New Hampshire will be establishing a commission to study how feasible it would be to legalise cannabis under a state-run model.
The commission will be established following inclusion of the mandate on House Bill 611.
Governor Chris Sununu announced in May he supported the legalisation of cannabis under a state run model, highlighting that New Hampshire was the only state in New England where recreational cannabis use is not legal.
Speaking in May, Sununu stated: “Knowing that a majority of our residents support legalisation, it is reasonable to assume change is inevitable. To ignore this reality would be shortsighted and harmful.
“That is why, with the right policy and framework in place, I stand ready to sign a legalisation bill that puts the State of New Hampshire in the drivers seat, focusing on harm reduction — not profits.
“Similar to our Liquor sales, this path helps to keep substances away from kids by ensuring the State of New Hampshire retains control of marketing, sales, and distribution — eliminating any need for additional taxes.”
Sununu empahsised that a state run model would allow the state to control distribution and access; keep cannabis away from children and schools; control the marketing and messaging; prohibit “cannabis miles” – areas with high volumes of cannabis dispensaries; empower towns to keep out if they choose; reduce access to poly-drugs; keep cannabis tax free to “undercut the cartels who continue to drive New Hampshire’s illicit drug market”.
If adopted, New Hampshire would be the first state to implement such a model.
Speaking to Marijuana Moment, Matt Simon, director of public and government relations at Prime Alternative Treatment Centers of New Hampshire, commented: “I’m encouraged that they agreed that more study is necessary. The state-controlled model is a novel concept that has not been tried in any state, so we do need to vet it thoroughly before we consider enacting it. I look forward to participating in the process.”