Mar 01, 2022
boondoggle, cannabis legalization, cannabis-infused products, Concord, federal law, fiscal impact, HB 1598, hearing, House Ways and Means Committee, island of prohibition, legalization bill, New Hampshire, NH, poison pill, preemption, private cannabis businesses, state-run monopoly, testimony
On Thursday, March 3, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on HB 1598, which would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older and create a state-run monopoly to sell cannabis. (The full House approved the bill once, but then re-referred it to Ways and Means due to its fiscal impact.)
While MPP’s mission is to legalize cannabis, we are concerned that this approach to legalization will result in a costly boondoggle that will never get off the ground — at least until federal law changes, which could be years away.
States can license and regulate private cannabis businesses, but they cannot direct their own workers to break federal law by selling cannabis. Doing so creates a “direct and positive conflict” and is preempted.
We also have a number of other concerns, including that the bill would re-criminalize cannabis-infused products. You can check out my written testimony on the bill here and our bill summary here. I won’t be able to make it to New Hampshire to testify in person. But perhaps you can?
What: N.H. House Ways and Means Committee hearing on HB 1598 (The committee is required to focus on the fiscal aspects of the bill.)
Where: Legislative Office Building, Room 202-204, 33 N State St., Concord, NH 03301
When: Thursday, March 3, 1:00 p.m.
How: Fill out a sign-up card (they're pink) and submit it to the committee. It is advisable to limit testimony to three minutes.
Please ask your lawmakers to fix HB 1598 and spread the word! It’s past time New Hampshire end its status as an “island of prohibition” — but it needs to do so in a way that actually works.