Beginning today, the state of New Hampshire will be issuing medical marijuana cards to qualified patients.
The New England state’s legislature approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana back in 2013, and is now finally giving out medical marijuana cards although dispensaries aren’t allowed to open until the spring of 2016.
The decision to begin issuing cards now, before the state’s dispensaries actually become operational, came after Linda Horan, a woman with late-stage lung cancer, sued the state health commissioner in November.
Horan told reporters that “she and other seriously ill people are suffering every day they go without the cards.”
Horan went on to win her lawsuit, which prompted the attorney general to advise the state to begin giving out cards earlier than it had previously planned, MPBN News reported.
The state’s decision to bump up its timeline on issuing medical marijuana cards means that New Hampshire residents can now take their cards across state lines into states where medical cannabis is already legal to obtain the pot they need.
Under the new laws, cardholders can carry up to two ounces of marijuana without facing any charges.
According to NH NORML, the New Hampshire branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the state has created a list of illnesses that qualify as being treatable by cannabis.
Only patients with these conditions will be allowed to receive cards.
These illnesses include cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pancreatitis, spinal cord injuries or diseases, traumatic brain injuries, or “one or more injuries that significantly interferes with daily activities.”
In addition to the above list, the law’s language allows for some flexibility as “the department may include a medical condition that is not listed 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.”
In other similar cannabis legalization news, Delaware became the 19th state to remove jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana when it decriminalized cannabis earlier this month.