N.H. Pot Dispensaries Now Cash-Only

Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Lebanon — Some of New Hampshire’s medical marijuana dispensaries have begun requiring patients and their caregivers to pay in cash.

Two companies, Temescal Wellness and Prime Alternative Treatment Centers of New Hampshire, notified patients of the move to cash-only purchases in Facebook posts published this week. Debit purchases were accepted before the decision, according to New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Communications Director Jake Leon.

Temescal operates dispensaries in Lebanon and Dover, and Prime operates in Merrimack.

“It’s because the service provider discontinued their service,” Temescal’s founder and chief executive officer, Ted Rebholz, said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

The fourth dispensary operating in New Hampshire, Plymouth’s Sanctuary ATC, had no such message regarding a move to cash on its Facebook page. The dispensary’s listed phone number appeared to be disconnected and an email was not immediately returned.

The change in how at least some of the 4,750 people participating in New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program pay for cannabis and cannabis-infused products comes in the wake of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move last week to rescind an Obama-era policy that directed federal attorneys not to stand in the way of states that legalize marijuana, as long as certain conditions were met.

To explain why he believed Temescal’s service provider backed out, Rebholz pointed to a statement issued on Monday by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, of Massachusetts. Rebholz said he did not immediately know the name of the service provider.

“I cannot ... provide assurances that certain categories of participants in the state-level marijuana trade will be immune from federal prosecution,” Lelling said. “Deciding, in advance, to immunize a certain category of actors from federal prosecution would be to effectively amend the laws Congress has already passed, and that I will not do.”

For his part, Rebholz said he did not know when Temescal would again be able to accept payment in forms other than cash, but the organization is looking into it.