New Hampshire’s Full Senate to Vote on House-Backed Marijuana Legalization Bill

The New Hampshire Senate is scheduled to vote tomorrow, May 16, on legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana.

House Bill 1633 was given approval last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee, marking the first time a Senate committee in New Hampshire has ever given approval to a marijuana legalization bill. The measure has already been passed by the full House of Representatives by a vote of 239 to 136.

Now, the full Senate has placed the proposal on its agenda, with a vote expected tomorrow.

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

Governor Sununu has been a staunch opponent of legalizing marijuana in past years, but he has recently stated that he would sign a marijuana legalization bill into law if sales are restricted to state-operated stores. In November, he remarked that marijuana legalization in New Hampshire is “inevitable”.

The Senate is also scheduled to consider House Bill 1539, a Marijuana Policy Project-backed bill which would annul cannabis convictions and create a process for re-sentencing cannabis offenders if doing so is in the interests of justice, and a trio of medical marijuana-related bills, including:

  • House Bill 82, to codify employment protections for therapeutic cannabis patients.
  • HB 1278, to allow prescribers to certify adult patients for therapeutic cannabis for any debilitating medical condition.
  • HB 1231, to allow qualifying patients and designated caregivers to cultivate therapeutic cannabis.

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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