N.H. 2023 Cannabis Legalization One-Page Bill Summary
New Hampshire’s Republican and Democratic House leaders — Reps. Jason Osborne (R) and Matt Wilhelm (D) — are sponsoring a bill (HB 639) to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. The original language was crafted by a broad coalition of civil rights and policy organizations, industry representatives, and cannabis policy advocates.
HB 639 was amended in the House Commerce and House Ways & Means committees. On April 6, 2023, the House of Representatics passed HB 639 in a 272-109 (71%) vote, sending it to the Senate. Here are key provisions of HB 639, as amended in the House committees:
Adult-Use Possession: Freedoms and Limitations
Adults who are 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to four ounces.
Pending charges for up to four ounces would be dismissed.
Home cultivation would be prohibited. (The original bill allowed six plants.)
Smoking and vaping cannabis in public places where tobacco smoke is banned would be punishable by a civil fine of up to $50.
Cannabis could not be smoked or vaped in a moving vehicle.
State Regulation and Licensing of Cannabis Businesses, Fostering Small Businesses
The Liquor Commission — renamed the Liquor and Cannabis Commission — would regulate and license retailers, cultivators, product manufacturers, and labs.
The commission would develop rules governing security, health and safety, labeling, and advertising. Consumers would receive handouts on the risks of cannabis.
Allows ATCs to apply to also serve adult-use consumers if they meet requirements including prioritizing patient access. ATCs must pay a to-be-determined fee.
Localities could enact regulations and licensing requirements, limit the number of cannabis businesses, or ban them altogether. They could not ban delivery.
There is no statewide cap on licenses.
Limited Non-Discrimination Protections
A person could not be denied organ transplants, child custody, government benefits, professional or occupational licenses, or state or local jobs based on state-legal, responsible cannabis use. Private employers would not have to change their policies.
Taxation, Fees, and Distributing the Revenue
Applies 12.5% tax on final products sold to retailers. Regulators would determine the value of products transferred between affiliated businesses.
After administrative costs, revenue would be distributed to the education trust fund, to provide property tax relief (50%); unfunded pension liabilities (30%); a new Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery Fund (10%); children’s behavioral health services (5%); and training first responders to address detect impaired driving and respond to drug overdoses (5%).