Maine Dispensaries Could Get Boost From NH Patients

Dispensaries in Maine could start seeing an influx of patients from New Hampshire, at least temporarily.

New Hampshire decided to start issuing medical marijuana cards to registered patients this week even though the first dispensaries won’t open until spring of 2016 at the earliest.

Until those dispensaries open, registered patients can visit nearby Maine – which allows medical cannabis sales to visitors who have valid MMJ cards from other states – to purchase marijuana.

Maine medical marijuana officials said a small number of non-resident patients have bought medical marijuana in the state.

The move to issue cards in New Hampshire follows a November legal decision where a Merrimack County Court Judge ruled in favor of an advanced-stage cancer patient who had sought approval to buy medical marijuana but had been denied.

Massachusetts, which also borders New Hampshire, does not allow cardholders from other states to buy marijuana from its dispensaries, although they are allowed to possess marijuana.

New Hampshire’s legislature approved medical marijuana in 2013. The law allows four dispensaries in the state of about 1.3 million people. According to the Marijuana Business Factbook, the state’s medical marijuana market will be between $3 million and $5 million in the first 12 months after dispensaries open.