The New Hampshire Senate Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday voted 5-0 against a bill that would legalize cannabis for adult use and put the state liquor commission in charge of regulation and sales, the New Hampshire Bulletin reports. The measure was approved by the state House of Representatives earlier this month.
The committee deemed the legislation “inexpedient to legislate” and the recommendation will appear before the full Senate for a vote in the coming weeks.
The bill was opposed by cannabis legalization advocates on the panel over monopoly concerns and potential issues with cultivation.
State Sen. Erin Hennessey (R) also expressed concerns over the state competing with current medical cannabis operators, how the generated revenues would be used, and that the measure does not include the legalization of edibles.
“I would love to be able to fix this bill, but there’s just too many questions that we’ve received that do not make it fixable for those who would like to see marijuana legalized in the state.” – Hennessey via the Bulletin
State Sen. Cindy Rosenwald (D) pointed out that the measure lacks any social equity provisions or criminal justice reforms.
“I’m overall concerned about the Liquor Commission’s ability to take on another responsibility,” she said.
Devon Chaffee, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, supported the legislation but admitted it is not “the perfect bill.”
“But what I will tell you is that we are done waiting for the perfect bill on this issue,” he said.
The House this year also passed a bill to legalize personal possession of cannabis and allow cultivation, but the measure has not been taken up by the Senate.
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