New Hampshire Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS NEW HAMPSHIRE'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Content Below Last Updated by Point7 04/06/2022
In March 2022, New Hampshire approved an amended version of a state-run Cannabis Legalization bill (House Bill 1598) and was sent to the House for a second floor vote. This proposed bill would be the first government-led cannabis market, but some are skeptical of the success of this idea.
There is no cap to the number of dispensaries in the current bill, but the proposed plan would be to open ten state-run stores within the first three years. Within the bill, however, cannabis products purchased at these state-run dispensaries cannot be infused, unlike their medical cannabis market where infused products are allowed. Legislation is still discussing taxes for adult-use, startup costs for the state, and potential supply chain issues.
New Hampshire’s medical cannabis market has seen an increase in patients since it was legalized in 2014. In 2021, Governor Chris Sununu (R ) signed House Bill 605, which included a broader list of qualifying conditions. The New Hampshire community is rejoicing because one of the signed qualifying conditions is for residents with opioid use disorder. Additionally, patients from other states who are visiting New Hampshire can now purchase medical cannabis with their state qualified medical cannabis identification card.
WHAT ARE NEW HAMPSHIRE'S CURRENT CANNABIS LAWS?
In 2014, medical cannabis was legalized for patients with chronic or terminal illnesses. This law also opened up opportunities for medical cannabis dispensaries in New Hampshire, though legislation for recreational dispensaries has yet to be outlined.
Cannabis for recreational use just became legal in New Hampshire in 2020, however it is under strict guidelines. Individuals can grow cannabis and provide other adults with their plant, but there are no retail locations to purchase cannabis in the state of New Hampshire.
Possession of more than ¾ of an ounce of cannabis or more than 5 grams of concentrate is a misdemeanor and may include up to a year in prison and a fine of no more than $350.
WHAT IS NEW HAMPSHIRE'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
Recreational cannabis is limited in New Hampshire. Right now, it’s legal to grow and make small distributions from a personal plant. However, with the recent legalization, it’s not unlikely that legislation regarding commercial cannabis could arise in the next few years.
If HB 1598 passes, there will be an opportunity for cultivation licenses to be permitted in New Hampshire throughout the state. These cultivation sites would provide products to the state-run cannabis program.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE?New Hampshire’s history with Cannabis has been stagnant with more recent developments in the last decade. For a long time, cannabis of all uses was illegal and heavily punished. In July 2013, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed a bill allowing the use of medical cannabis for patients with chronic illnesses and patients with terminal illnesses. However, this bill was quite strict, only allowing medical cannabis as a last effort after exhausting all other medical options, it also prohibited patients from growing their own cannabis unlike most states in the U.S. who do allow patient cultivation.
In 2017, New Hampshire decriminalized cannabis, reducing penalties for possessing three-quarters of an ounce or less of cannabis from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil violation punishable only by a fine.. After four offenses within three years, the individual can be charged with a misdemeanor.
There was an attempt in 2014 to legalize cannabis completely for all types of use including recreational which was finally passed in 2020. This proposal did not legalize commercial production or sales of cannabis, but rather adults 21 and older can cultivate cannabis plants in their homes and provide other adults with their cannabis in amounts up to three-quarters of an ounce.
DOES NEW HAMPSHIRE HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
PREPARING FOR THE NEW HAMPSHIRE CANNABIS MARKET
If HB 1598 is passed, we are ready to support your team as you prepare for cultivation cannabis licensure in New Hampshire. Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.