Weed legalization in New Hampshire hits another snag

A commission, which was mandated earlier this year to come up with a law to legalize marijuana in New Hampshire, announced Monday,  Nov. 27 that it could not come up with a bill.


By Stacy Milbouer

November 28, 2023

Hope for getting recreational weed in New Hampshire legalized any time soon has once again gone up in smoke. 

On Monday, the commission tasked with drafting legislation to make marijuana accessible for adult use announced it could not come up with a bill. It instead announced a plan to file a report that examines the possibility of state-developed retail franchises. Those cannabis storefronts would be controlled by the state liquor commission, and be expected to pay a 15% tax on gross sales.  

Some commission members were put off when Republican Gov. Chris Sununu—who has historically opposed legalization and has threatened to veto any bill he doesn’t agree with—announced Monday an additional proposed 15-dispensary cap in the state, according to reports by WMUR and New Hampshire Public Radio.

“Yet again, @GovChrisSununu swoops in at the 11th hour to stymie our work on legalization,” state Sen. Becky Whitley, a member of the commission, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The vast majority of Granite Staters support legalization and it’s past time we had a Governor who listens to the will of the people.”

In May, a House bill that would have made recreational marijuana legal was defeated in the state Senate 14-10. That bill passed the House 272-109.  

After that bill failed, Sununu said in a news release that he wanted to legalize recreational weed “the right way” because, he said, a change in the law was inevitable. He suggested the State Liquor Commission, which runs all of New Hampshire’s liquor stores, oversee state dispensaries.

While a study suggests 70% of the state is in favor of legalization, New Hampshire remains the only New England state where it’s illegal. Medical marijuana was approved in the state in 2013 for certain qualifying medical conditions. In 2018, the state decriminalized the possession of small amounts of weed.

Read more: Recreational weed isn’t legal in New Hampshire — yet 


  • Stacy Milbouer

    Stacy Milbouer is an award-winning journalist and has covered New Hampshire for many publications including the Boston Globe, New Hampshire Magazine, and the Nashua Telegraph.



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