A New Hampshire fee shaped to create a hashish legalization plan for the state held its ultimate assembly this week however failed to supply any suggestions after months of deliberation.
The 19-member fee convened this summer season to think about a plan to legalize hashish for adults underneath a program that might see retail gross sales of weed dealt with by state-run hashish retailers, just like New Hampshire’s mannequin for alcohol gross sales. However after months of discussions a few draft legislative proposal from Republican Senator Daryl Abbas, the fee ended its work on Monday with out adopting the plan or issuing any suggestions.
Some members of the panel positioned blame for the fee’s failure to achieve a consensus on a proposal on Republican Governor John Sununu, who has opposed the legalization of leisure marijuana for years. Earlier this 12 months, nonetheless, Sununu mentioned he would think about a legalization plan that put the management of hashish dispensaries within the arms of the state liquor fee, which might oversee retailers run by franchisees chosen by the state. The governor additionally threatened to reject any legislative plan that didn’t meet his specs.
“The governor is open to discussing a franchisee-based system, however the success of such a mannequin is within the particulars,” the governor’s office said in a written assertion to native tv information. “The governor has been clear that any system meets his outlined framework – or be met with a veto.”
Earlier than the fee ended its work on Monday, Sununu added new situations that he mentioned must be met to ensure that him to approve a pot legalization plan. Along with his beforehand said necessities, the governor wished a statewide restrict of 15 hashish retail retailers and a ban on lobbying by and political contributions from the licensed hashish trade.
Democratic Senator Becky Whitley, a member of the fee, criticized the governor for his calls for, which got here on the day of the panel’s ultimate assembly.
“On the final assembly, the final half-hour, now, all the sudden, we’re contemplating issues that flew in from the governor’s workplace last-minute?” mentioned Whitley. “This isn’t how we legislate.”
Governor Faces Resistance On New Situations
Whereas discussing the governor’s new situations, the fee heard testimony from Paul Morisette, a New Hampshire resident who’s a companion in Maine-based East Coast Hashish, who mentioned that the requested cap on hashish retailers just isn’t sufficient retailers for the state.
“You aren’t going to gather the tax you might be projecting in fifteen shops,” Morrisette told the commission in testimony cited by New Hampshire Public Radio. “You’re organising the liquor fee to fail.”
However a consultant from the governor’s workplace mentioned that Sununu is ready on the 15-store restrict.
“I can let you know from the viewpoint of the governor’s workplace, we’re adamant about that quantity,” mentioned David Mara, Sununu’s advisor on dependancy and behavioral well being.
The fee additionally heard from Frank Knaack of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, who advised the panel’s members that the governor’s requested ban on hashish trade lobbying and political contributions is probably going unlawful.
“It’s positively one thing of concern, one thing we haven’t seen earlier than in different points of New Hampshire regulation,” mentioned Knaack.
After the committee wrapped up its proceedings on Monday, Whitley cited Sununu’s late calls for as the reason for the fee’s incapacity to seek out consensus after months of conferences.
“Disenchanted however not stunned,” Whitley wrote on X, previously Twitter. “@GovChrisSununu but once more interferes with legalization in NH. Organising a accountable, regulated adult-use marketplace for hashish will recapture $$$ presently going to our neighboring states AND it’s what Granite Staters need.”
The failure of the fee to develop a hashish legalization plan for New Hampshire, the one state in New England that has not ended the prohibition on weed, leaves the prospect for reform within the close to future unclear. However even earlier than Monday’s assembly, Republican Senator Tim Lang famous that any proposals adopted by the fee could be topic to additional dialogue within the legislature.
“This isn’t the top,” mentioned Lang. “We’re simply attending to the start.”