New Hampshire Lawmakers Give Up on Effort to Legalize Cannabis Sales Through State-Run System

New Hampshire lawmakers have dropped their efforts to legalize cannabis via a state-control model that was backed by Gov. Chris Sununu, who generally opposes legalization.

Full story after the jump.

New Hampshire lawmakers on Tuesday gave up on an effort to come to a deal on allowing adult-use cannabis sales under a state-control model that was backed by Gov. Chris Sununu (R), WMUR reports. Sununu had pitched the plan after the state Senate voted 14-10 earlier this month to reject a House-approved legalization bill.

The House Commerce Committee couldn’t agree on how to proceed with a plan to implement the state-control system for cannabis, with a major issue being how the state would treat the medical cannabis operators. 

Cannabis advocates in the state and medical cannabis companies said they wanted more clarity written into the legislation rather than through a bureaucratic rulemaking process. Timothy Egan, of the New Hampshire Cannabis Association, said stakeholders “want to know the rules” before they begin investing in businesses. 

“I don’t think you can create the hopes and dreams of a businessperson on ‘Oh, we’ll get to the rules later.'” — Egan via WMUR 

Earlier this month, after years of opposition to cannabis legalization in the state, Sununu said during an interview with WMUR’s CloseUp that allowing cannabis sales through state-run shops could help “harm reduction” efforts in the state. During the interview, Sununu described cannabis legalization in the state as “probably inevitable in some way or form.” He added that the system would prevent so-called “Marijuana Miles,” which he described as the strings of “pot shop, after pot shop, after pot shop” that have popped up in Massachusetts and Maine.   

Republican House Majority Leader Jason Osborne told WMUR that “Until people are ready to get together and compromise and not demand that their preferred state of the world is the only thing they will accept, we’re not going to get anywhere.” 

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