New Hampshire Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Proposal

The New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee has voted in favor of a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

House Bill 639 would legalize the possession of up to four ounces of marijuana for everyone 21 and older while establishing a licensed and regulated system of marijuana retail outlets, supplied by licensed producers. The measure was passed last month through its first reading by the House of Representatives 234 to 127. This sent it to the House Ways and Means Committee, which voted 16 to 4 today to pass the measure with some minor amendments.

House Bill 639 will now move towards a second reading in the House. Passage would sent it to the state’s Senate.

The proposal would rename the Liquor Commission to the Liquor and Cannabis Commission, and would put them in charge of overseeing regulations for the industry. Under the bill marijuana would be taxed at 15%, with most of the funding going to education and Health and Human Services programs.

A provision allowing marijuana to be grown for personal use was removed prior to the House voting on its first reading.

If House Bill 639 becomes law, New Hampshire would become the 22nd state to legalize recreational marijuana, all since 2012.

More information on House Bill 639 can be found by clicking here.

Earlier this month the New Hampshire House voted 210 to 160 to pass House Bill 360, which would legalize marijuana without restrictions by fully repeal the laws that criminalize it. The measure has thus far remained stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee, with some proponents of legalization believing House Bill 639 to be the more politically viable option.

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