If recreational marijuana becomes legal in NH, should sales be limited to state liquor stores?

Oct 31, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

While New Hampshire allows doctor-supervised use of marijuana for medical reasons, recreational use of the drug is still illegal.

Learn more about New Hampshire’s marijuana laws here.

New England states face pot sale challenges

With a growing number of states legalizing recreational pot, New Hampshire legislators are considering how the state should regulate weed sales if recreational use becomes legal in the future. HB 377, which is currently in committee, would require the New Hampshire Liquor Commission to control the purchase and sale of marijuana the same way it does alcohol.

Massachusetts, where recreational marijuana has been legal since December 2016, is also considering liquor stores as sales venues. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Package Store Association offered its liquor store owners the opportunity to apply for dispensary licenses when the state begins to approve them.

"We all believe that the sale of any regulated substance must be carefully controlled through highly structured rules applied to marketing, sales, training and access.”

- Frank Anzalotti, president of the Massachusetts Package Store Association

New Hampshire citizens favor state liquor stores as cannabis dispensaries

A 2013 University of New Hampshire poll of 581 New Hampshire residents found that the majority were in favor of having the state liquor store outlets serve as as dispensaries for recreational cannabis.

Pot & alcohol don’t mix

 

Those against the state liquor commission being the sole pot retailer say that the combination of alcohol and drugs could be a dangerous mix.

 

With weed strains and flavors being numerous, opponents also argue that restricting sales to state outlets could lead to fewer choices and poorer quality being available to consumers. There are also long time advocates of legalizing cannabis who say they have earned the right to get a piece of the action, too, by being allowed to apply to sell the drug.

State control could generate more revenue

Supporters say the state is best suited for retailing non-medical marijuana with its strict controls and rules. As with alcohol, selling marijuana could bring in even more out-of-state business and any money above and beyond operating expenses would go into the general fund. They also point to the fact that many towns and cities would try to block cannabis only stores, whereas the liquor store infrastructure is already in place.

Do you think pot should be sold at state liquor stores? Tell us what you think.

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