New Hampshire medical marijuana market plagued by slow patient processing

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New Hampshire’s small, highly regulated medical cannabis market is being hampered by delays in registering patients, according to a new report.

Virtually all qualified patients don’t receive their cards to purchase MMJ within the mandated five-day period, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader, citing a legislative performance audit.

The average registration time in 2018 was 13.8 days, according to the report. That’s an improvement over previous years but still far short of the mandate.

Roughly 8,000 patients are certified in the program.

The audit also found the state’s database was so flawed that the system should be replaced.

Public Health Director Lisa Morris told the newspaper that she took the audit’s findings seriously and would increase staff to improve operations and get patient cards issued.

New Hampshire has only five dispensaries, although measures enacted over the past two years would allow regulators to license up to two MMJ outlets in each of four regions, for a total of eight.

The 2019 Marijuana Business Factbook projects New Hampshire’s medical cannabis sales will reach $20 million-$25 million this year, up from an estimated $15 million-$20 million in 2018.

For more details about the state audit, click here.