No marijuana dispensary site plans yet filed for giant region that includes Laconia

LACONIA — An administrator at the state's Therapeutic Use of Cannabis Program said Thursday that, to date, there have been no plans filed for either cultivation sites or marijuana dispensaries for Geographical Area 1, which includes Belknap County, Strafford County and Rockingham County.

Area 1 and Area 3, which is Cheshire and Sullivan Counties, were awarded to Temescal Wellness, Inc., a non-profit company formed in December of 2014 that has retired hand surgeon Dr. Gary Wood of Concord Orthopedics as one of its principals.

Temescal Wellness President Ed Rebholtz said yesterday that his company is eyeing a few locations in Area 1 but hadn't signed any leases at this point. He said his goal is to maximize patient accessibility and to "to get open as soon as possible to serve as many patients as possible."

Rebholtz said once the company decides on the locations, it will go through all the public processes set out in New Hampshire's law.

So far, the closest proposed dispensary to Laconia is the one in Plymouth, which would be operated by Sanctuary ATC, Inc. Administrator Michael Holt of the state cannabis program said Sanctuary has also proposed a cultivation site that would be located in Rochester but would supply Area 4 which includes Plymouth.

Holt explained that by dividing the state into four geographic areas, there would be four dispensaries and four cultivation sites. Temescal Wellness, Inc. would be awarded two each.

Holt also explained that people who live in one geographic area can go to a different geographic area to have prescriptions filled. For example, should a dispensary open in Plymouth, it would make geographic sense for residents of the northern parts of Belknap County to go there, should the Area 1 dispensary be located near the seacoast.

The only restriction is that a patient may only fill his or her prescriptions at one dispensary. Permission to change dispensaries must be granted by the Department of Health and Human Services and Holt said he would say a legitimate reason to change dispensaries would be if a patient relocated to a different part of the state.

The city of Laconia has passed a zoning ordinance that would allow a dispensary or a cultivation site in only three zoning areas — industrial, industrial park, and airport industrial.

A would be applicant would go through a conditional use permit procedure administered by the Planning Board.


Fund started to 'Angel Flight' ailing Chuck Newhall from Florida to N.H.

LACONIA — An effort is underway to bring home retired N.H. State Police Sgt. Cheever "Chuck" Newhall so he can be near his family as he battles Parkinson's Disease and complications from a recent knee replacement.

Newhall and his wife Sandy live in Florida and have a bed that is being held for him in the Epson Medical Center but they need $18,000 so he can fly to New Hampshire on an Angel Medical Flight because he cannot fly at regular airplane altitude.

"I just can't take care of him, even with nursing assistance," said his wife of 50 years Sandy Newhall.

For years Chuck and Sandy lived in Laconia.

A retired Marine, Chuck served in Vietnam, worked with the Laconia Police Department and then the N.H. State Police. After 30 years of police work, Sandy said he worked at Young's Auto Sales on South Main Street but when his health began to fail, they moved to Florida.

"He was doing very well until the knee replacement surgery," Sandy said.

Sandy said yesterday that Medicare pays for only 100 days of nursing home care which was exhausted after complications set in when he had the knee replacement surgery. She said he came home when his time in the nursing home ended but after a few hours collapsed and had to return to the hospital.

She said he was readmitted into a second nursing facility but was just told that "the system made a mistake" and he has to leave within a short time.

Sandy said Newhall's great friend retired N.H. State Police Capt. Dave McCarthy set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Angel Flight.

"I think he'll feel much better when he gets home," said Sandy who noted their son Mike Newhall is a lieutenant with the Belmont Police Department and both of his children, their grandchildren, are in New Hampshire.

So far about $13,000 has been raised from the GoFundMe page and Sandy said she is overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of their friends.

"Chuck is one of those guys who always tries to help people," she said. "It's heartwarming to see people helping us."
To help the Newhall family go to Bring Chuck Home.

Belmont police arrest man in factory bathroom for heroin possession

BELMONT — A Franklin man was ordered held on $2,000 cash after police and fire officials found him unconscious in a bathroom at a local manufacturing facility.

Joseph D. Lawrence, 33, of 188 Main St. is charged with one count of possession of controlled drugs — heroin. Judge Jim Carrol of the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said if he could get placement in a secure residential treatment program, his cash bail would be reduced to personal recognizance.

Affidavits obtained from the court said the officer responded with emergency crews and found Lawrence in the bathroom and was told by fire officials that Lawrence was seen with a syringe while he was regaining consciousness.

The officer said Lawrence agreed to a search of his person and police found a needle cap, a cap for a syringe plunger and a spoon. The officer began a search of the bathroom and a Belmont Fire lieutenant picked up a stack of paper towels and a syringe with liquid fell from them.

When the officer brought the needle from the bathroom, Lawrence allegedly told him that he has a drug problem and the needle contained heroin.