various locations within the city for a proposed dispensary, but that is still in the preliminary stages.

The official DHHS press release follows:


After a comprehensive and detailed review of applications in response to the Request for Applications for Approval to Operate an Alternative Treatment Center (RFA #15-DHHS-OHS-OOS_RFA-01) for the therapeutic use of cannabis, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) selected the following entities to begin the post-selection registration process for the following geographic areas:

Entity Location
Prime Alternative Treatment Centers of NH, Inc. Geographic Area 2
Temescal Wellness, Inc. Geographic Areas 1 & 3
Sanctuary ATC Geographic Area 4
NH's geographical regions.
NH\’s geographical regions.

“This is an important milestone to bring the Alternative Treatment Centers on-line,” said Commissioner Nicholas A. Toumpas. “Now that the selections have been made, we will work closely with the selected Treatment Centers to make them operational as soon as possible so that they can open their doors and begin to provide relief to the individuals who are in need and suffering from serious medical conditions.”

The selected entities must now follow the post-selection registration process described in administrative rule He-C 402.05 in order to receive a registration certificate from DHHS to operate an alternative treatment center (ATC).

This stage of the process is expected to take a number of months to complete and will require each entity to secure local approvals and establish their operations. Specific locations of an ATC’s registered premises within each geographic area have not yet been determined. During the post-selection registration process, the Department will work collaboratively with the selected applicants and the local governing body of the towns and cities in which they would like to operate, to solicit the input of the municipal or town residents as well as that of prospective patients and caregivers relative to safety and other local concerns and the overall health needs of qualifying patients.

Each selected entity must submit its Application for ATC Registration no later than August 27, 2015, after which the selected entity will be subject to a compliance inspection. If compliant with all applicable laws and rules, the ATC will be issued a registration certificate to operate an ATC and may begin to cultivate cannabis.

A specific timeframe for when each ATC will be open to serve qualifying patients cannot be provided at this time. It is anticipated that it will take approximately 8–9 months after today’s announced selection before an ATC will be open for business (dispensing cannabis to qualifying patients). This estimate could change as the ATC’s seek to obtain zoning and other local approvals, establishing their programs, and achieving compliance with requirements.

The Department plans to begin issuing registry identification cards to patients approximately 6 weeks prior to an ATC being operational and open for business and will post an announcement on its website when it is ready to begin to accept qualifying patient and caregiver applications.

Qualifying medical conditions are listed in the statute. You can read the full text of RSA 126-X:1, IX (a) here.


 

We’ve added some of the highlights on “qualifying medical conditions” below:

IX. (a) “Qualifying medical condition” means the presence of:
(1) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C currently receiving antiviral treatment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pancreatitis, spinal cord injury or disease, traumatic brain injury, or one or more injuries that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient’s provider; and
(2) A severely debilitating or terminal medical condition or its treatment that has produced at least one of the following: elevated intraocular pressure, cachexia, chemotherapy-induced anorexia, wasting syndrome, severe pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects, constant or severe nausea, moderate to severe vomiting, seizures, or severe, persistent muscle spasms.
(b) The department may include a medical condition that is not listed in subparagraph (a) that the department determines, on a case by case basis, is severely debilitating or terminal, based upon the written request of a provider who furnishes written certification to the department.
X. “Qualifying patient” means a resident of New Hampshire who has been diagnosed by a provider as having a qualifying medical condition and who possesses a valid registry identification card issued pursuant to RSA 126-X:4.


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About Carol Robidoux 5456 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.