New Hampshire’s first medical marijuana dispensary, Sanctuary ATC, has opened. The dispensary, located in Plymouth, said that about one dozen patients were patiently waiting outside when they opened the doors. It reports having 45 patients on its first day in operation.
For safety and smooth operations, Sanctuary ATC only allowed a few patients in at a time. Registration forms were filled out, according to New Hampshire Public Radio, along with a one-on-one consultation with the medical director. The meeting with the medical director was a step to ensure that patients are purchasing the right types of products for their specific medical needs.
Two patients, Nancy Fronheiser and Laurie Peaslee, both agreed that the wait was worth it. Fronheiser said, “We got a free sample. Well, not in there, but to take home. And they were very nice. They went over all of the strains with us.” Peaslee said, “They explained everything. I got morning meds. I got nighttime meds.”
Fronheiser also said, “I have chronic pain. I have a few herniated discs, which I’m currently on Percocet for. I’ve been on them for 10 years, and I’m trying to get off them. I don’t want to depend on a pill anymore.”
Medical marijuana has been legal in New Hampshire since 2013, however, no dispensaries were available for patients to obtain their medicine. The program took three years to get up and running. Patient medical marijuana cards were issued starting in December 2015. Several patients said that the wait caused them to have to obtain medicine by either crossing into Maine or by other means.
Sanctuary ATC’s CEO, Josh Weaver, said, “We’re really excited. We’ve been able to talk to a lot of the patients over the last few months, and we knew it was vital to open as fast as we could.”
New Hampshire medical marijuana patients must select and register with only one dispensary. The state can approve a dispensary change if it is requested with valid reasoning. More dispensaries are expected to open throughout the summer.