BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Adults in New Hampshire could soon be allowed to grow their own supply of cannabis at home.
On Thursday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill that would legalize the personal use, cultivation, and gifting of marijuana for anyone over the age of 21. However, the bill would not allow for a commercial cannabis industry, and it would not legalize public consumption.
Instead of legalizing a commercial industry, HB 1648 would allow adult residents to grow three mature flowering plants and three immature plants at home in a secure location not visible from other properties. It would also allow adults to give away up to three-quarters of an ounce of flower, up to 5 grams of hashish, or up to 300 mg of cannabis-infused products to other adults.
The bill would implement a fine up to $750 for a violation of those cultivation restrictions. Legislators included a floor amendment that clarified consuming cannabis in public would still be prohibited and punishable by a fine of up to $100.
If it passes into law, New Hampshire's marijuana law would resemble Vermont's 2018 marijuana law, which made low-level possession and home cultivation legal, but does not allow for sales of any kind.
Language in New Hampshire's legislation says the bill is designed to ostracize the underground market. It says legalizing home-grow will enable adults to "cultivate their own limited supply of cannabis, [which] will provide them with an alternative to buying cannabis from illicit drug dealers."
The legislation has bi-partisan support, however it could still be vetoed by Governor Chris Sununu (R) who has strongly opposed marijuana legalization and home-grow bills in the past.
The bill says "Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and to society. It is less toxic, less harmful to the body, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violent or reckless behavior. Adults should not be punished choosing to use cannabis instead of alcohol, if that is what they prefer. Home brewing of alcoholic beverages is legal in New Hampshire and every other state in the nation."
It also states that "Statewide polls have consistently found that most New Hampshire voters support making cannabis legal for adults 21 years of age and older."
It passed the New Hampshire House by a margin of 236-112. The measure is now headed to the state Senate.
Written by Brit Smith (@BritSmithBT)