New Hampshire House Of Representatives Approves Adult-Use Cannabis Initiative
CONCORD, NH — For the first time in US history, a legislative chamber has passed a vote in support of ending cannabis prohibition. The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved HB 192 with a 170-162 decision Wednesday.
“This measure will take marijuana cultivation and sales out of the uncontrolled underground market and place them in the hands of licensed, taxpaying businesses.” – Matt Simon
The measure, which is modeled after Colorado’s Amendment 64 and I-502 in Washington, will regulate cannabis in a similar manner to alcohol. Adults would be permitted to possess, consume, and cultivate limited amounts of cannabis without penalty.
Coming just two weeks after the inauguration of retail cannabis sales in Colorado, the measure would institute regulations for cannabis production and distribution throughout New Hampshire.
“This measure will take marijuana cultivation and sales out of the uncontrolled underground market and place them in the hands of licensed, taxpaying businesses,” Matt Simon, Legislative Analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, explains.
New Hampshire’s HB 192 Awaits Full House, Senate Approval
Now that HB 192 was passed through the New Hampshire House, the measure will be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. It will be their task to review the bill from a revenue perspective.
Proponents of the initiative suggest taxing retail cannabis sold in the state at a rate of $30 per ounce. Accordingly, Mr. Simon has suggests that legal cannabis could generate up to $30 million in tax revenue for the state.
Following a vote from the House Ways and Means Committee, HB 192 will return to the full house for a second vote. This will likely occur in February or March. If approved again, the measure will then be pushed forward to the New Hampshire Senate for consideration.
New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed New Hampshire’s medical marijuana law in May, making it the 19th state to legalize cannabis for approved conditions. However, Gov. Hassan has previously stated that she would veto a bill to legalize cannabis should it reach her desk.
“I just think it’s the wrong message to send to young people,” she said.