Yo, peeps! Check it out, last week the New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed some legislation that’s gonna create a commission to study the legalization of recreational marijuana. But here’s the twist—it’s gonna be through a plan that only lets state-run stores sell the ganja to adults.
Now, listen up, ’cause Sununu used to be against legalizing recreational weed. But earlier this year, when a bill for adult-use cannabis failed in the New Hampshire Senate (even though it got approval from the House of Representatives), Sununu changed his tune. He realized that a majority of the peeps in his state wanna legalize that green goodness. So, he said, “Change is comin’, y’all. And if we don’t embrace it, we’re just bein’ dumb.”
Sununu wants this legalization thing done right. He wants the state to have control over how marijuana is marketed, sold, and distributed—just like they do with booze. Y’all know those 67 Liquor and Wine Outlet stores? They’re the only places you can get hard alcohol in New Hampshire. So Sununu wants the same kinda deal with weed. He won’t approve any legalization bill unless it includes a state-run model for retail sales.
But hold up, peeps! There’s more to this story. The legislation that Sununu signed, called House Bill 611, creates a whole commission to study this whole marijuana legalization thing. This commission’s gotta look into issues like how cannabis should be sold and marketed, how to keep it away from minors, and how to prevent too many weed shops from poppin’ up in local communities. They also gotta figure out if local governments should have the power to ban or limit those state-run marijuana retailers.
This new commission is gonna meet throughout the summer and fall months. They gotta come up with a plan that lets the state control the distribution and sales of adult-use cannabis. And they gotta do it quick ’cause they gotta submit their findings and recommendations by December 1.
Now, this commission ain’t no joke, y’all. It’s got 18 members, including senators, representatives, and peeps from the Attorney General’s Office, the Governor’s Office, the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, the New Hampshire Bankers Association, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, the American Civil Liberties Union, the New Hampshire Medical Society, and Communities for Alcohol and Drug-Free Youth. They even gotta talk to the state’s Alternative Treatment Centers (those places that give out medical marijuana) and the New Hampshire Cannabis Association (an industry group that wants legalization).
If this commission does its job right and comes up with a sweet plan, then New Hampshire—currently the only state in New England without legal recreational weed—will join the other 23 states that have already legalized it. Representative Wendy Thomas, who’s all about that green goodness and a sponsor of House Bill 611, she wants to be on this commission real bad. She says all those other states are making bank off weed while New Hampshire is just throwin’ away money.
But here’s the thing, y’all. For Sununu to sign off on any recommendations from this commission, they gotta turn those ideas into a bill that can pass through the legislature in 2024. ‘Cause Sununu ain’t runnin’ for reelection that year—so it’s his last chance to make it happen.
Some peeps ain’t feelin’ Sununu’s plan though. They say it’s gonna create a monopoly on weed sales and take power away from growers to set their own prices. Others say it doesn’t give enough opportunities to those communities that were hit hardest by all those years of weed prohibition.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot! House Bill 611 also makes it easier for peeps with chronic pain to get medical marijuana. Before, they had to try other stuff first—like opioids—before they could get that green medicine. But now, starting on October 8, they can skip all that and go straight to the good stuff.
So, there you have it, peeps. New Hampshire’s got a commission studying the legalization of weed. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride, but we’ll see if they can make it happen. Stay tuned for more updates!