New Hampshire


New Hampshire's Medical Marijuana program growing steadily

New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program has more than doubled in size since 2016. About 4,700 patients were enrolled in the program by the end of 2017.

Michael Holt is the Therapeutic Cannabis Program Administrator for the Department of Health and Human Services. He joins us now to talk about how the state’s medical marijuana program has grown.

I know that all of the data you have, of course, of patients there's confidentiality to think about here. But what do we know, or what can we call publicly from that data?


New Hampshire and Vermont move to legalize Marijuana, defying Jeff Sessions' new guidance

The Trump administration (via Attorney General Jeff Sessions) kicked off 2018 by rescinding guidance that essentially let states do what they want with their marijuana policy. At the time, it seemed like an idea cutting against political momentum. Now, it seems, if anything, that the approach has backfired, as states that had previously tabled the issue of marijuana are dusting off old bills and giving them new life.


New Hampshire House votes to legalize Marijuana possession and cultivation

The New Hampshire House of Representatives embraced adult-use marijuana legalization Tuesday and passed HB 656 with a 207-139 vote. The bill will now go to the House and Ways Committee.

The same thing happened in 2014, when the House overturned its committee recommendation and voted to legalize marijuana.

The vote came just days after the Vermont House voted, 83-61, to approve a similar bill, legalizing possession by adults of up to an ounce of marijuana and allowing individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants at home.

Advocates, like Rep. Frank Sapareto of Derry, said the "war on pot" should be over.


New Hampshire: Commission explores tax issues related to recreational marijuana legalization

How do you tax a substance that's illegal?

That's the question facing a special commission studying the legalization of marijuana in New Hampshire.

The Granite State prides itself on being a low-tax state, but if the legislature eventually legalizes marijuana, will the New Hampshire advantage apply to cannabis?

Part of the allure of legalization is the millions of dollars that would flow into state coffers.

On a special commission tasked with studying the issue, some conservatives said that if cannabis goes commercial, it shouldn't be viewed as a cash cow for government.

"If we tax it at all, it would be just to pay for anything that would have to do with managing the program,” said Dr. Joe Bannon, a former Republican state representative.


New Hampshire: Marijuana study chair will seek data on young people's pot use

A commission studying marijuana legalization will be seeking data on youth pot use to establish a New Hampshire baseline.

The move comes after the panel heard testimony Monday from Andrew Freedman, the former director of marijuana coordination for Colorado, which has legalized marijuana.

"The problem is that baseline data doesn't exist in a lot of the metrics that we're looking at. He gave us some good ideas," Rep. Patrick Abrami, chairman of the commission, said after the hour-long presentation.

"I’m going to be contacting the (N.H.) Department of Education about some issues so that we can start tracking some data right now that they wished they had in Colorado about suspension related to marijuana. Things like that.”


Marijuana legalization: New Hampshire banks weigh 'Reputation Risk'

When it comes to marijuana legalization, the conflict between state and federal laws appears to be cause for concern for New Hampshire banks.

Todd Wells, Chief Bank Examiner for the New Hampshire Banking Department, says it's a matter of "reputation risk" for state-chartered banks and credit unions hesitant to establish direct relationships with marijuana-related businesses.

“The other aspect of the reputation risk would be when and if a federal government law enforcement agency or regulator decided to take action, legal or otherwise, against that institution for that sort of activity, and that could certainly introduce some reputation risk," he says.


In these states, past marijuana crimes can go away

Some states have made it possible for people to hide past convictions for possession, cultivation and manufacture of marijuana.

When Californians voted to legalize marijuana last year, they also voted to let people petition courts to reduce or hide convictions for past marijuana crimes. State residents can now petition courts to change some felonies to misdemeanors, change some misdemeanors to infractions, and wipe away convictions for possessing or growing small amounts of the drug.

“We call it reparative justice: repairing the harms caused by the war on drugs,” says Eunisses Hernandez of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group that helped write the California ballot initiative.


New Hampshire: Committee rejects marijuana legalization bill

A bill that would legalize marijuana in New Hampshire has been rejected by a House committee.

The Concord Monitor reports the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday voted not to recommend the bill to the House. Under the measure, people 21 and older would have been able to buy recreational pot from licensed businesses that were taxed by the state.

Opponents of the bill argued legalization in the state would conflict with federal law. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration classifies marijuana as an illegal Schedule 1 controlled substance.


New Hampshire committee takes first steps towards marijuana legalization

A bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state of New Hampshire has cleared the first bar towards becoming a reality, writes Joseph Misulonas.


N.H.'s marijuana decriminalization law now in effect, but do people know pot's still illegal?

A new state law loosening the penalties on marijuana possession officially took effect this weekend. Police departments around the state are worried some residents may not fully understand what the change means.

Under the new law, people found with three-fourths of an ounce of marijuana will now face a $100 fine rather than jail time. But if they refuse to identity themselves, they can still be arrested.

The head of the state’s Association of Police Chiefs, Andrew Shagoury, wants to make sure people understand that marijuana is still illegal in New Hampshire.


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