History of Cannabis and CBD: New Hampshire
As of July 2017, possession of trace amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized throughout the state of New Hampshire. Despite the large conservative presence in the legislature, residents have pushed for increasing decriminalization and legalization efforts continuously.
Consumer opinions towards cannabis products have been shifting enormously for over a decade. Now, over sixty percent of Americans support decriminalization – just twenty years ago, less than twenty percent supported reduction of cannabis possession arrests.
New Hampshire is not immune to the change in national sentiment, either. Several appeals for recreational and medicinal legalization implicate the strong opinions of residents throughout the state.
Cannabis, CBD, and New Hampshire
In early 2013, Governor Hassan signed a bill that allowed for the use of medical cannabis for patients with extremely debilitating illnesses. Interestingly, the medical marijuana bill was considered one of the harshest in the country; patients are only allowed cannabis after all over treatment methods have failed.
Ultimately, this has meant that only the smallest subset of people in the state have access to marijuana. Additionally, many experts have criticized the lack of regulatory framework established after the bill was signed into law.
It’s unclear how many patients have received medical marijuana and if their access is regular. Patients are completely excluded from growing their own cannabis, only most other states with similar laws that allow anywhere from six to twelve personal plants.
Just a year after the bill’s passage, the legislature voted barely in favor of an amendment that would legalize personal use of less than one ounce for any adult. Moreover, the bill would establish retailers, distributors, and organizations to vet legal dispensaries.
Unfortunately, the bill has not yet been enacted. Legislators claim that tax problems have caused the bill to be halt on the floor and have yet to be fully debated.
Currently, the only fully enacted cannabis legislation has been the statewide decriminalization efforts. First time offenses are limited to a mere $100 charge; however, more than three charges in one year could result in misdemeanor penalties, jail time, and a criminal record.
It will be interesting to see how policy continues to develop throughout the state. Out of all the states with cannabis legalization and decriminalization policies, New Hampshire is one of the most conservative. It may take a series of municipal changes and shifts in the legislature in order to motivate the state into pro-cannabis action.