New Hampshire bans delta-8 THC, will study adult-use marijuana legalization

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New Hampshire banned most products containing hemp-derived cannabinoids, including delta-8 THC, but will examine legalizing adult-use marijuana under a bill signed into law this week.

However, the plan stipulates that adult-use sales would be restricted to state-run retail outlets.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu turned heads when he abandoned earlier opposition and voiced support in May for legalizing recreational marijuana – but with caveats.

Saying he wants to avoid so-called “marijuana miles” – clusters of cannabis retailers – to empower cities to prohibit sales, Sununu proposed limiting sales to state-run stores.

That’s similar to how New Hampshire regulates sales of liquor, which is available only at state-run outlets.

Under House Bill 611, which Sununu signed into law on Wednesday, a state commission comprised of legislators, law enforcement, bankers and legal and medical experts will deliver a report evaluating Sununu’s favored model by Dec. 1.

No other U.S. state has tried to restrict sales to state-run outlets.

The new law also:

  • Removed a requirement mandating that severe pain be resistant to other treatment before it can be a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
  • Banned the sale of hemp-derived products containing more than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis “… including delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other THC isomer variant.”

“New Hampshire has an opportunity to safely regulate the sale of marijuana with a model few others can provide,” Sununu said in a statement.

“By establishing a commission to study state-controlled sales, this bill will bring stakeholders from across New Hampshire together to ensure that preventing negative impacts upon kids remains our number one priority.”