The latest plan to legalize possession and retail sales of marijuana in New Hampshire has broad bipartisan support, plus the backing of advocacy groups across the political spectrum. But the bill’s lead sponsor is cautioning that it’s still very much a work in progress.
“I fully expect that the final product will look completely different from what you are seeing now,” House Majority Leader Jason Osborne said at a State House press conference ahead of the bill’s first major hearing in the House Commerce Committee Wednesday.
As it stands, Osborne’s proposal would permit anyone over 21 to possess or give away up to 4 ounces of marijuana. It would also annul records of past marijuana possession offenses and allow state-approved retailers to sell cannabis. Retail sales would be taxed at 8.5%.
As drafted, the plan would also allow adults over age 21 to “securely cultivate up to six plants (three of which may be mature), and possess the cannabis produced by those plants at home.”
Money generated by the marijuana sales would be earmarked for state pensions and substance abuse prevention. It would also flow to towns that permit retail sales and to law enforcement.
House Democratic Leader Matt Wilhelm, a co-sponsor of the bill, predicted legalization will generate business development in New Hampshire, which is now the lone New England State where possessing marijuana for recreational use remains illegal. He argues that permitting…