New Hampshire Gov. Says He Would Sign Cannabis Legalization Bill With State-Controlled Sales

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), who opposes general cannabis legalization, said he would sign a legalization proposal into law if the bill included government control of sales, like how the state handles liquor sales.

Full story after the jump.

During an appearance on WMUR’s CloseUp, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said he would support cannabis legalization in the state under state control – similar to how the state sells liquor.  

The governor’s comments came the day after the state Senate rejected a cannabis legalization measure that had been approved by the House. 

During the interview, Sununu, who has long opposed the reforms, said he is coming around on cannabis legalization because it could help “harm reduction” and noted that other states have focused on tax revenues associated with the market.   

Sununu pointed out that polls in the state show a majority of New Hampshire residents back the reforms.  

“Whether we like it or not, this is probably inevitable in some way or form. So, let’s make sure we design a system that focuses on harm reduction as opposed to profits and when you have the system like our liquor stores – which is very unique in the country, one of the only states that has that – so, therefore, we have this amazing tool to control location, to control where it is, to control how it’s marketed, how it’s distributed, keeping it away from kids, making sure we don’t add a tax to it so we can, effectively, undercut these cartels that are bringing poly drugs in, right?” — Sununu on CloseUp     

During the interview, Sununu takes aim at so-called “Marijuana Miles” in Massachusetts and Maine, which he describes as a string of “pot shop, after pot shop, after pot shop” which he says “completely changes the fabric of the town.”  

“But with a single store in a town, or a town could say ‘We don’t want it here,’ fine, we won’t put it there. Right? Just like our liquor stores do now,” Sununu said. “Again, being able to control that aspect of it I think maintains what we are in New Hampshire, maintains a place where people want to be, and it doesn’t, kind of, overcome the town so-to-say.”  

Sununu indicated that were a bill that includes the state-control model to hit his desk, he would sign it into law.

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