USE OF CANNABIS FOR THERAPEUTIC PURPOSES
126-X:7 Departmental Administration; Alternative Treatment Centers.
I. Within 18 months of the effective date of this section, provided that at least 2 applications have been submitted that score sufficiently high to receive a certificate, the department shall issue alternative treatment center registration certificates to the 2 highest-scoring applicants. Each registration certificate shall include a registry number that is unique to the alternative treatment center.
II. Any time an alternative treatment center registration certificate is revoked, relinquished, or expires without a renewal application being submitted, the department shall accept applications for a new alternative treatment center and issue a registration certificate to the applicant who scores the highest.
III. If at any time after 2 years after the effective date of this section, fewer than 4 alternative treatment centers hold valid registration certificates in New Hampshire, the department shall accept applications for a new alternative treatment center. No more than 4 alternative treatment centers shall hold valid registration certificates at one time.
IV. (a) An alternative treatment center applicant shall submit a completed department-approved application form with all required documentation and a nonrefundable fee in an amount set by department rule. The alternative treatment center application and supporting materials shall include, at a minimum:
(1) The legal name, articles of incorporation, and bylaws of the alternative treatment center.
(2) The proposed physical address of the alternative treatment center, if a precise address has been determined, or, if not, the general location where it would be located. This may include a second location for the cultivation of cannabis.
(3) A description of the enclosed, locked facility that would be used in the cultivation of cannabis by the alternative treatment center.
(4) The name, address, and date of birth of each principal officer and board member of the alternative treatment center. The board of directors for the nonprofit shall include at least one physician, advance practice registered nurse, or pharmacist licensed to practice in New Hampshire and at least one patient qualified to register as a qualifying patient. The majority of board members shall be New Hampshire residents. A medical professional listed in this subparagraph may be a member of the alternative treatment center board but shall not maintain an ownership interest in the center.
(5) Proposed security and safety measures that comply with the rules adopted pursuant to RSA 126-X:6, including a description of interior and exterior lighting and security systems.
(6) The distance from any pre-existing private or public school.
(7) A copy of the proposed policy regarding services to qualifying patients who cannot afford to purchase cannabis for therapeutic use.
(8) Information demonstrating the applicant's knowledge of organic growing methods to be used in the growing and cultivation of cannabis.
(9) Steps that will be taken to ensure the quality of the cannabis, including purity and consistency of dose.
(10) A start-up timetable that provides an estimated time from registration of the alternative treatment center to full operation and the assumptions used for the basis of those estimates.
(11) Information showing the applicant's experience running a nonprofit or other business.
(12) A description of any additional services that will be available to patients.
(13) The applicant's plans for recordkeeping and inventory control.
(b) Any time one or more alternative treatment center registration applications are being considered, the department shall, in partnership with the local governing body of the town or city where the alternative treatment center would be located, solicit input from qualifying patients, designated caregivers, and the residents of the towns or cities in which the alternative treatment center would be located.
(c) Each time an alternative treatment center certificate is granted, the decision shall be based on the overall health needs of qualifying patients and the safety of the public. The department shall evaluate applications for alternative treatment center registration certificates using an impartial and numerically-scored competitive bidding process developed by the department in accordance with this chapter. The department shall require applicants to meet a minimum score to be considered. The registration considerations shall include the following criteria:
(1) The suitability of the proposed location, including compliance with any local zoning laws, and geographic convenience for qualifying patients from throughout the state of New Hampshire to alternative treatment centers if the application is approved. The department shall, to the greatest extent practicable, ensure that alternative treatment centers are geographically located so as to best serve the needs of qualifying patients.
(2) The proposed alternative treatment center's plan for operations and services, whether it has sufficient capital to operate, and its ability to provide a steady supply of cannabis to the qualifying patients in the state.
(3) The principal officer and board members' character and relevant experience, including any training or professional licensing related to medicine, pharmaceuticals, natural treatments, botany, or cannabis cultivation and preparation, and their experience operating a nonprofit organization or business.
(4) The applicant's plan for making cannabis available on an affordable basis to qualifying patients enrolled in Medicaid or receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance.
(5) The applicant's plan for safe and accurate packaging and labeling of cannabis, including the applicant's plan for ensuring that all cannabis is free of contaminants.
(6) The sufficiency of the applicant's plans for recordkeeping and inventory control. Records shall be considered confidential health care information under New Hampshire law and shall be deemed protected health care information for purposes of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996,
as amended. Any dispensing records that an alternative treatment center is required to keep shall document transactions according to qualifying patients' and designated caregivers' registry identification numbers, rather than their names, to protect their confidentiality.
(7) The sufficiency of the applicant's plans for safety and security, including proposed location and security devices employed.
(8) Whether the entity possesses or has the right to use sufficient land, buildings, and equipment to properly carry out its duties as an alternative treatment center.
V. After an alternative treatment center is approved, but before it begins operations, it shall submit the registration fee paid to the department in accordance with the rules adopted by the department. Annual fees thereafter shall be paid in accordance with the rules adopted by the department.
VII. The alternative treatment center's certificate may be revoked at any time it commits a violation of this chapter or rules adopted by the department, including if it negligently or knowingly allows cannabis to be distributed to someone who is not exempt from penalties pursuant to this chapter.
VIII. Not more than one year after an alternative treatment center receives it first registry certificate, the department shall evaluate an alternative treatment center's operations. A registration certificate may be revoked if the alternative treatment center:
(a) Committed violations of this chapter or department rules; or
(b) Is not operational.
IX. Alternative treatment centers shall be subject to inspection by the department. During an inspection, the department may review the alternative treatment center's records, including its confidential dispensing and data collection records, which shall track transactions and product effectiveness according to qualifying patients' registry identification numbers to protect their confidentiality.
X. If the department determines that having additional locations for the dispensing of therapeutic cannabis is necessary to adequately and effectively meet the needs of qualifying patients and designated caregivers, the department may authorize the alternative treatment centers allowed to operate in geographic areas 1, 2, 3, and 4 to establish a second dispensary location within those same geographic areas. A second dispensary location shall only be established in a geographic location approved by the department, shall be limited solely to the dispensing of cannabis and educational efforts, and shall not be used for cultivation or other activities relative to the production of cannabis. A second dispensary location shall be subject to rules adopted by the department under RSA 126-X:6, III, and any additional rules adopted by the department relative to a second dispensary location under RSA 126-X:6, IV, and all applicable provisions of this chapter relative to alternative treatment centers including, but not limited to, compliance with local zoning laws. The department shall, in conjunction with the local governing body of the town or city where the second dispensary location would be located, solicit input from qualifying patients, designated caregivers, and residents of the town or city in which the second dispensary location would be located.
Source. 2013, 242:1. 2014, 72:4, I, eff. July 26, 2014. 2018, 126:2, eff. July 29, 2018. 2019, 165:1, eff. Sept. 8, 2019.