New Hampshire Senate Approves Recreational Marijuana Bill

For the first time ever, the New Hampshire Senate has given approval to legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana.

House Bill 1633 passed the full Senate today through its second reading by a vote of 14 to 9. It will now go to the Senate Finance Committee and then to a third and final reading by the Senate, expected next week, before it can be sent back to the House of Representatives. The House passed the bill last month by a vote of 239 to 136. However, since it was amended in the Senate, the House will need to concur with the changes before the measure can be sent to Governor Chris Sununu.

If the House disagrees with the Senate’s changes, a conference committee consisting of members from both chambers will be established with the hopes of reaching a consensus.

The legislation would allow those 21 and older to possess and use marijuana, marijuana concentrates, and marijuana-infused products for recreational use. It would establish a system of licensed and regulated marijuana retail outlets, with marijuana taxed at 10%. The legislation would place a cap on marijuana retail outlets, allowing no more than 15 throughout the state.

The Senate rejected numerous amendments, including voting 16 to 7 to oppose placing a 15% THC cap on marijuana sold through licensed marijuana stores.

Governor Sununu has stated in recent weeks that he will sign a marijuana legalization bill into law if sales are restricted to state-operated stores, as outlined in the Senate-approved version of the measure. However, the House version features an entirely different regulatory system.

The Senate’s approval of House Bill 1633 coincided with the Department of Justice (DOJ) officially publishing a notice detailing its proposal to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III substance.

Recently, we put New Hampshire on a list of The 5 States That Could Still Legalize Marijuana in 2024. For the full list, click here.

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