New Hampshire House gives initial marijuana legalization OK
CONCORD, N.H. (WCAX) - Lawmakers in New Hampshire are once again trying to legalize the retail sale of cannabis.
A bipartisan bill to legalize recreational marijuana sales overwhelmingly passed in New Hampshire’s House on Wednesday on a vote of 234-127.
The bill would pave the way for retail stores.
Supporters hope New Hampshire will join 21 other states, including the rest of New England, that have already legalized the drug.
Several marijuana bills have cleared the House in recent years only to be voted down in the Senate, and Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has also been an opponent.
“Times have changed and New Hampshire has to catch up with the times. We are an island of prohibition right now seeing revenue leave to other states. And while I love my friends in Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine, I actually don’t want my friends in New Hampshire spending their money in other states. They should be able to spend it down the street if they want to,” said Tim Egan, a former state rep who chairs the New Hampshire Cannabis Association.
Even though the full House passed the bill, it still needs approval from the Ways and Means Committee because of the 15% tax it imposes on cultivators.
Most of the revenues from sales in New Hampshire would go toward reducing the state’s pension liability and the state’s education trust fund, with some set aside for substance abuse prevention programs and police training.
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