The first customer to buy medical cannabis in New Hampshire has had four surgeries in the last four years because of painful muscle conditions. Jesse, a North Country resident who would not give his last name, stated that he has tried many opiates, therapies, and acupuncture to ease his pain.
“It hasn’t helped,” he admitted. “I’m hoping the marijuana will.”
Saturday was the first time that Sanctuary ATC (alternative treatment center) was open, which is the state’s first marijuana dispensary. The business saw around two dozen people with many different conditions waiting in front of the door, many sitting on stools, or with walking aids with them.
They did not say much about the marijuana they were going to buy. The topic always shifted back to opioids, though, more specifically about the negative effects of it. They were referring to neither heroin nor drug abuse, but just the effects of popping pills.
Philip Pouliot of Nashua waited for his wife Rachel outside. She suffers from sciatica and many other nerve problems. As Philip described Rachel’s pain, she was inside of the dispensary, going through orientation with the help of medical professionals as well as Jason Sidman, the CEO of the company.
“She’s tried everything; nothing works,” Pouliot stated. “Oxycontin, Demerol, Percocet, morphine. They haven’t done a thing for her.”
Another customer, Patrick Murphy of Franklin, who suffers from leg pain, walked in, limping by with a crane.
“Opiates do nothing for me, either,” Murphy added.
“All they do,” another customer said, “is make you need more and more of them until they aren’t any use anymore.”
“I don’t think many of us like opioids much,” Sherri Levesque, a lupus sufferer, concluded. She stated that she had been researching marijuana and its effects for hours now. She was excited for her first dose, which was made possible by Sanctuary ATC.


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