Throughout the months of August and September, we conducted a survey of New Hampshire farmers to understand their respective positions and opinions regarding the potential legalization of cannabis in the Granite State. Additionally, our survey sought to gauge their interest in becoming licensed cannabis cultivators in the future.
The survey was distributed to New Hampshire farmers and gardeners with the assistance of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of NH, the New Hampshire Herbal Network, and a handful of other farm groups.
In total, we had 69 individual survey responses. And of those total responses, 46 were from individuals who currently live and farm in New Hampshire. The figures outlined below are for those current NH farmers.
Unsurprisingly, the results of our survey demonstrated levels of support for cannabis legalization amongst current NH farmers at levels on par with, and even exceeding, those expressed by the general public in a February 2023 poll by the University of New Hampshire.
Specifically, 87% of respondents that currently farm support the legalization of recreational cannabis, while 78.3% of those NH farmers also expressed interest in becoming licensed growers (see figures below):
Another interesting figure captured by our survey is that the majority of current NH resident farmers who took the survey—69.6%—support of the possibility for licensed growers in NH to be able to sell their own cannabis directly to consumers, in addition to the traditional wholesale model (see figure below):
When it came to a question of the state’s role in the future cannabis industry in NH, the survey revealed very little support among NH farmers for a State-run cannabis industry. Only 10.9% of NH farmers support the state being the sole wholesale buyer and retailer of cannabis, with 63% opposed and 26.1% undecided (see figure below):
Respondents also raised various questions about a state-run model, citing concerns such as its potential to limit economic opportunities for small businesses, limit competition in the market, and lead to consumer price gouging; many also hinted at the state-run model as simply being unwanted and unnecessary bureaucratic overreach for an agricultural product.
In addition to the questions specific to commercial cultivation, we also asked respondents where they stood in relation to the inclusion of a home grow provision in any eventual cannabis legalization bills in NH. Of note, a resounding 89.1% of respondents were in favor of allowing Granite Staters (21-years of age or older) the ability to cultivate between 6-8 cannabis plants for their own personal use (see figure below):
Overall, it appears that the support and desire for a legal cannabis market is present amongst a majority of surveyed NH farmers. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of unknowns for potential cannabis cultivators in the Granite State that warrant intentional and careful consideration amongst our state legislators in Concord, as they continue to explore various legislative models for an adult-use cannabis market in NH.
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