Action has been delayed on legalization, but we're still doing everything we can to pass the medical cannabis home cultivation bill — please call Gov. Chris Sununu today and urge him to sign HB 364 into law!
The New Hampshire Senate has delayed action on the legalization bill, but several cannabis-related bills have been approved by both chambers of the legislature, and they will soon land on the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu.
Most of these bills passed with strong support in both chambers, but the fate of one critical bill remains uncertain. HB 364, which would allow registered patients and caregivers to cultivate a limited supply of cannabis at home, passed the House today in a final voice vote. Unfortunately, the margin of support in the Senate was only 14-10, so we would have to gain two votes in the Senate in order to override a potential veto.
Here are the other cannabis-related bills that appear to be on track to become law:
- HB 399 would allow people who received misdemeanor possession convictions prior to decriminalization to apply to have their records annulled. It passed both chambers in a voice vote. We are very grateful to our allies at ACLU-NH and Americans for Prosperity for their work to help get this bill passed.
- HB 350 would allow physician's assistants to certify patients. It passed both chambers in a voice vote.
- SB 88 would eliminate the three-month waiting period for provider-patient relationships. It has already passed the House (263-90) and the Senate (17-7) and awaits a final vote in the Senate.
- SB 145 would allow alternative treatment centers to reorganize as for-profit businesses. It passed both chambers in a voice vote.
After you call Gov. Sununu and urge him to sign HB 364, please share this important update with your friends and family!
HB 481 won’t receive a committee vote until December, but we’re still working to pass bills to allow home cultivation and enable annulments for past convictions — contact your senator about the annulment bill today!
On Tuesday, New Hampshire’s Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously decided to postpone action on the legalization bill until later this year. Three of the five senators on the committee said they wanted to spend more time working on HB 481 and understanding the details before bringing it to a vote in the full Senate, so it’s clear that this is only a temporary setback. The committee will vote on the bill before the end of 2019, and it will come before the Senate in January 2020.
We are now turning our attention to two critical bills that need our help to get across the finish line. One very important bill, HB 399, would allow people who received misdemeanor possession convictions prior to decriminalization to apply to have their records annulled. It has already passed the House in a voice vote, and it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. However, the committee vote was only 3-2 (Senators Shannon Chandley and Sharon Carson voted no), so victory remains far from certain.
No Granite Stater should have to be burdened with a criminal record for having possessed small amounts of cannabis prior to decriminalization. Please email your state senator today!
Meanwhile, the medical cannabis home cultivation bill will receive a final vote in the House on May 23, and we expect it to pass by an overwhelming margin. After that, it will proceed to Gov. Chris Sununu’s desk. Call Gov. Sununu’s office today and urge him to support HB 364!
Please share these important updates with your friends and family!
Today, for the first time in its history, the New Hampshire Senate voted to pass a bill that would allow home cultivation of cannabis for registered patients and caregivers. HB 364, which would allow up to three mature cannabis plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings for each patient, passed the Senate in a 14-10 vote. Next, the bill will return to the House for a final vote before it proceeds to the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu.
Gov. Sununu has not yet indicated whether he intends to sign the bill. Please call Gov. Sununu’s office today and urge him to stand up for patients!
This bill is critically important because many patients are unable to afford the products that are available at dispensaries, which are not covered by health insurance. Others have to drive long distances in order to reach a dispensary. For some patients, home cultivation is simply the best, most affordable option.
After you call Gov. Sununu, please share this message with your family and friends.
For the first time in its history, the N.H. House of Representatives has advanced a cannabis legalization bill to the state Senate. HB 481 passed today in a 200-163 vote, after having received a favorable (14-6) recommendation last week from the Ways and Means Committee. The bill will soon be scheduled for a public hearing in the state Senate.
It is very important that New Hampshire’s 24 state senators hear from their constituents in support of HB 481. Please email your senator today! At the same time, you can find out how your representatives voted and follow up by sending them a quick email.
Since Gov. Chris Sununu is expected to veto the bill if it reaches his desk, it may be necessary for legislators to override his veto in order for HB 481 to become law. Please follow up with your state representatives and urge your state senator to support HB 481 by sending them a quick email today.
You can read a summary of the bill, as amended by the House, here.
Please share this message with your family and friends!
Phone banking and letter writing campaigns in support of HB 481 will commence tomorrow evening at the Americans for Prosperity offices in Manchester and Portsmouth.
The New Hampshire House has already voted 209-147 to pass HB 481, the bill that would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis for adults' use, but we need to continue building support and gaining votes in order to override an expected veto by Gov. Chris Sununu. The bill is currently being considered by the House Ways and Means Committee, and a second vote by the full House will happen before April 4. If it passes the House a second time, it will proceed to the Senate.
Americans for Prosperity has emerged this year as a strong supporter of HB 481. Tomorrow evening, they will be hosting phone banking and letter writing sessions at their offices in Manchester and Portsmouth. All supporters of HB 481 are welcome. Dinner will be provided for volunteers. For more details, and to RSVP on Facebook, click here.
WHAT: Phone banking and letter writing in support of HB 481
WHEN: Thursday, March 22, 5 to 8 p.m.
WHERE: Offices of Americans for Prosperity in Manchester (340 Granite St. First Floor) and Portsmouth (767 Islington St. Second Floor)
If you haven't already done so, please take a few moments to find how your state representative(s) voted and send them a message to follow up. It's important that we thank representatives who voted in favor, and for those who did not, this is a critical opportunity to ask them why they voted no.
Please share this message with your family and friends!
Tomorrow evening, after the scheduled House vote on HB 481, the Tri-City Young Democrats will host an event in Somersworth to help educate people about legalization efforts. I will be there to participate in a panel discussion, which will also feature one of our key allies at the state house: Jeanne Hruska, political director for ACLU-NH.
Here are the details:
WHAT: Panel discussion on cannabis legalization and regulation
WHERE: Teatotaller, 69 High Street, Somersworth
WHEN: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 27
WHO: Matt Simon, New England political director, Marijuana Policy Project
Jeanne Hruska, political director, ACLU-NH
The Tri-City Young Democrats
As we informed you yesterday, the big vote on New Hampshire's legalization bill, HB 481, has been scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. Gov. Chris Sununu has made it clear that he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk, but it will be possible to override his veto if at least two-thirds of the House and Senate can be convinced to support the bill.
If you haven't already spoken to your state representatives, please call them one last time today and encourage them to support HB 481, the bill to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis. (If you tried calling before and encountered difficulties, please try again — there were a few bugs, but they have now been fixed.)
We will need two-thirds majorities to overcome Gov. Sununu's veto threat — if you live in N.H., call your state representatives today!
New Hampshire's legalization bill, HB 481, has been scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Gov. Chris Sununu has made it clear that he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk, but it will be possible to override his veto if at least two-thirds of the House and Senate can be convinced to support the bill.
If you are able to speak with legislators and learn where they stand, it would be very helpful if you could share the details with me via email.
We will need two-thirds majorities to overcome Gov. Sununu's veto threat — email your state legislators today!
Rep. Renny Cushing's legalization bill has been introduced in the New Hampshire House with a bipartisan slate of 11 cosponsors, and it has been assigned a number: HB 481.
It's encouraging that new House Speaker Steve Shurtleff believes the bill can pass even though Gov. Chris Sununu has threatened to veto it. However, a veto override will only be possible if legislators hear from large numbers of their constituents in support of such a bill. If you receive a response from a legislator, it would be very helpful if you could share it with us via email.
HB 481 has been referred to the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, and a public hearing has already been scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, in Room 204 of the Legislative Office Building (33 N State St., Concord). Check out our summary of the bill here, and please plan to attend the hearing, if possible, on February 5.
After you email your state legislators, please forward this message to your family and friends!
We will need two-thirds majorities to override his veto — email your newly elected state legislators today!
On Friday, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu went on the offensive against efforts to legalize and regulate cannabis. He pledged to veto any legalization bill that reaches his desk, and he publicly asked the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery to join him in making “a strong stand” against reform efforts in the legislature. Gov. Sununu reportedly acknowledged that “there’s a good chance that veto could get overruled.”
He may be right — the gains made in the November election made it possible that we could achieve two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate. However, it won’t happen unless we convince undecided representatives and senators to vote in favor.
Please email your newly elected state representative(s) and senator today and encourage them to support the upcoming bill to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis.
Maddeningly, Gov. Sununu also announced that he is partnering with a well-known prohibitionist, Kevin Sabet, to oppose our efforts. “Kevin Sabet is engaging with us very aggressively,” Sununu reportedly said. “He’s very excited, he’s raised a lot of money nationally. He’s ready to make a strong stand here in New Hampshire. I think that could be a great use to us.”
After you email your state legislators, please call Gov. Sununu and express your frustration with his actions. You can also share your opinion in a tweet to @GovChrisSununu.
If you’re as angry as we are to hear that Gov. Sununu is inviting prohibitionist Kevin Sabet to New Hampshire, help us fight back by making a donation today!
Election results put legalization on the agenda for 2019
Last week, New Hampshire voters sent a strong message to Gov. Chris Sununu and the political establishment: it’s time to end marijuana prohibition! Although Sununu (a prohibitionist) won re-election, his margin of victory over legalization supporter Molly Kelly was smaller than anticipated. Most importantly, the Democratic party — which added support for legalization to its platform earlier this year — gained control of both chambers of the legislature.
The Senate, in particular, promises to be much less hostile to reform advocates in 2019. To illustrate, here are a few senators who were voted out last week:
• Sen. Gary Daniels (R-Milford) voted no on all cannabis reform bills throughout his time in the House and Senate. Voters replaced him with Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), who has been much more reasonable on cannabis policy as a member of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.
• Sen. Kevin Avard (R-Nashua) voted against a 2018 bill that would have allowed registered patients to cultivate their own limited supply of cannabis. Voters replaced him with a legalization supporter, former Rep. Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline).
• Sen. Bill Gannon (R-Sandown) strongly opposed all sensible marijuana policy reforms throughout his time in the House and Senate. This was supposed to be a safe Republican district, but voters chose to replace Gannon with legalization supporter Jon Morgan (D-Brentwood).
The odds of passing a legalization bill improved significantly as a result of the election. However, in order to achieve victory in the House and Senate, we will need a robust effort to educate and persuade undecided legislators.
After the election, I published a commentary in the Union Leader, making the case that “cannabis is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and most residents of the ‘Live Free or Die’ state are ready to see it treated that way.”
Please help us get our 2019 campaign off to a great start by contributing to the Marijuana Policy Project today!
Then, please share this message with your family and friends!