New Hampshire Moves Closer to Legalizing Marijuana

New Hampshire State House

Just days after Jeff Sessions moved to rescind the Cole Memo, New Hampshire lawmakers approved a bill that would approve adult marijuana use.

Lawmakers in New Hampshire took up a marijuana bill even as the shadow of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to undermine state marijuana laws looms large. House members approved a bill to legalize marijuana in the state by a vote of 207-139. The bill will now go to the House and Ways Committee.

If the bill does eventually become law then residents 21 and over could possess three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana flower. Adults would also be permitted to grow up to three mature plants at home.

The bill would not set up a dispensary storefront system. Nearby Vermont also advanced a bill to legalize possession without setting up a framework for dispensary sales or tax collection.

A previous bill was proposed to allow dispensary sales and taxes on marijuana in New Hampshire. But many lawmakers felt such a system was premature especially since a commissioned study on how such an industry would impact the state has yet to report their findings. That bill failed by a vote of 183-162.

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Although momentum for legalization seems to be gaining in the legislature, final approval for the bill may not be certain. Governor Sununu has signaled that he is not ready to sign a legalization bill.

“Are you kidding?” Sununu said “We’re in the middle of one of the biggest drug crises the state has ever seen. To go to a full recreational marijuana when other states that are seeing all the problems it has in other states and seeing the issues it’s bearing, it’s definitely not something that I’m supportive of right now.”

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