HB1633 Alert – Senate Hearing Thursday in Judiciary Committee

HB1633 Alert – Senate Hearing Thursday in Judiciary Committee

HB1633 Passed the House on a 239-136 vote but major problems lie ahead. Although we’ve been able to stave off the hijacking attempts to delete and replace all of the bill with the so called ‘franchise’ model we suspect there will be another attempt this Thursday.

I say ‘so called’ because they use the word franchise to describe it, however, it is much more insidious than that. Their franchise model would enact a complete state takeover of the industry, handed to the Liquor Commission, giving them the power to manipulate every segment of the industry using the veneer of franchisees to portend legitimacy. You can view my testimony on the franchise concept from the House Finance Committee on YouTube. (fast forward to 2 hours 15 minutes).

The current vision of HB1633 places public safety first while providing the promise of economic opportunity to our residents while positioning the state legislature in direct regulatory control. It differs from the franchise concept in that the Liquor Commission would be the regulatory body, creating the rules and enforcing the laws and rules that private actors can compete within. They would not be allowed to cross over into operational control to manipulate the supply chain or set prices as an example.

With the franchise model, the State & Liquor Commission will be the business, putting their hands into operational controls of the operators without having to risk any of their own capital while stripping away opportunities for residents to enter and compete.

One of the promises of a legal cannabis industry is to provide economic opportunity for you. If we let the state be the business and dictate who does and does not get to participate in fair competition we will most likely never claw that back.

Now is the time to act. If you can attend the hearing this Thursday April 25th in Senate Hearing room 100 please join us. The session should start at 1:30pm eastern.

If you cannot attend the hearing, below are some options for you to help us fight for HB1633!

Contact Your Senator:

  1. Find Your Senator: https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/senate/members/wml.aspx
  2. Locate their Email: https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/senate/members/senate_roster.aspx
  3. Find the Judicial Committee Members: https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/committees/committee_details.aspx?cc=33
  4. Click on each of the Senator member links to find their email.
  5. Send them a respectful email asking them to support HB1633 and to resist the ‘Franchise’ amendment.


Register Your Support Online During the Hearing:

  1. Go to the Senate Remote Sign In Sheet: https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/remotecommittee/senate.aspx
  2. Select the Date on the Calendar.
  3. Select the Judiciary Committee.
  4. Choose the bill: 1:45PM – HB1633.
  5. For the ‘I am’ field, choose ‘Member of the Public’.
  6. For the ‘I’m Representing’ choose ‘Myself’.
  7. Indicate your position on the bill by selecting ‘I Support this Bill’.
  8. Click ‘Continue’.


What If You Don’t Know the Bill Name or Number?

On the General Court website – https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/

  • Use Find A Bill – if you have the number of the bill
  • Use Bill Text Search – if you know what the bill is about (for example, you could search for bills that have the word “cannabis” in them)

  • Use Bill Search by Legislator – if you know who sponsored the bill or who is a co-sponsor


What If You Don’t Know the Committee or Schedule?

On the main page of the General Court Website use the options under Meeting Resources:

  • Use House Calendar for the House of Representatives bills
  • Use Senate Calendar for the Senate

These calendars are published weekly and tell you which committees are meeting and which bills they will be hearing/voting on. Some bills (cannabis) almost always go to the same committees (Health and Human Services), but sometimes bills go to a committee that is not expected (a recent cannabis bill went to Ways and Means). You just have to scan the calendar for keywords.


Tips on Written Testimony:

  • Keep it short.

  • Use the bill title AS WELL AS the bill number.

  • Say in the beginning whether you support or oppose the bill.

  • Use paragraphs with breaks – don’t send a solid block of text.

  • Be respectful.

  • Sign with your name and your town/address

  • If possible, have a second pair of eyes on your written testimony. Sometimes people will pick up communication issues that you didn’t catch.


Tips on Verbal Testimony:

  • Introduce yourself – name and address

  • Keep it short – 3 minutes max

  • STICK TO THE POINT – avoid any “and another things”

  • Speak clearly into the microphone

  • Speak slowly

  • Sit up straight, don’t slouch (it helps you be heard better)

  • It’s fine to read your testimony if you need to

  • Sometimes you will be asked questions = go ahead and answer to the best of your ability but sometimes it’s fine to say, I don’t have the answer, perhaps it would be better to ask someone else

  • Dress appropriately – nothing that’s inflammatory – you don’t want to turn off anyone before you even testify

  • Generally be respectful – even if you oppose a bill, this is the process that we have and you need to work within it

  • Show up on time, but be prepared to wait if the committee is running over


General Outline for Written and Verbal Testimony:

  1. What the problem is

  2. Why it’s a problem

  3. Why this solution fixes it

  4. Final ask – please support or oppose this bill.

Verbal testimony is usually capped at 3 minutes.

Written testimony that goes much over one page is usually only skimmed. By keeping it shorter you have more of a chance of getting your point across.

Don’t combine messages for multiple bills – use a separate email for each bill.

Leave a Reply