Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Passed by New Hampshire House of Representatives 239 to 141

New Hampshire’s House of Representatives has approved a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, with 62% voting in favor.

House Bill 1633 was passed through the House today by a vote of 239 to 141, sending it to the state’s Senate. The measure would allow those 21 and older to possess up to four ounces of marijuana, 10 grams of marijuana concentrates and edibles with up to 2,000 mg of THC.

The measure would establish a system of licensed, regulated and state-operate marijuana stores. The law would retain criminal penalties for those caught smoking marijuana in public three or more times, with the first two times being a civil infraction.

The measure also:

  • Places primary enforcement authority with the Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
  • Establishes a cannabis board to study cannabis and make recommendations to the Commission on implementation and changes to the new laws and regulations.  
  • Requires the Commission to adopt a broad and comprehensive range of rules relative to the regulation of cannabis cultivation facilities and dual use permits within one year.
  • Requires the Commission, within 15 months of the effective date, to develop an informational handout in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services for statewide distribution.
  • Provides that the Commission shall develop or contract for an inventory tracking system for the growth and tracking of cannabis products.
  • Includes a reporting requirement for the Commission to make written recommendation to the legislature within 36 months of passage of the bill regarding the regulation of hemp.
  • Provides that the Commission shall develop rules, no later than 12 months after the bill’s passage, for Alternative Treatment Centers to apply for dual use certification. This process would involve consulting with the local municipalities where the store operations are planned.

If the measure passes the Senate it will be sent to Governor Chris Sununu. Sununu has been a longtime opponent of legalizing marijuana, but recently announced that he would be open to legalization if marijuana stores were state-operated.

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