Tag Archives: new hampshire cannabis

Is New Hampshire the Next State to Legalize Cannabis?

The first public hearing on New Hampshire House Bill 481, which would legalize the adult use of cannabis in the state, is scheduled for February 5, 2019. The bill outlines how New Hampshire would regulate cannabis products, including recreational “adult use” products, the licensing and regulation of sales establishments, and the taxation scheme.

Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont all have legalized the “adult use” of cannabis, leaving New Hampshire as the only state in northern New England that has yet to do so. New Hampshire’s economy is very integrated into the New England and Metro Boston economies and serves as a valuable new market for the cannabis industry.

The February 5 public hearing will begin at 1:00 p.m. at Representatives Hall in the State House before the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. The committee will amend the bill the following day, vote on the bill on Thursday, February 7, and send the bill to the floor of the New Hampshire House for its consideration in February.

Although Governor Christopher T. Sununu has said he will veto the bill, the bill is receiving bipartisan support and is expected to easily pass the House and Senate in the coming weeks, setting the stage for a potential veto override. It is also anticipated that the legislative effort will take a couple of months. Duane Morris will continue to follow these developments.

Read the full Duane Morris Alert.

David Feldman

New Hampshire Latest to Decriminalize Cannabis

Last month New Hampshire became the 22nd US state to eliminate jail sentences for marijuana possession. The states that have decriminalized now are: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont, in addition to the 8 states (plus DC) that have legalized adult use of cannabis (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington).

Decriminalizing is important as it begins to dismantle the war on drugs to the extent it applies to marijuana. New Hampshire previously imposed both a fine and up to a one year prison sentence for possession of even small amounts. Now it’s a $100 “traffic ticket” for possession of up to 3/4 of an ounce of cannabis flowers or five grams of hashish. Marijuana convictions have burdened casual users, preventing them from obtaining student loans or even employment.

Of course marijuana possession remains a federal crime which can subject you to serious jail time. Here’s an idea: instead of pushing a big rock uphill in the Congress to fully legalize marijuana on a federal level, maybe we should start with a federal decriminalization bill. Might that have a better chance of passage than the multiple bills currently pending to legalize? Maybe.