The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed two cannabis legalization bills this year, and these bills will soon be considered by the state Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on one of these bills, HB 629, this Thursday (April 7) beginning at 9 a.m. Members of the public are welcome to attend and speak at the hearing, which will take place in Room 100 of the State House in Concord.
HB 629 would simply legalize possession and limited home cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older, putting New Hampshire’s possession laws more nearly into line with neighboring states. The bill would not establish a regulated market for adult-use cannabis. Prime ATC strongly supports this bill, which overwhelmingly passed the House in a 241-113 vote. You can read a summary of the bill here.
Another bill, HB 1598, would create a state monopoly for retail adult-use cannabis administered by the liquor commission. This bill passed the House last week by a much narrower margin of 169-155, and it has not yet been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate. Prime ATC does not support this bill, in part because we believe it presents a serious threat to the Therapeutic Cannabis Program. You can read more about HB 1598 in this article.
How You Can Support HB 629
Some legislators still do not understand why the home cultivation issue is so important to patients and consumers. If you would like to support the bill that legalizes cannabis possession and limited home cultivation for adults 21 and older, here are a few ways you can help:
(1) Indicate support at the public hearing, either in person or by signing in remotely in advance.
If you’re able to visit the State House in person, the hearing will take place in Room 100. There will be a sign-in sheet where you can indicate your support for the bill and (optionally) sign up to testify.
If you’re signing in remotely, here are the steps:
- Visit this page and select Thursday, April 7 on the calendar.
- For “Select the Committee,” choose “Senate Judiciary” from the drop-down box.
- Under “Choose the Bill,” select “9:00 am – HB 629.”
- For “I am,” select “a member of the public” representing “myself.”
- Click the bubble to indicate your position on the bill and submit the form.
- Enter your name, email, and town on the next page and click “continue” to complete the process.
(2) Email and/or call your own state Senator.
You can find your state senator’s contact information here by selecting your town from the drop-down box. If you feel strongly about HB 629, reach out and tell them why!
(3) Write the Senate Judiciary Committee.
If you would like to share your comments with the five members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, visit their web page and click “Email Entire committee.”
Sample Letter to Senators
Here is a sample letter that you may use as a model in crafting your own email to your senator and the members of the Judiciary Committee. If you have any relevant personal experiences to share, please include them in the letter.
Dear Senator __________:
My name is __________ and I live in __________. I’m writing to ask that you vote in favor of HB 629, which would legalize possession and home cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older. Growing and possessing cannabis is legal in all three neighboring states, and it should be legal here as well.
Home cultivation is especially important for patients who rely on therapeutic cannabis. Taking care of your own medical needs shouldn’t be a crime.
Thank you for your time.