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Senate Panel Rewrites Medical Marijuana Bill To Hassan's Liking

While serving as a state senator 4 years ago, Governor Maggie Hassan supported a medical marijuana bill with a home-cultivation option.

But no longer.

Prior to voting a redrafted medical marijuana bill out of committee, Senate health chair Nancy Stiles said the bill was to maximize its chances for survival when it gets to the Governor's desk.

"We did try to include everything that I though we had agreed on  -- and again with my meeting yesterday with the Governor’s Counsel – and what would work and not work."

Besides getting rid of home grow, the latest version of the bill also lengthens the timeline for marijuana dispensaries to begin operation, and eliminates post-traumatic-stress disorder as a qualifying condition.

Medical marijuana advocates said their prime concern is that without home grow, the bill could keep marijuana from patients for another 2 years.

Matt Simon is with the marijuana policy project:

"We were confident that when she met the patients and heard what there needs were, that she would  be convinced to support this, at least on a short term basis, and it was shocking and disappointing that the answer was no."

A spokesman for Governor Hassan says the Governor  will consider ways to improve the bill as it moves though the senate and into a likely committee of conference with the house, but that the bill as passed by the senate committee addresses the Governor's concerns.    

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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