House Subcommittee Meeting to Consider Details of Bill to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
Full House approved legislation to end marijuana prohibition and establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older in January
CONCORD — On Monday, a five-member subcommittee formed by the House Ways and Means Committee will convene to examine the revenue and regulatory aspects of a bill that would make marijuana legal and regulate it like alcohol in the Granite State. HB 492 would make personal possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults age 21 and older. It would also direct the state to license and regulate marijuana retail, cultivation, production, and testing facilities. The subcommittee is expected to consider changes to the bill’s proposed system for taxing and regulating marijuana. The members of the subcommittee are Rep. Frank Sapareto (R-Derry), Rep. Patricia Lovejoy (D-Stratham), Rep. Russell Ober (R-Hudson), Rep. Jordan Ulery (R-Hudson), and Rep. John Kelley (D-Nashua).
The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved the bill in a 170-162 vote on January 15. It was the first time in history that a legislative chamber in the U.S. has passed legislation to end marijuana prohibition and establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older. After the subcommittee has concluded its work, the House Ways and Means Committee will vote, and the bill will return to the full House of Representatives for a second vote in February or March. If approved a second time by the House, it will then be considered by the state Senate.
“The Ways and Means Committee should be applauded for its diligent work on this much needed legislation," said Matt Simon, the Goffstown-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which lobbied in support of the bill. "Voters are clearly ready to scrap New Hampshire’s failed prohibition of marijuana, and this subcommittee now has a great opportunity to make the bill as strong as possible before it moves forward.”
Sixty percent of New Hampshire adults support HB 492, according to a WMUR Granite State Poll released in October by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Just 36% said they are opposed. The entire poll is available at http://cola.unh.edu/sites/cola.unh.edu/files/research_publications/gsp2013_fall_gastaxpot102513.pdf.
WHAT: House Ways and Means subcommittee on marijuana legalization bill HB 492 work session
WHEN: Monday, February 10 at 1:00 p.m. ET
WHERE: Legislative Office Building, Room 202, 33 N. State St., Concord
WHO: Rep. John Kelley (D-Nashua)
Rep. Patricia Lovejoy (D-Stratham)
Rep. Russell Ober (R-Hudson)
Rep. Frank Sapareto (R-Derry)
Rep. Jordan Ulery (R-Hudson)
Matt Simon, New England Political Director, Marijuana Policy Project