Governor Sununu’s 15-Dispensary Cap: Balancing Safety and Growth in New Hampshire’s Cannabis Market

Governor Sununu's introduction of a 15-store cap and restrictions on lobbying and political contributions by licensees in New Hampshire's cannabis industry aims to safeguard children and maintain a responsible, conflict-free market.

Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire speaking with attendees at the American Conservation Coalition's 2022 Summit at the JW Marriott Washington, D.C. in Washington, D.C.
Image Credits: Gage Skidmore

In a recent address, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu proposed a cap on cannabis dispensaries statewide, putting a limit of 15 stores on the budding industry. As part of the state’s move towards cannabis legalization, Sununu envisions these dispensaries working under a franchise model. This announcement comes not long after he signed Bill HB 611, which established a commission to examine the feasibility of legalizing and regulating marijuana sales in the state.

The 15-store cap is expected to find traction among policymakers who seek control over the cannabis market, with some even comparing the proposal to the number of liquor stores in the state. However, opponents argue that such a restrictive measure could stifle growth in the industry and restrict consumers’ access to products.

Governor’s Proposal Focuses on Children’s Safety, Bans Lobbying and Political Contributions

One of Sununu’s primary concerns when introducing the cap was ensuring the safety and well-being of children in New Hampshire. He acknowledges that a carefully regulated and controlled market would help protect minors from exposure to marijuana. In addition to the 15-store limit, the governor also called for a ban on lobbying and political contributions by any licensee.

This move could prevent potential conflicts of interest and limit undue influence in policymaking concerning the cannabis industry. By placing restrictions on lobbying and political donations, Governor Sununu aims to keep the focus on creating a safe and accessible system for responsible adult use.

Commission to Examine the Feasibility of State-Controlled Sales

To determine the best course of action in implementing legalized cannabis sales in the state, a commission has been established to study the issue. They will explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of state-controlled sales, focusing on tax revenue generation, crime deterrence, and public health effects.

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While the proposed 15-store cap is currently under discussion, it is only one aspect of a larger conversation about marijuana legalization in New Hampshire. As the commission’s work continues, other possible regulatory measures may be introduced to ensure an effective and efficient transition from prohibition to regulated adult-use cannabis sales.

New Legislation Expands Medical Cannabis Access in New Hampshire

A new bill recently passed in New Hampshire allows medical cannabis patients from other states, including Canada, to purchase products from dispensaries within the state. This move expands access to critical medicinal resources for those who need them most and shows how New Hampshire’s legislation is evolving to better meet its residents’ needs.

Governor Chris Sununu’s proposal to cap the number of cannabis dispensaries at 15 stores reflects a cautious approach to marijuana legalization in the state. While the limit may help protect children and promote transparency in policymaking, it remains to be seen if such a restriction will ultimately benefit the state’s regulated adult-use market. As the conversation around marijuana legalization continues nationwide, each jurisdiction must find the best way to navigate this complex issue with the well-being of its population front and center.

Rita Ferreira

Rita Ferreira

Rita is a seasoned writer with over five years of experience, having worked with globally renowned platforms, including Forbes and Miister CBD. Her deep knowledge of hemp-related businesses and passion for delivering accurate and concise information distinguish her in the industry. Rita's contributions empower individuals and companies to navigate the complexities of the cannabis world, and her work remains a valuable resource for those seeking a deeper understanding of its potential.

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