What Is The Next Cannabis Legalization Bill For New Hampshire?

Justin Campagnone Avatar
new hampshire cannabis legalization bill

Cannabis has had a long and hard road in the granite state. While it is now starting to push forward in more productive ways, it has taken far too long for the implementation of common-sense polices. So long – that with the amount it has taken to pass decriminalization, the surrounding states – Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine have all passed recreation cannabis laws.

A new cannabis bill will be introduced at the house level which has the best chance that New Hampshire has seen so far in passing.

NH Cannabis Association Coalition Bill

There have been countless bills proposed in the past. While none of these have seen reform, they have laid the groundwork for what we have today.

The double-edged sword that we currently have means that while other states are legalizing and developing industries of their own, New Hampshire can see which ways will work best for itself. So while citizens continue to be penalized for minor possession of up to 3/4 of an ounce, the state is looking at the best way to capitalize on the industry.

In the same way that New Hampshire controls liquor, it has time and time again tried to hedge the game in favor of doing the same for cannabis. This has been a hard fought battle to help keep it in the hands of the people in order to form an independent industry.


Cannabis Coalition Bill Highlights

While we have seen how other states have gone about approaching legalization in a way that works best for them, we have also seen where these plans have not.

Legal Purchase And Possession Of Adults 21+

This would include possession of up to 4 ounces of bud and 10 grams of concentrate.

This is, of course, the biggest part of the reform bill. New Hampshire currently has cannabis decriminalized for up to 3/4 of an ounce. When decriminalization was passed, there was speculation that the state still wanted to gain financial benefits off of arrest those with up to 1 ounce. Seeing as how most people purchase in ounces, they knew they could still get away with booking them. This would allow people to have cannabis on them without facing threateningly harsh fines and penalties. New Hampshire is officially the last state in New England that has yet to legalize cannabis at the recreational level.

This also comes in handy during tourist seasons. While the surrounding states will see an increase in travel, so too will tourists see the spread-cheeked approach to cannabis possession from our enforcement agencies. While every other surrounding state has legalized cannabis, people can still find their way across the New Hampshire border from some random backroad. This is where a lot of police officers know where to hide. The Cannabis Coalition Bill will remove the stigma of New Hampshire as an “Island of Prohibition”. A simple vape pen can still land you fines.

The bill also includes at home cultivation. This would allow a user to successfully grow up to 6 plants in their home. 3 in the germination/veg stage and 3 in the maturing flowering stage. For home grow patients and others who would like to benefits cannabis how they wants it grown the way that they like, it can hep to promote new educational prospects looking to get a start in the industry.

Tied Into 8.5% Rooms & Meals Tax

Overarching taxes have not helped in the legalized cannabis spectrum while legal growers have to compete with a freefalling black market that sees the prices dropping with no end in sight.

While New Hampshire boasts itself as one of the most tax-free states in the country, its surrounding neighbors have some of the higher taxes. New Hampshire would be a perfect middle ground for a new and emerging industry. By keeping taxes low, the urge to compete without legal consumers moving into black market would be the overall price. While the taxes are extremely high in MA, New Hampshire cannabis will be much cheaper and more accessible for border folk.

While we can look at the legal industry model and think it will work, it does not factor in the amount of black market cannabis that it needs to compete with. By keeping taxes low on sales of cannabis in New Hampshire it allows growers to compete.

By implementing it into the Room & Meals tax it also protects it from further legislation once it passes. It can ensure that cannabis will maintain the same tax rate as our other taxable products and services. We have seen the fumble that Massachusetts had when it first legalized – crippling tax rates almost destroyed the industry overnight. New Hampshire wants to do things the smart way.

Tax Benefits For All NH Citizens

While we understand the circumstances of the granite state owning liquor – we are prepared to not make the same mistake. The coalition bill for legalized New Hampshire cannabis will contain the following:

  • 70% of revenue to pay for property tax relief, education and pension funds.
  • 10% to substance abuse prevention.
  • 10% for distressed farmers, veterans & impacted communities.
  • 5% of local sales to municipalities with 1+ licensed cannabis retailer.
  • 5% for public safety agencies for hiring and training.

Low Barriers For Entry: Access To All

Yes cannabis was legalized in a number of states, but the financial barrier to obtain a license has made it so that there is no such thing as a small cannabis business. You either need to spend upwards of 100,000 dollars just for the licensing. It means that you already needed a greased-hand before even attempting.

The benefits of having a low barrier means that many can apply, and if the rules and regulations are met within the standard of quality control and safety, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to try your hand at opening a new and emerging business.

This also help local New Hampshire citizens grow cannabis within the state and help them to grow. Other states have had plenty of time to develop their own independent industries and they will all look to New Hampshire as a lower tax incentive to sell their product. If these measures weren’t put into place for the local guy, then the state will just get swamped with high end – big chain cannabis.

  • Non-refundable state application fee & municipality fee no higher than $100 and $500 dollars respectively.
  • $75 dollar fee for the smallest cultivation tier.
  • All other registration an annual renewal fees no higher than $10,000

Annulment and Resentencing

  • Automatically wipes out criminal records for past criminal offenses.
  • Allow resentencing (including outstanding fines, fees & probation terms)
  • Establish a process for anyone that wasn’t included in the automatic annulment (due to NH Data & Technology issues) to submit an appeal.

It is time to stop penalizing New Hampshire citizens while every surrounding states (and Canada) can have access to legal quality cannabis. As we have mentioned before, the state still puts plenty of resources in minor cannabis possession. Even going so far as to restrict the legal possession weight to 3/4 of an ounce.

All previous cannabis related charges will be dropped and people will no longer feel the harsh penalties of the New Hampshire judicial system over cannabis.

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