Doug Kerr

New Hampshire House Will Consider Three Cannabis Legalization Proposals

A New Hampshire House of Representatives committee will hold a hearing Tuesday regarding three marijuana legalization proposals.

Beginning at 10 am on January 19, the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hear arguments on House Bills 1610, 1675 and 1694, The Daily Chronic reports.

House Bill 1610 is sponsored by Reps. Michael Sylvia (R-Belknap) and Robert Hull (R-Grafton). Under the bill, adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess 2 ounces of cannabis, grow no more than six plants (three of which may be mature at one time), and gift up to an ounce to another adult. Retail sales would not be legalized under the bill, making it similar to the law Washington D.C. has passed.

Rep. Michael Brewster (R-Merrimack) sponsored House Bill 1675, which would allow adults 18 and older possession of up to 2.2 pounds of cannabis and six plants. Retail sales would be legal and subject to a $30/ounce excise tax.

Finally, House Bill 1694 would legalize possession of up to an ounce, as well as six plants, for adults 21 and older. Retail sales would be legalized and subject to a 15% sales tax. The bill would also authorize the industrial cultivation of hemp in the state. HB 1694 is sponsored by Reps. Geoffrey Hirsch (D-Merrimack), Joseph Lachance (R-Hillsborough), John O’Connor (R-Rockingham) and Mario Ratzki (D-Merrimack).

A July 2015 poll found that some 60% of New Hampshire voters favor cannabis legalization. Possession of cannabis is a misdemeanor in New Hampshire that can bring with it a year in prison and a $2,000 fine. The Granite State is the last New England state where possession remains a crime.

Previous attempts to decriminalize marijuana in New Hampshire have been defeated in the Senate.

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