New Hampshire Bulletin
Published: 11/24/2022 10:21:50 PM
Modified: 11/24/2022 10:22:42 PM
Editor’s Note: This story was first published on New Hampshire Bulletin.
CONCORD — New Hampshire officials are attempting to upgrade the state’s therapeutic cannabis registry — and they’re seeking input from those in the industry on how best to do it.
In a request for information, the Department of Health and Human Services is asking for suggestions for a recommended approach for an online registry in the state.
The state currently operates a web-based system to handle the state’s 14,000 qualifying patients, 600 designated caregivers and 1,200 certifying medical providers. But officials are looking to improve it in order to “adapt to evolving state policy requirements, as well as program needs and client needs.”
Therapeutic cannabis has been legal in the state since 2013. Patients who are certified by a medical provider to have a qualifying condition must apply for a cannabis registry ID card from the state. Those registrations are tracked by DHHS and shared with the state’s four alternative treatment centers, which disburse the cannabis to patients.
Lawmakers have passed several bills in recent years to expand eligibility for therapeutic cannabis, including by adding insomnia, autism spectrum disorder and opioid use disorder to the medical conditions that can qualify a patient to receive it. The Legislature has removed the requirement that designated caregivers — who can pick up the cannabis products for patients — receive a federal background check. And lawmakers passed legislation to allow written certification by a doctor or medical provider for a patient to take effect for three years, not one year.
Some of those recent statutory changes are awaiting further regulations to be passed by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules in order to take effect. But DHHS says it is hoping a new system can better respond to those changes, and boost “process improvements and cost efficiencies in program administration.”
DHHS is not seeking a request for proposals (RFP) — the process in which vendors bid for a contract — but it is issuing the request for information (RFI) to be better informed about what to ask for in a future RFP, according to the department.
Responses to the RFI are due to the DHHS’ Contracts and Procurement Unit by Dec. 23. They should be sent to Allison Goodwin at Allison.M.Goodwin@dhhs.nh.gov.