State Takeover Model for Cannabis Rejected in Lose Lose Situation Crafted by the Senate

Cultivated Media NH Cannabis

State Takeover Model for Cannabis Rejected in Lose Lose Situation Crafted by the Senate

As you are all aware, the House put an end to the state takeover of the cannabis industry last week. No matter what happened there would be no cause for celebration thanks to the Senate crafting a lose-lose situation for the State of New Hampshire.

Pass the bill and you get, as Representative Hunt so aptly described, “…the ugliest, the most government-intrusive, the most over-regulated marijuana statute…” Every page you turn in that bill was chock full of horrendous things that we have outlined at length.

There certainly are those that took the ‘pass it and we’ll fix it’ position. Although we agree there may have been the will, after seven years of watching our legislature at work, we were not all confident there was the way.

There would be one bite at the apple next session to fix everything that was wrong in the bill before the hooks are in too deep. And even then it might have been too late as the power structures at work start spending a lot of money to ramp up and cement their position. In our opinion, it would likely have taken decades to truly fix everything wrong with the bill even if it could be done.

In addition to the horrid features of the bill, it may have put the Liquor Commission on the long march towards taking the industry over anyways. With the power to have their hands in plant touching activities up and down the supply chain the opportunity for them to craft a model that doesn’t work, only to take the franchises back as operators give up or they deem them underperforming, it would only be a matter of time before the temptation becomes too great once federal prohibition ends.

Kill the bill and we fail to get legalization and may end up with a hostile Governor in the corner office after the next election meaning two to six more years of prohibition in New Hampshire.

As I said, either way the vote went last week, the residents of the state would come up on the losing end.


The House Stands Strong

Through this session we’ve learned the House truly is representative of the people. Every vote on this bill has demonstrated they want a great bill and will reject these bids to ignore the needs of the people that deliver this industry solely for the benefit of the state bank accounts and rich and connected.

The temptation to become the 25th legalized state was strong. Ultimately they heard your voice and understood that legalization without economic opportunity is a non-starter. Kudos to the House for making the hard decision in a no-win situation.


Applauding HB1633’s Sponsors

Representatives Erica Layon and Anita Burroughs worked incredibly hard to deliver the best bill possible to the Senate. Fighting off no less than two hijack attempts in the House and compromising into an agency model that did not cross the line into the state having its hands in the plant touching activities or being in the business, rather than just regulating the industry.

They deserve our thanks and support should they run for office in the upcoming election.


Holding the Senate Accountable

When the House version of HB1633 arrived in the senate and the delete-all and replace Senate amendment was presented it was the opportune time for the Democrats to stand strong against the Republicans and tell them, we know you are going to kill the House version, we are here to tell you we will kill your version, so now is the time to discuss where the red lines the Governor has not been public about are and negotiate something closer to the House version of the bill that can actually pass a House vote.

Instead, the Senate took an amendment that was already rejected by the House at least twice and larded it up with every poison pill they could on the back of Senate President Bradley’s efforts. The fix was in, and the lose-lose proposition was sent to the House.

In our opinion, the Senate is always where the fight was to be had. Moving forward we encourage all proponents to shine the spotlight on our senators and demand the following…

A veto proof majority of senators need to stand up in the face of party and pressure and tell their party and whoever is Governor they are going to pass a great bill for the people of New Hampshire even if it means they lose committee seats or funding. If the Governor vetoes the bill, they will override that veto.

Until this happens, we will never have proper legalization that provides economic opportunity, harm reduction and benefits to all residents of the state. The senate must take their power back!


NGO’s Expose Themselves to the People of New Hampshire

There are many organizations fighting for legalization in our state. Not all are created the same. Unfortunately, in our opinion, in the last year the Marijuana Policy Project and the ACLU have exposed themselves as caring only about legalization regardless of what structure that comes with after they check us off and move on to the next state.

Even if it means patients pay 15% more for their medicine, our medical industry collapses, economic opportunity is stolen from everyday residents, people continue to get arrested, another 100+ years of Liquor Commission reign is cemented into place and everything else so very wrong with the Senate’s version of the bill.

This is simply unacceptable.

They have demonstrated they are not the friends of our residents, patients and medical ATCs and should be marginalized from the process going forward. New Hampshire needs a New Hampshire centric coalition that fights for maximum economic opportunity in addition to harm reduction and benefits to the widest swath of residents possible. Any organization so willing to light their credibility on fire for a crumb from the state should have no role in the center of the effort moving forward.


The Role of the Liquor Commission

We had a crash course in the Liquor Commission over the last year. What was originally created as a limiting agency to restrict the consumption of hard alcohol at some point turned into (as they describe themselves) a business, full of business people with the mandate of selling as much liquor as possible to anyone of legal age that will buy it. To the point that we now have family friendly liquor stores. As proponents of cannabis legalization we don’t ever want to see that happen with cannabis stores.

It is apparent that this commission is no longer a regulatory body full of regulators. If they are a business, that immediately creates a conflict of interest with a competing industry. As such we feel they should have no role in a legal cannabis industry in the state unless they can be restrained to regulation only.


What’s Next?

In the upcoming session we’d like to see efforts on at least three fronts…

  • A truly good bill based on the original HB639 and HB1633 with strong free market principals and widely distributed opportunity
  • A bill that increases the decrim amounts to those in the original HB1633
  • A bill that provides a path for our medical ATCs to go for profit now


There is a lot more to unpack. Instead of writing it all down we recommend you watch our latest interview with Cultivated Media’s Jay Rosenthal from Friday to get a sense of what happened, what that means and what is next.

For now, the work begins anew. The upcoming election is another opportunity to change the complexion of the senate in favor of cannabis legalization. Stand by for our upcoming 2024 Senate election guide coming soon!





Also, a reminder to visit our digital media properties at the links below. Like, follow, request access and share with like minded people in your network.





Thank you to this article’s sponsor, Loanviser. If you need cannabis financing or cannabis credit card processing services contact the experts at Loanviser today!

Loanviser Cannabis Financing

Leave a Reply