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New Hampshire Lawmakers Advance Adult-Use Cannabis Bill with Bipartisan Support 

New Hampshire lawmakers have taken a significant step towards legalizing adult-use cannabis in the state, as a bipartisan bill advanced in the state’s House of Representatives. The bill, known as HB 639, was passed with a vote of 272-109 on Thursday, and will now head to the state Senate. However, it should be noted that the Senate rejected a similar proposal last year, so it remains to be seen what will happen to the bill in the upper chamber.

Should the bill be passed into law, it would legalize the possession of up to four ounces of recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and older, with regulated sales taxed at a rate of 12.5%. Despite the positive momentum, it is not immediately clear what the Senate plans to do with the bill, although Republican Governor Chris Sununu has stated that he does not expect a legalization bill to reach his desk.

New Hampshire currently stands as the only state in New England that has yet to legalize adult-use cannabis sales, with neighboring states Maine and Massachusetts having both legalized recreational marijuana via ballot initiatives in 2016. It should be noted that New Hampshire legalized medical marijuana in 2013, but enrollment in the state’s MMJ program slowed after adult-use markets opened in neighboring states.

It’s worth noting that New Hampshire does not have a voter initiative process, which could mean that legislative action is the only avenue for future cannabis legalization efforts. If the state does legalize adult-use cannabis, it could have a significant impact on the industry in New England, with New Hampshire serving as a key transportation hub between Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

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