New Hampshire

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New Hampshire: House Subcommittee to Consider Details of Bill to Legalize Marijuana

NewHampshirePotLeaf

Full House in January approved legislation to end marijuana prohibition and establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older

A five-member subcommittee formed by the House Ways and Means Committee will convene on Monday, February 10, to examine the revenue and regulatory aspects of a bill that would legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol in the Granite State.

HB 492 would make personal possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults age 21 and older. It would also direct the state to license and regulate marijuana retail, cultivation, production, and testing facilities.

The subcommittee is expected to consider changes to the bill’s proposed system for taxing and regulating marijuana. The members of the subcommittee are Rep. Frank Sapareto (R-Derry), Rep. Patricia Lovejoy (D-Stratham), Rep. Russell Ober (R-Hudson), Rep. Jordan Ulery (R-Hudson), and Rep. John Kelley (D-Nashua).

The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved the bill in a 170-162 vote on January 15. It was the first time in history that a legislative chamber in the U.S. has passed legislation to end marijuana prohibition and establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older.

After the subcommittee has concluded its work, the House Ways and Means Committee will vote, and the bill will return to the full House of Representatives for a second vote in February or March. If approved a second time by the House, it will then be considered by the state Senate.

Vermont: New Hampshire Marijuana Legalization Vote Could Prompt Rest of New England

VermontMapMarijuanaState

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Does the domino theory apply here? Political observers believe that last week's marijuana legalization vote in the New Hampshire House of Representatives could help prompt states across New England to adopt more liberal cannabis policies.

The legalization bill in the New Hampshire Legislature enjoys popular support, reports Watchdog.org. "Polls show 60 percent of voters in the state support, and we won't rest until that includes a majority of their state legislators," said legislative analyst Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) last week.

If the bill makes it out of committee and through a final vote and is then signed by Gov. Maggie Hassan (who hasn't sounded very encouraging so far), it would make New Hampshire the first state in New England to legalize, joining the 420-friendly town of Portland, Maine. Portland voted as a city on Election Day 2013 to legalize marijuana.

"The legalization of marijuana is moving fast in parts of the United States, and it looks as though the domino effect could quickly move to other states such as Vermont," said former Rhode Island U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who heads an anti-cannabis group called Project Smart Approaches to Marijuana (Project SAM), supposedly "dedicated to a health-first approach to marijuana policy" but in reality dedicated to the promulgation of Reefer Madness disinformation.

New Hampshire: House of Representatives Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

NewHampshirePotLeaf

For first time in history, a legislative chamber in the U.S. passes legislation to end marijuana prohibition and establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older

The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill 170-162 Wednesday that would regulate marijuana like alcohol. It is the first time in history that a legislative chamber in the U.S. has passed legislation to end marijuana prohibition and establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older.

The measure will be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee to review the revenue aspects of the bill. Regardless of how that committee votes, the bill will return to the full House of Representatives for a second vote in February or March. If approved, it will then be considered by the New Hampshire Senate.

"House members made history today, and they are clearly on the right side of it," said Matt Simon, the New Hampshire-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which lobbied in support of the bill. "Marijuana prohibition has been an enormously expensive failure. Most Americans, including 60 percent of New Hampshire residents, agree that it is time to adopt a more sensible policy."

New Hampshire: Prison Official Says It's Time To Legalize Marijuana

RichardVanWinkler

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Twenty-year law enforcement veteran Richard Van Winkler, superintendent for the Cheshire County Department of Corrections in New Hampshire, on Monday told Vermont Public Radio that decriminalization doesn't go far enough, and the legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana is the way to go.

"If we decriminalize we allow the illegal drug enterprise to flourish," said Van Winkler, a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), reports Mitch Wertlieb at VPR. "If we legalize, control, regulate, tax in the same way that we do for alcohol, we put the illegal drug dealer out of business."

Van Winkler stressed that advocating for legalization isn't the same as advocating for cannabis use; he said that it costs about $32,000 to keep each nonviolent drug offender locked up every year, reports David Edwards at The Raw Story.

"The fact is policies like mandatory minimum sentencing, drug war issues have meant that the United States has had to build over 900 jail beds every two weeks for the last 20 years, this while violent crime in our country is at a 30-year low," Van Winkler pointed out.

Noting that two states, Colorado and Washington, had already legalized marijuana. "Guess what? The sky is not falling," he said.

New Hampshire: Despite Public Support, House Refuses To Recommend Marijuana Legalization

NewHampshirePotLeaf

UNH WMUR Granite State Poll shows 60% of New Hampshire adults support HB 492, which would make marijuana legal and establish a regulated marijuana market for adults; just 36% are opposed

The New Hampshire House of Representatives Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee has voted 11-7 against recommending the passage of HB 492, a bill to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol, despite a new poll showing strong public support for the measure.

According to a new WMUR Granite State Poll released October 25 by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, 60 percent of New Hampshire adults support HB 492. Just 36 percent said they are opposed.

The poll of 603 randomly selected New Hampshire adults was conducted October 1-7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. The entire poll is available here.

"Marijuana prohibition has been just as big of a failure as alcohol prohibition," said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "New Hampshire voters are clearly ready for a more sensible approach. It appears some legislators are still less evolved than their constituents on this issue."

Connecticut: Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Regulations

MarijuanaForMedicalUseOnly

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Prospective medical marijuana start-up companies in Connecticut now have a clear way forward, after the General Assembly's Regulation Review Committee on Tuesday approved 75 pages of medical marijuana regulations proposed by the state Department of Consumer Protection.

According to state officials, 881 patients statewide have been authorized to use medicinal cannabis, reports Jeff Saperstone at NBC Connecticut.

Tracey Gamer Fanning of West Hartford cried after the committee announced its decision. Fanning was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2006; she's found that the only thing that helps relieve her nausea and pain is marijuana. Tuesday was her 43rd birthday.

"I am so grateful that all the people who were involved said yes today," Fanning said. "The day I started using marijuana was the day that I got my life back, literally," she said, reports Ken Dixon at the Connecticut Post. I really regained what the cancer had stolen from me."

Fanning uses marijuana in edible, smokable and vaporized forms, depending on symptoms, she said. She credits cannabis for freeing her from heavy, opiate narcotics that confined her to bed.

"It helps me get out of bed," she said. "I don't suffer from unspeakable pain and I can actually talk, take care of my kids and have a life."

New Hampshire: Man Gets Year In Jail After Being Spotted In 'How To Grow Marijuana' Videos

KyleBerryFaceVideo

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A New Hampshire man was busted after accidentally appearing in "How to Grow Marijuana" videos he uploaded to YouTube.

Kyle Berry, 40, didn't want to appear in the 35 anonymous clips he posted, not realizing that his face was reflecting off a shiny surface in his grow room, and that his name was on a package from a marijuana seed company, reports Lee Moran of the New York Daily News.

Berry said that was was growing the cannabis for his own use after undergoing 17 surgeries, reports Ray Brewer at WMUR-TV. But on Tuesday he pleaded guilty to "manufacturing a controlled substance" and was sentenced to a year in jail, with four months suspended, and fined $500.

"Showing how to grow it, how to set it up, what chemicals he uses, where he gets his seeds," said Assistant Rockingham County Attorney Jerome Blanchard. "He's very detailed about how he is doing it."

After being tipped off to the video's, authorities started watching them for clues; that's when they saw Berry's face and also noticed that he showed his name on a package addressed to him.

"In a video dated Oct. 17, 2012, the defendant showed a package received from the United Kingdom containing marijuana seeds that shows the postage from the Royal Mail," Blanchard said. "The package had the defendant's name on it."

New Hampshire: Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law

NewHampshireBecomes19thMMJState

Gov. Maggie Hassan signs bill with broad legislative support that will allow patients with serious illnesses to access and use medical marijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Gov. Maggie Hassan on Tuesday signed a bill into law making New Hampshire the 19th state to allow residents with serious illnesses to access and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

"This legislation is long overdue and comes as a relief to the many seriously ill patients throughout New Hampshire who will benefit from safe access to medical marijuana," said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "Those suffering from debilitating conditions like cancer and multiple sclerosis deserve legal, safe, and reliable access to medical marijuana."

H.B. 573, sponsored by state Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), will allow residents with certain debilitating illnesses, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Patients will be able to obtain marijuana through one of four non-profit, state-licensed alternative treatment centers.

The bill initially approved by the House allowed patients to grow up to three mature marijuana plants in their homes and to raise a defense in court if they were arrested before patient ID cards became available, but the Senate unfortunately removed the provisions at the behest of Gov. Hassan.

New Hampshire: Medical Marijuana Bill Still Hasn't Reached Governor's Desk

NewHampshireMedicalMarijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Hampshire medical marijuana patients are eagerly awaiting Gov. Maggie Hassan's promised signature on a bill legalizing medicinal cannabis in the state, but they'll have to wait a little longer.

The New Hampshire Legislature passed the bill, which Gov. Hassan has promised to sign, on June 26, but it is among more than three dozen bills yet to reach her desk, reports Norma Love with The Associated Press.

House Speaker Terie Norelli, a Democrat from Portsmouth, has the bill on her desk and is expected to sign it and send it to Senate President Peter Bragdon for his signature this week; once Sen. Bragdon signs it, it will go to the governor.

The bill, once signed into law, will allow patients with cancer and other serious illnesses to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, obtained from state-licensed dispensaries.

Unlike the governor, who has five days (excluding holidays and Sundays) to act on a bill, the speaker of the house and the senate president have no deadline for signing, though they cannot hold a bill indefinitely.

Norelli was traveling last week and will sign the medical marijuana bill and others this week, according to a spokesman.

New Hampshire: Medical Marijuana Bill Gets Final Approval; Governor Will Sign

ComingSoonNewHampshire

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Hampshire state lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that will allow state residents with serious illnesses to obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The bill will now be transmitted to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who announced last week that she will sign it into law.

“This legislation has been a long time coming and is a much-needed victory for those with serious illnesses who find significant relief in medical marijuana,” said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which lobbied in support of the bill.

“The vast majority of Americans believe people suffering from debilitating conditions should be able to use medical marijuana, and it is time for other states to follow suit,” Simon said. “People suffering from cancer and HIV/AIDS in New York and other states are just as deserving of sensible and compassionate laws as those here in New Hampshire.”

HB 573, sponsored by State Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), will allow residents with certain debilitating illnesses, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, to possess up to two ounces of medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Patients will be able to obtain medical marijuana through one of four non-profit, state-licensed alternative treatment centers. Unfortunately, Gov. Hassan said that home cultivation by patients was a deal-breaker, so lawmakers took out that portion of the medical marijuana bill.

New Hampshire: Lawmakers Will Vote Wednesday On Medical Marijuana Bill; Governor To Sign

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Hampshire lawmakers on Wednesday will approve compromise legislation legalizing medical marijuana in the state. Governor Maggie Hassan has said she would sign the bill.

The medicinal cannabis bill will make New Hampshire the 19th state allowing seriously ill people to possess and use marijuana for medicinal reasons, reports Norma Love of The Associated Press.

Hassan withdrew her objections to the bill after House and Senate negotiators last week agreed on a compromise version of the legislation which eliminates an option for patients to grow marijuana at home. The governor, unfortunately, claimed that provision would make the program "too difficult to regulate."

Patients will obtain marijuana at one of our state-licensed dispensaries which will be established under the terms of the bill.

(Photo of New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan: Jim Cole/AP)

New Hampshire: Lawmakers Reach Deal On Medical Marijuana Bill

ComingSoonNewHampshire

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Hampshire House and Senate lawmakers on Tuesday reached a deal on a medical marijuana bill, positioning the state to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Both chambers of the Legislature had already passed the bill, but the Senate version removed the House-approved option for patients to grow marijuana at home, as well as obtain it from a dispensary, reports Holly Ramer at the Associated Press. Gov. Maggie Hassan, unfortunately, had said she wouldn't sign the bill if the home-growing provision remained.

House legislators in a Tuesday negotiation session agreed to drop home growing and go along with other Senate changes in exchange for an agreement that the commission which will be put in charge of implementing the medical marijuana program be appointed as soon as the bill is passed.

Gov. Hassan announced on Tuesday that she intends to sign the bill as passed.

Opponents of the home cultivation option claimed they were concerned about the state's ability to "regulate" it; cynics said they were likely more concerned about the state's inability to get any tax money from it. Supporters argued that home growing is critical for terminally ill patients, given that it would take the state close to a year to write dispensary regulations, and could take another year for the dispensaries to actually open for patients.

New Hampshire: Warrant Issued For Man Arrested In YouTube Marijuana Case

KyleBerry

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A New Hampshire man who was arrested for showing off his marijuana-growing operation on YouTube could be jailed for failing to show up for a Tuesday court hearing.

A judge issued a warrant for Kyle Berry, 40, for failing to appear at a bail-revocation hearing stemming from another pot-growing arrest in Lawrence, Massachusetts, last month, reports James A. Kimble at the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Prosecutors want Berry held without bail until his trial on charges he grew $16,000 worth of marijuana plants at his Auburn, N.H., in November, chronicling his progress on YouTube. Rockingham County deputies said they used the videos -- which accidentally captured Berry's face reflected on a foil-covered wall -- to get arrest and search warrants in the case.

Berry's public defender, Charles O'Keefe, asked the judge to cancel Berry's warrant, saying his client had simply mixed up the court date. Assistant County Attorney Michael Zaino responded on Wednesday by asking a judge to reject that request and schedule a new hearing date.

A Lawrence, Mass., police lieutenant came to court on Tuesday to testify about Berry being arrested in Massachusetts for "manufacturing marijuana" while he was free on bail on the YouTube case from New Hampshire, according to Zaino.

The hearing had to be canceled, Zaino said, because of Berry's failure to appear. He was arrested at his daughter's Massachusetts home on April 22.

New Hampshire: Full Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The New Hampshire Senate approved a bill 18-6 on Thursday that would allow state residents with serious illnesses, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, to obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The measure will now be sent to the House of Representatives, which is expected to call for a committee of conference to fix errors and resolve differences between the House and Senate versions.

The House overwhelmingly approved the bill 286-64 on March 20, but some problematic changes were made in the Senate at the behest of Gov. Maggie Hassan and her legal counsel, Lucy Hodder.

“We applaud the senators for adopting this compassionate and much-needed legislation despite its imperfections,” said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Those suffering from debilitating medical conditions deserve safe and legal access to medical marijuana, and the Senate has once again clearly indicated its support for patients.”

HB 573, sponsored by State Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), will allow residents with certain debilitating illnesses to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Patients will be able to obtain marijuana through one of four non-profit, state-licensed alternative treatment centers.

New Hampshire: Lawmakers Call On Governor To Allow Patients To Grow Their Own Medical Marijuana

Gov. Maggie Hassan is insisting legislators remove a provision from HB 573 that would allow patients with serious illnesses to grow their own supply of medical marijuana, leaving patients with no legal source of marijuana for two or more years while alternative treatment centers are being developed

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Hampshire State Reps. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter) and Donald "Ted" Wright (R-Tuftonboro) and other legislators will join medical marijuana advocates – including a retired police sergeant and drug task force member – at a news conference Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building, where they will call on Gov. Maggie Hassan and members of the Legislature to recognize patients' immediate need for legal access to medical marijuana.

Gov. Hassan is insisting legislators remove a provision from HB 573 that would allow patients with serious illnesses to grow their own supply of medical marijuana, which would leave patients with no legal source of marijuana for two or more years while alternative treatment centers are being developed.

The news conference is scheduled to follow a Senate Health and Human Services Committee meeting regarding the bill. The Senate meeting will begin at 9 a.m. ET in Room 103 of the Legislative Office Building.

New Hampshire Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on Medical Marijuana Bill

Measure that received overwhelming House approval would allow patients with serious illnesses to obtain and use medical marijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The New Hampshire Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on a bill that would allow state residents with serious illnesses to obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST in Room 100 of the State House (107 N. Main St.).

H.B. 573, introduced by State Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), was transmitted to the Senate after being approved by more than 80 percent of the New Hampshire House of Representatives on March 20. It would allow patients with certain debilitating medical conditions to grow up to three marijuana plants in their homes or obtain marijuana through one of five state-licensed alternative treatment centers.

Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), will be testifying in support of the bill.

WHAT: Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing on H.B. 573, which would allow seriously ill patients to obtain and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

WHEN: Thursday, April 11, 1 p.m. EST

WHERE: New Hampshire State House, Room 100, 107 N. Main St., Concord

WHO: Senate Health and Human Services Committee
Matt Simon, Marijuana Policy Project legislative analyst

New Hampshire: House Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The New Hampshire House on Thursday, for the fourth time in five years, passed a bill which would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. But Governor Maggie Hassan has said she's not in favor of decriminalization, and the New Hampshire Senate has shot down all three of the recent attempts by the House to pass such a law.

Bill supporters said that marijuana prohibition doesn't have public support and is a financial and regulatory burden on the state, reports Morgan True at The Associated Press. Supporters noted that both alcohol and tobacco have worse health and societal impacts than does cannabis.

"A criminal offense and a criminal record can do much more harm than a small amount of marijuana," said Rep. Joel Winters (D-Nashua) during debate on the House floor.

The House voted 214-115 to pass the decrim bill after Rep. Linda Harriott-Gathright (D-Nashua) lost a floor fight over the issue, reports Dan Tuohy at NashuaPatch. Harriott-Gathright brought the bill to the House on behalf of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which recommended the House kill the bill.

New Hampshire: House Overwhelmingly Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

There is a truth that must be heard!
By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The New Hampshire House, in an overwhelming show of support for medical marijuana, voted 286-64 on Wednesday to pass a medical marijuana bill with a veto-proof majority. It's the fourth time in six years a MMJ bill has passed the House.

House Bill 573 would allow five dispensaries at which Granite State patients could buy medicinal cannabis, reports The Associated Press. It also would allow patients or their caregivers to grow up to three marijuana plants.

"This overwhelming vote comes as a great relief to patients who have been waiting years to legally follow their doctors' advice," said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "Patients should not have to live iun fear of arrest in the 'Live Free Or Die' state, and it's a great relief for them to see such strong, bipartisan support from the House."

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Donna Schlachman (D-Exeter), was previously approved 14-1 by the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs. The committee made a number of changes, including a language change from "medical marijuana" to "therapeutic use of cannabis," which was suggested by the New Hampshire Medical Society.

New Hampshire: House To Vote On Marijuana Decriminalization, MMJ This Week

Photo - New Hampshire: House To Vote On Marijuana Decriminalization, MMJ This WeekBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Hampshire may take a step closer to legalizing medical marijuana this week with the state House scheduled to vote on a proposal that would allow five dispensaries and permit patients or their caregivers to grow up to three plants. Meanwhile, the House is also expected to vote on a cannabis decriminalization bill.

An amended version of the medical marijuana bill, which restricts out-of-state patients from buying or growing pot in New Hampshire and also tightens other language of the original bill, has been overwhelmingly approved by a House committee, reports The Associated Press.

The New Hampshire Legislature has already passed medical marijuana bills two times, but both were vetoed by former Governor John Lynch. A third attempt was killed in the Senate. Governor Maggie Hassan has endorsed the idea of a "tightly regulated" medical marijuana law, but has expressed concerns about this bill's home-grow option.

New Hampshire: Marijuana Legalization Dies In House; Industrial Hemp Bill Passes

New Hampshire: Marijuana Legalization Dies In House; Industrial Hemp Bill PassesBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill which would have legalized marijuana in New Hampshire died in the House on Wednesday without any debate. The Democratic-majority House voted 239-112 to kill the bill. On the same day, the House passed a bill to legalize industrial hemp.

It wasn't a party-line vote, reports Ben Leubsdorf of the Concord Monitor. While 135 Democrats and 104 Republicans voted to kill the legalization bill, 61 Democrats and 51 Republicans voted to pass it.

The legislation would have removed all references to marijuana from the state's drug control laws as of January 1, 2014. Marijuana would remain illegal under federal law, but New Hampshire would have followed Colorado and Washington state, where voters in November approved ballot measures to allow the use of marijuana by adults 21 and older.

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, on a 12-8 vote, recommended the full House kill the legalization bill. Opponents complained that it would run counter to federal law, while supporters pointed out that cannabis prohibition is not working.

The hemp legalization bill was approved by the full House on a voice vote. Hemp can be used to make rope, fabric, paper, fuel and other products. Like marijuana, it is a variety of the cannabis plant.

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