Top Republican and Democrat lawmakers in the New Hampshire House of Representatives are teaming up on a bill to legalize cannabis possession and sales, according to a New Hampshire Public Radio report.
The still unreleased bipartisan proposal is expected to contain legalization of the personal possession and sharing of up to four ounces of cannabis by adults aged 21 or older, and would open the door to regulated retail sales with a tax rate of 8.5%, the report said. The proposal would also allow for the home cultivation of up to six cannabis plants and confirms the ability of adults to possess “the cannabis produced by those plants at home.”
House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R) suggested the bill was faithful to the will of voters:
“The House has long stood united in finding a pathway to getting this done for Granite Staters. With any luck, the Senate will come around to supporting the will of the vast majority of New Hampshire citizens.” — House Majority Leader Jason Osborne
New Hampshire’s currently ongoing prohibition of cannabis makes the state an outlier in New England, where most neighboring states have formally adopted some form of cannabis legalization.
House Democratic Leader Matt Wilhelm said that legalizing and regulating cannabis would lead to safer products and would help to better protect consumers. “Legalization of adult possession of small amounts of cannabis is the right thing to do for New Hampshire and we must get it done in 2023,” Wilhelm said in the report.
But while supported by both parties in the House, the legalization proposal faces obstacles in the Senate — which already voted down a House-approved legalization proposal earlier this year — and in Gov. Chris Sununu (R), who said in March he doesn’t think it is the right time to legalize cannabis in the state due to the ongoing opioid crisis.
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