NH Senate Hears from Supporters, Critics of Marijuana Legalization

NH Senate Hears from Supporters, Critics of Marijuana Legalization
April 25, 2023

Supporters of recreational marijuana are hoping New Hampshire will follow neighboring states in legalizing cannabis.

At a State House hearing last week, lawmakers heard from many critics, from health educators to the Catholic Church. The Senate committee will now review the legislation and issue its recommendation to the full Senate.

The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill earlier this month. While the House has endorsed marijuana legalization in previous legislative sessions, this year’s bill saw Republicans and Democrats mobilize behind it.

Prevention specialists and educators, along with student speakers, asked the Senate committee to reject the bill. Bill supporters countered that New Hampshire residents are already purchasing recreational cannabis from Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont.

As amended by the House, the bill would allow anyone 21 and older to possess up to 4 ounces of cannabis in plant form, 20 grams of concentrated cannabis products, and products containing no more than 2,000 milligrams of THC.

It proposes a 12.5% tax rate, levied at the wholesale level. The intent is for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission to have responsibility for licensing and enforcement, with the state regulating cannabis in a similar fashion to alcohol sales.