Great news: yesterday, a N.H. House Committee voted to approve the therapeutic cannabis home cultivation bill in a nearly unanimous vote! The House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs voted 19-1 to advance HB 431. Next, we expect it will pass the House with little or no opposition.
We will be sure to let you know when a public hearing is scheduled for this bill in the state Senate. This will likely be sometime in April.
Legalization Hearing Scheduled
In other news, a second House committee has scheduled a hearing on the adult-use legalization bill that passed the House in February. On Monday morning (3/13) at 9am, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a public hearing on HB 639. Unlike the previous committee, this committee will focus primarily on the bill’s fiscal impacts: the tax structure, fees, and spending.
As amended by the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, HB 639 would authorize the N.H. Liquor Commission to regulate adult-use cannabis. Unlike last year’s HB 1598, this bill envisions sales being conducted by private retailers, not state-run stores. A 15% tax would be levied on cultivators. You can read a summary of the amended bill here.
Prime ATC strongly preferred the original bill, which included home cultivation and automatic annulment of criminal records for past cannabis offenses. As introduced, HB 639 would have created a stand-alone Cannabis Commission, with oversight from an independent Advisory Board.
Although we preferred the original version, the amended bill still includes important provisions to ensure patients aren’t left behind. We believe HB 639, as amended, gives ATCs a reasonable path forward and does not seriously threaten the viability of the Therapeutic Cannabis Program.
After the committee completes its work, the bill will likely pass the House and proceed to the Senate, where its fate remains unclear. We will continue working to educate legislators and seek improvements as the process continues.
Tell Legislators What You Think
If you’d like to share your opinions on HB 639 with the Ways and Means Committee using the House’s remote testimony form, follow these simple steps:
- Enter your name and address
- Select the hearing date (3/13)
- Select “Ways and Means” as the committee and select HB 639 as the bill number, then indicate whether you support or oppose the bill
- (Optional) Type your comments into the box or upload your written testimony
- Submit the form
Thank you for your interest in improving N.H. cannabis policies! We will continue to share important updates as these bills move forward.