New Hampshire lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted to advance a measure that would legalize recreational cannabis possession and sales in the state.

The marijuana legalization bill – HB 1633 – was approved by 239 lawmakers, with 141 voting against. If passed into law, possession of up to four ounces of cannabis and the sale of marijuana products would become legal for adults 21 and older in New Hampshire.

Prior to the House floor vote, the bill underwent several amendments in the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee. According to the measure’s sponsor, Rep. Erica Layon (R), these were necessary to help allay the reservations of a large cohort of Senate Republicans who are not convinced by the proposal.

“It’s a compromise,” Layon said in a statement. “Every single person in a seat here can find a reason to vote against the amendment and vote against the bill. But the question is, do we have a net benefit to the state by passing this? I believe we do.”

In recent times, the largest obstacle to reforming New Hampshire’s cannabis laws has been Gov. Chris Sununu but last year he indicated he is open to legalization so long as marijuana dispensaries are state-run.

Layon’s bill, however, proposes a free market approach to cannabis sales but it does put a cap on the number of state-wide establishments at fifteen and calls for a ban on all marijuana advertising.

In trying to appeal to GOP lawmakers though, some long standing advocates in the House for marijuana reform claim Layona’s bill comes up short For instance, the absence of social equity provisions to help those most impacted by the harms of cannabis criminalization to benefit from its legal status.

“This amendment will satisfy the hunger that we all feel – many of us feel – for legalization,” said Rep. Jonah Wheeler. “But it is a bologna sandwich that will leave us satisfied, but in a few hours, we will be hungry again because there was no nutrition there.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Heath Howard commented on the fact that the proposed reform actually includes stiffer penalties for public cannabis consumption than are currently in place.

“This bill not only keeps the current misdemeanor charges for people smoking in public, but it also increases the second-violation fines,” Heath noted.

With an estimated 72 percent of New Hampshire residents in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis, according to statewide polling, Tim Egan of the New Hampshire Cannabis Trade Association acknowledges that it is crucial for lawmakers to find compromises over the finer details of the bill.

“What we have tried to do this time is include industry, government, law enforcement– basically folks that have been traditionally prohibitionists, and I think there has been more listening and more consensus-building than ever before,” he said.

The House Finance Committee is currently considering the legislation; If approved, it will receive a final vote on the House floor before making its way to the Senate.

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