New Hampshire Home Passes Hashish Legalization Invoice


The New Hampshire Home of Representatives voted final week to approve a invoice to legalize leisure marijuana, marking the second time the chamber has handed the laws. Members of the Home voted 239-136 on Thursday to move the measure, Home Invoice 1633 (HB1633), which might legalize pot for adults and set the stage for tightly regulated hashish gross sales.

Payments with monetary components should be handed twice underneath New Hampshire state regulation. The primary time the marijuana legalization measure was up for a vote in February, the chamber superior the invoice by a vote of 239-14. The invoice was then despatched to the Home Monetary Committee so the panel might contemplate the monetary components of the proposal.

On April 2, the Monetary Committee voted 19-6 to advocate passage of a revised model of the laws. Democratic Consultant Chuck Grassie wrote a press release in help of the invoice.

“The legalization of hashish will transfer manufacturing and gross sales from the underground, generally harmful, illicit market to authorized companies, permitting for acceptable laws and management,” he mentioned on the time, the Harmony Monitor reported.

Earlier than the vote on Thursday, Republican state Consultant Erica Layon, the sponsor of the measure, known as on her colleagues within the Home to move the invoice. She argued that many individuals in New Hampshire have already got entry to marijuana, both by rising their very own, buying it in different states, or shopping for weed from the unregulated market. New Hampshire is an outlier in New England, being the one state within the area that has not but legalized hashish for adults.

“What this invoice would change is that you possibly can have regulated, examined merchandise which are freed from contaminants and usually are not combined with different medication,” Layon mentioned, according to a separate report from the Harmony Monitor.

Invoice Permits 15 Pot Outlets Statewide

If handed by the state Senate and signed into regulation by Republican Governor Chris Sununu, the invoice would legalize marijuana for adults aged 21 and older, who could be permitted to own as much as 4 ounces of weed. The measure additionally legalizes the industrial manufacturing and sale of hashish merchandise underneath a tightly regulated mannequin overseen by the New Hampshire Liquor Fee. The invoice solely permits for 15 retail hashish dispensaries to function statewide to serve a inhabitants of practically 1.4 million folks.

Opponents of the invoice argued that marijuana legalization would hurt younger folks, pose a security danger on the state’s roadways and wouldn’t cut back unregulated gross sales of weed. Supporters of the arguments countered that such outcomes haven’t been documented in states which have legalized leisure weed.

Republican Consultant Kenneth Weyler inspired his fellow representatives to vote “no” on the invoice, saying that different states which have legalized hashish have had public questions of safety after the reforms had been enacted.

“We now have the examples of many different states which have legalized this substance over the previous few years,” he mentioned. “Have any of them bragged about how a lot cash they made? Have any of them seen a discount in petty crime?”

Invoice Now Heads to State Senate

Following its passage within the Home final week, HB 1633 now heads to the New Hampshire Senate for consideration by a legislative committee and the complete physique. If the Senate passes the invoice, it is going to head to Sununu for consideration. 

After years of opposition to legalizing recreational weed, the governor mentioned final 12 months he would signal a invoice that does so in a tightly managed method. Nevertheless, the laws doesn’t fulfill the situations he set on the time, together with a proposal that might solely permit hashish gross sales at state-run dispensaries. If Sununu will get the invoice, he can have the choice of vetoing the laws or signing it into regulation.

Hashish coverage advocates hailed the Home’s passage of the leisure marijuana invoice by lawmakers within the Granite State. Jen Flanagan, director of regulatory coverage for hashish and psychedelics regulation agency Vicente LLP, mentioned she provides “the New Hampshire Home of Representatives loads of credit score for his or her laborious work in passing the adult-use hashish legalization laws.”

“As with each different state that has legalized hashish, New Hampshire should work out the main points that work for his or her state and I hope the Senate takes this chance to see that protected and authorized merchandise are finest for the general public well being and public security of communities,” Flanagan wrote in an e mail to Excessive Occasions.

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