Valley News – NH requests information on therapeutic cannabis registry

Published: 11/24/2022 22:21:50

Modified: 11/24/2022 22:22:42

Editor’s Note: This story was first published on New Hampshire Bulletin.

CONCORD — New Hampshire officials are attempting to update the state’s therapeutic cannabis registry — and they’re seeking input from industry officials on how best to do so.

In a request for information, the Department of Health and Human Services is requesting suggestions for a recommended approach for an online registry in the state.

The state currently operates a web-based system to manage the state’s 14,000 qualified patients, 600 registered nurses and 1,200 certified medical providers. But officials are trying to improve it to “adapt to evolving government policy requirements, as well as the needs of the program and customers.”

Therapeutic cannabis has been legal in the state since 2013. Patients who are certified by a medical provider as having a qualifying medical condition must apply to the state for a cannabis registry ID card. These registrations are tracked by DHHS and shared with the state’s four alternative treatment centers, which dispense cannabis to patients.

Legislators have passed several pieces of legislation in recent years to expand eligibility for therapeutic cannabis, including by adding insomnia, autism spectrum disorders, and opioid use disorders to the medical conditions that may qualify a patient to receive it . Legislators removed the requirement that designated caregivers — who can pick up patient cannabis products — receive a federal background check. And the legislature has enacted laws that make a written certification by a physician or healthcare provider effective for a patient for three years, not one year.

Some of these recent legislative changes are awaiting further regulations to be passed by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Regulations in order to come into force. But the DHHS hopes a new system can be more responsive to these changes and encourage “process improvements and cost efficiencies in program administration.”

DHHS does not seek a Request for Proposal (RFP)—the process by which vendors bid for a contract—but it does issue the Request for Information (RFI) to better understand what to ask for in a future RFP Department.

Responses to the RFI must be sent to DHHS’s Contracts and Procurement Unit by December 23. They should be sent to Allison Goodwin at [email protected]