While most of the country was celebrating 420 last Wednesday, New Hampshire politicians were doing the opposite. WMUR reported that the state’s Senate Ways & Means Committee voted unanimously against a House bill that would make New Hampshire a “cannabis control” state, legalizing marijuana but allowing it to be sold only at state-owned storefronts, much like the current system for liquor.
“Why would we want to join the herd of introducing to our culture legalization of a substance that is unquestionably a gateway drug?” said Sen. Bob Giuda, R-Warren.
WMUR said that the bill will still get a vote on the Senate floor in the weeks ahead, but given the bipartisan rejection it received on Wednesday, it does not appear it will have anywhere near the votes to pass.
Just two weeks ago, Marijuana Moment reported that a New Hampshire Senate committee approved a House-passed bill to legalize marijuana possession and cultivation for adults 21 and older. They wrote, “While the House has advanced a number of reform proposals over the past several sessions—including a separate bill this year to create a regulated, state-run marijuana market—the Senate has long posed a serious obstacle on the issue.”
“HB 629 presents the best opportunity in New Hampshire’s history to legalize cannabis for adults,” Matt Simon, director of public and government relations for Prime Alternative Treatment Centers of NH, told Marijuana Moment. “It would also make a huge difference in the lives of patients who feel strongly about being able to grow their own cannabis,” he said. “There has never been a better time for senators and Gov. Sununu to embrace this modest, sensible reform.”
While New Hampshire residents may not be able to buy adult-use cannabis in their own state, they only have to cross the state line in order to do so. Massachusetts has been building a robust adult-use industry over the past two years and Main began selling adult-use cannabis in October of 2020. The neighboring state of Vermont has also legalized adult-use sales with the first licenses to be issued in October of this year.