HB656 (2017)

Relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.


Status: HOUSE Criminal Justice and Public Safety (Details)
Length: 1 words.


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Revisions of this bill in our system:

 HouseSenate
Public hearing:(unscheduled) (unscheduled)
Executive session:2017-02-07 00:00:00(unscheduled)
Floor vote:(unscheduled)(unscheduled)

HB 656-FN-A-LOCAL - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2017 SESSION

17-0543

04/09

 

HOUSE BILL 656-FN-A-LOCAL

 

AN ACT relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Aldrich, Belk. 2; Rep. Zaricki, Hills. 6; Rep. Dyer, Hills. 37; Rep. Phinney, Straf. 24

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Legalizes the personal use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older.

 

II.  Legalizes the cultivation, possession, and use of hemp.

 

III.  Authorizes the licensing of marijuana wholesale, retail, cultivation, and testing facilities.

 

IV.  Imposes a tax on the sale of marijuana.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

17-0543

04/09

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Purpose and Findings.  The general court hereby finds that:

I.  In the interest of allowing law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom, the people of the state of New Hampshire find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for a person 21 years of age or older and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol.

II.  In the interest of the health and public safety of our citizenry, the people of the state of New Hampshire further find and declare that marijuana should be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol so that:

(a)  Individuals will have to show proof of age before purchasing marijuana.

(b)  Selling, distributing, or transferring marijuana to minors and other individuals under the age of 21 shall remain illegal.

(c)  Driving under the influence of marijuana shall remain illegal.

(d)  Legitimate, taxpaying business people, and not criminal actors, will conduct sales of marijuana.

(e)  Marijuana sold in this state will be tested, labeled, and subject to additional regulations to ensure that consumers are informed and protected.

(f)  In the interest of enacting rational policies for the treatment of all variations of the cannabis plant, hemp should be regulated separately from strains of cannabis with higher delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations.

III.  It is necessary to ensure consistency and fairness in the application of this act throughout the state and that, therefore, the matters addressed by this act are, except as specified herein, matters of statewide concern.

2  New Chapter; Regulation of Marijuana.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 318-E the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 318-F

REGULATION OF MARIJUANA

318-F:1  Definitions.  In this chapter:

I.  “Alternative treatment center” means a not-for-profit entity registered under RSA 126-X:7 that acquires, possesses, cultivates, manufactures, delivers, transfers, transports, sells, supplies, and dispenses cannabis, and related supplies and educational materials, to qualifying patients and alternative treatment centers.

II.  "Consumer" means a person 21 years of age or older who purchases marijuana or marijuana products for personal use by a person 21 years of age or older, but not for resale.

III.  "Department" means the department of revenue administration, prior to the effective date of this section.

IV.  “Disqualifying offense” means:

(a)  A violent crime as defined in RSA 651:5, XIII that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction in which the person was convicted; or

(b)  A violation of a state or federal controlled substances law that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction in which the person was convicted, but not including:

(1)  An offense for which the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration, or supervised release was completed 10 or more years earlier; or

(2)  An offense that consisted of cultivation or possession of marijuana prior to the effective date of this section.

V.  “Hemp” means the plant of the genus cannabis and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed three-tenths percent on a dry weight basis of any part of the plant cannabis, or per volume or weight of marijuana product, or the combined percent of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid in any part of the plant cannabis regardless of moisture content.

VI.  “Immature marijuana plant” means a marijuana plant that has not flowered and which does not have buds that may be observed by visual examination.

VII.  "Marijuana" means all parts of the plant of the genus cannabis whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or its resin, including marijuana concentrate.  "Marijuana" shall not include hemp, fiber produced from the stalks, oil, or cake made from the seeds of the plant, sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination, or the weight of any other ingredient combined with marijuana to prepare topical or oral administrations, food, drink, or other product.

VIII.  "Marijuana accessories" means any equipment, products, or materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, composting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, vaporizing, or containing marijuana, or for ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana into the human body.

IX.  "Marijuana cultivation facility" means an entity registered to cultivate, prepare, and package marijuana, and sell marijuana to retail marijuana stores, to marijuana product manufacturing facilities, and to other marijuana cultivation facilities, but not to consumers.  A marijuana cultivation facility may not produce marijuana concentrates, tinctures, extracts, or other marijuana products.

X.  "Marijuana establishment" means a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana testing facility, a marijuana product manufacturing facility, or a retail marijuana store.

XI.  "Marijuana product manufacturing facility" means an entity registered to purchase marijuana and to manufacture, prepare, and package marijuana products, and sell marijuana and marijuana products to other marijuana product manufacturing facilities and to retail marijuana stores, but not to consumers.

XII.  "Marijuana products" means concentrated marijuana products and marijuana products that are comprised of marijuana and other ingredients and are intended for use or consumption, such as, but not limited to, edible products, ointments, and tincture.

XIII.  "Marijuana testing facility" means an entity registered to test marijuana for potency and contaminants.  

XIV.  “Public place” means any place to which the general public has access.

XV.  “Regulatory agency” means:

(a)  The liquor commission, in the context of a retail marijuana store or a prospective retail marijuana store; or

(b)  The department of agriculture, markets, and food, in the context of a marijuana cultivation facility or a prospective marijuana cultivation facility; or

(c)  The department of health and human services, in the context of a marijuana testing facility, a prospective marijuana testing facility, a marijuana product manufacturing facility, or a prospective marijuana product manufacturing facility.

XVI.  "Retail marijuana store" means an entity registered to purchase marijuana from marijuana cultivation facilities, to purchase marijuana and marijuana products from marijuana product manufacturing facilities, and to sell marijuana and marijuana products to consumers.

318-F:2  Personal Use of Marijuana.  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the following acts, if undertaken by a person 21 years of age or older, shall not be illegal under New Hampshire law or the law of any political subdivision of the state or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under New Hampshire law:

I.  Possessing, consuming, using, displaying, obtaining, purchasing, or transporting marijuana accessories, or marijuana in the amount of one ounce or less including up to 5 grams of hashish, and the equivalent amount in marijuana products.

II.  Possessing, growing, processing, or transporting no more than 6 marijuana plants, with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants, and possession of the marijuana produced by the plants on the premises where the plants were grown.

III.  Transferring one ounce or less of marijuana and up to 6 immature marijuana plants to a person who is 21 years of age or older without remuneration.

IV.  Transferring or selling marijuana seeds or up to 6 marijuana seedlings to marijuana cultivation facilities.

V.  Transferring marijuana or marijuana products to a marijuana testing facility.

VI.  Controlling property where the acts described by this section occur.

VII.  Assisting another person who is 21 years of age or older in any of the acts described in this section.

318-F:3  Restrictions on Personal Cultivation; Penalty.

I.  Except as allowed under RSA 126-X, no person who is 21 years of age or older shall cultivate marijuana plants except as provided in this section.

II.  Marijuana plants shall not be cultivated in a location where the plants are subject to public view without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids.

III.  A person who cultivates marijuana shall take reasonable precautions to ensure the plants are secure from access by a person under 21 years of age.  Cultivating marijuana in an enclosed, locked space to which unauthorized persons do not have access, or other similar security precautions, shall be prima facie evidence of reasonable precautions.

IV.  Marijuana cultivation shall only occur on property the cultivator legally owns, leases, or controls, or with the consent of the person who legally owns, leases, or controls the property.

V.  Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and may be fined not more than $1,000.

318-F:4  Public Smoking of Marijuana Prohibited.

I.  No person shall smoke marijuana in a public place.

II.  Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and may be fined not more than $200.

318-F:5  Consuming Marijuana in a Moving Vehicle Prohibited.

I.  No person shall consume marijuana while operating or driving a motor vehicle, boat, vessel, aircraft, or other motorized device used for transportation.

II.  Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and may be fined not more than $500, or have his or her driver's license suspended for up to 6 months, or both, for the first violation.

III.  Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and may be fined not more than $1,000 or have his or her driver's license suspended for up to one year, or both, for a second or subsequent violation.

318-F:6  False Identification Prohibited.

I.  A person who is under 21 years of age shall not present or offer to a marijuana establishment or the marijuana establishment's agent or employee any written or oral evidence of age that is false, fraudulent, or not actually the minor's own, for the purpose of:

(a)  Purchasing, attempting to purchase, or otherwise procuring

or attempting to procure marijuana; or

(b)  Gaining access to a marijuana establishment.

II.  Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and may be fined not less than $400 and not more than $800.

318-F:7  Unlawful Marijuana Extraction Prohibited.

I.  No person, other than a marijuana product manufacturer complying with this chapter and department regulations, shall perform solvent-based extractions on marijuana using solvents other than water or vegetable glycerin.

II.  Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a class B felony and shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than 3 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

318-F:8   Lawful Operation of Marijuana-Related Facilities.  If undertaken by a person 21 years of age or older, the following acts shall not be illegal under New Hampshire law or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under New Hampshire law:

I.  Possessing, displaying, or transporting marijuana or marijuana products; obtaining or purchasing marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility; delivering or transferring marijuana to a marijuana testing facility; obtaining or purchasing marijuana or marijuana products from a marijuana product manufacturing facility; or sale, delivery, or distribution of marijuana or marijuana products to an adult who is 21 years of age or older or to retail marijuana stores, if the person conducting the activities described in this paragraph has obtained a current, valid registration to operate a retail marijuana store or is acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a registered retail marijuana store.

II.  Cultivating, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, displaying, or possessing marijuana; obtaining or purchasing marijuana seeds or seedlings or immature marijuana plants from any adult 21 years of age or older; delivery or transfer of marijuana to a marijuana testing facility; selling or transferring marijuana that has not been processed into extracts, concentrates, or other preparations to a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana product manufacturing facility, or a retail marijuana store; or obtaining or purchasing marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility, if the person conducting the activities described in this paragraph has obtained a current, valid registration to operate a marijuana cultivation facility or is acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a registered marijuana cultivation facility.

III.  Packaging, processing, transporting, manufacturing, displaying, or possessing marijuana or marijuana products; delivery or transfer of marijuana or marijuana products to a marijuana testing facility; selling marijuana or marijuana products to a retail marijuana store or a marijuana product manufacturing facility; purchasing or obtaining marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility; or purchasing or obtaining marijuana or marijuana products from a marijuana product manufacturing facility, if the person conducting the activities described in this paragraph has obtained a current, valid registration to operate a marijuana product manufacturing facility or is acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a registered marijuana product manufacturing facility.

IV.  Possessing, obtaining, cultivating, processing, storing, transporting, receiving, or displaying marijuana or marijuana products if the person has obtained a current, valid registration to operate a marijuana testing facility or is acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a registered marijuana testing facility.

V.  Leasing or otherwise allowing the use of property owned, occupied, or controlled by any person, corporation, or other entity for any of the activities conducted lawfully in accordance with this section.

VI.  Obtaining or purchasing marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility; delivering or transferring marijuana to a marijuana testing facility; or obtaining or purchasing marijuana or marijuana products from a marijuana product manufacturing facility if the person conducting the activities described in this paragraph possesses a valid registration to operate an alternative treatment center or is acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a registered alternative treatment center.

318-F:9  Marijuana Establishments; Background Checks Required.

I.  A marijuana establishment shall conduct a state and federal background check prior to making a final offer of employment to a prospective employee, agent, manager, or operator.

II.  No marijuana establishment shall employ any person who has been convicted of a disqualifying offense.  No person convicted of a disqualifying offense shall serve in any capacity, or be affiliated in any manner, with a marijuana establishment.

318-F:10  Marijuana Accessories Authorized.

I.  It shall not be illegal under New Hampshire law or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under New Hampshire law for a person 21 years of age or older to manufacture, possess, or purchase marijuana accessories, or to distribute or sell marijuana accessories to a person who is 21 years of age or older.

II.  A person who is 21 years of age or older is authorized to manufacture, possess, obtain, and purchase marijuana accessories, and may distribute, deliver, or sell marijuana accessories to a person who is 21 years of age or older.

318-F:11  Common Carriers.

I.  No common carrier or other person acting in a capacity as an employee or agent of a common carrier shall be subject to state prosecution, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court, business licensing board, or entity, or be denied a right or privilege, for transporting or possessing marijuana or marijuana products from one marijuana establishment to another, from a marijuana establishment to an alternative treatment center, or from a retail marijuana store or alternative treatment center to consumers.

II.  No common carrier or other person, acting in a capacity as an employee or agent of a common carrier, shall be subject to state prosecution, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court, business licensing board, or entity, or be denied a right or privilege, for transporting or possessing marijuana seeds.

318-F:12  Financial Interests Prohibited.

I.  No marijuana testing facility or owner of a marijuana testing facility shall have a direct or indirect financial interest in a marijuana retail store, a marijuana cultivation facility, or a marijuana product manufacturing facility.

II.  No marijuana retail store or owner of a marijuana retail store shall have a direct or indirect financial interest in a marijuana testing facility, a marijuana cultivation facility, or a marijuana product manufacturing facility.

III.  No marijuana cultivation facility or owner of a marijuana cultivation facility shall have a direct or indirect financial interest in a marijuana testing facility, a marijuana retail store, or a marijuana product manufacturing facility.

IV.  No marijuana product manufacturing facility or owner of a marijuana product manufacturing facility shall have a direct or indirect financial interest in a marijuana testing facility, a marijuana retail store, or a marijuana cultivation facility.

318-F:13  Restrictions on Location.  No marijuana establishment shall operate, nor shall a prospective marijuana establishment apply for a registration, if it:

I.  Would be located within 1,000 feet of the property line of a pre-existing public or private school; or

II.  The location sells alcohol for consumption.

318-F:14  Safety Inserts and Warning Labels.

I.  A retail marijuana store shall include a safety insert designed by the department of health and human services with all marijuana and marijuana products sold to consumers.

II.  All marijuana and marijuana products sold by a retail marijuana store shall include warning labels that provide the following information:

(a)  “Warning: This product has intoxicating effects.”

(b)  “For use by adults 21 and older.  Keep out of reach of children.”

III.  All marijuana products sold by a retail marijuana store shall include:

(a)  A warning label that provides, “Caution:  When eaten or swallowed, the intoxicating effects of this product may be delayed by 2 or more hours.”

(b)  A disclosure of ingredients and possible allergens.

(c)  A nutritional fact panel.

(d)  Opaque, child-resistant packaging, which must be designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under 5 years of age to open and not difficult for normal adults to use properly as defined by 16 C.F.R. section 1700.20.

318-F:15  Enactment of Municipal Ordinances.

I.  A municipality may enact an ordinance prohibiting or limiting the number and type of marijuana establishments that may be permitted within the municipality, and regulating the time, place, and manner of operation of a marijuana establishment which is permitted within the municipality.

II.  A municipality may enact an ordinance specifying the entity within the municipality that shall be responsible for reviewing applications submitted for a registration to operate a marijuana establishment within the municipality.  The entity designated by the municipality shall be responsible for indicating whether the application is in compliance with local ordinances.

318-F:16  Regulation of Marijuana.

I.  Not later than June 1, 2018, the department of revenue administration shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, for the registration, regulation, and taxation of marijuana cultivation facilities.  Such rules shall include the following:

(a)  Procedures for the issuance, denial, renewal, suspension, and revocation of a registration for a marijuana cultivation facility.

(b)  A $250 application fee for a marijuana cultivation facility, which shall be renewable every 2 years, and a $250 renewal fee.

(c)  Qualifications for registration or renewal that are directly related to the applicant being able to collect and pay taxes in a timely fashion, including demonstrating that the applicant is in good standing for any professional or business registrations and, setting standards for the applicant’s criminal history and providing for a criminal background check, provided applicants may only apply if they have already been previously issued a marijuana cultivation facility registration by the department of agriculture, markets, and food.

(d)  Procedures to collect taxes from a marijuana cultivation facility.

(e)  Record keeping requirements for a marijuana cultivation facility.

(f)  Requirements for the transportation of marijuana by a marijuana cultivation facility, including documentation that shall accompany any marijuana being transported by marijuana cultivation facilities.

(g)  A schedule of civil fines for violations of this chapter and department of revenue administration rules.

(h)  Procedures for hearings on civil fines and suspensions and revocations of a marijuana cultivation facility's registration.

II.  Not later than June 1, 2018, the department of agriculture, markets, and food shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, for the registration and regulation of marijuana cultivation facilities.  Such rules shall include the following:

(a)  Procedures for the issuance, denial, annual renewal, suspension, and revocation of a cultivation registration to operate a marijuana cultivation facility.

(b)  A schedule of civil fines for violations of department rules by a marijuana cultivation facility.

(c)  Procedures for hearings on civil fines, suspension, and revocation of a marijuana cultivation facility registration.

(d)  A schedule of application, registration, and annual renewal fees, provided that the non-refundable portion of application fees shall not exceed $1,000, adjusted annually for inflation.

(e)  Qualifications for registration that are directly and demonstrably related to the operation of a marijuana cultivation facility.

(f)  Security requirements for a marijuana cultivation facility, including:

(1)  Video surveillance requirements; and

(2)  Requirements that marijuana be cultivated in secure locations that are registered with the department of agriculture, markets, and food; and

(3)  Lighting, alarm, and physical security requirements.

(g)  Establishing the number of marijuana cultivation facility registrations that will be issued, provided that unless the number of qualified marijuana cultivation facility applicants is fewer than 20, the number of marijuana cultivation facility registrations shall not be fewer than 20.  If the number of qualified applicants is fewer than 20, each qualified applicant shall be granted registration.

(h)  Health and safety rules for the cultivation of marijuana, including the packaging and preparing of marijuana, seeding, and restricting the use of pesticides that may be dangerous to marijuana consumers.

(i)  Restrictions on the advertising, signage, marketing, and display of marijuana, including but not limited to a prohibition on mass-market campaigns that have a high likelihood of reaching minors restrictions to prevent marijuana from being marketed to minors.

(j)  Restrictions on where a marijuana cultivation facility may be located, consistent with the provisions of this chapter.

III.  Not later than September 1, 2018, the liquor commission shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, for the registration and regulation of retail marijuana stores.  Such rules shall include the following:

(a)  Procedures for the issuance, denial, annual renewal, suspension, and revocation of a registration to operate a retail marijuana store.

(b)  A schedule of application, registration, and renewal fees, provided that the non-refundable portion of any application fees shall not exceed $1,000, adjusted annually for inflation.

(c)  Qualifications for registration that are directly and demonstrably related to the operation of a retail marijuana store.

(d)  Security requirements for retail marijuana stores, including lighting, physical security, video, and alarm requirements.

(e)  Establishing the number of retail marijuana store registrations that will be issued, provided that:

(1)  The number of retail marijuana stores shall be no fewer than one retail marijuana store for every 10 retail liquor stores, except that the number may be reduced by an amount that is proportionate to the population of any municipality that does not allow retail marijuana stores within its borders or that limits the number of retail marijuana stores within its borders.  The number may also be reduced if there are not a sufficient number of qualified applicants for retail marijuana store registration; and

(2)  The liquor commission may establish the number of retail marijuana stores allowed in each county or municipality that has not prohibited retail marijuana stores or established a lower numerical limit on retail marijuana stores pursuant to this chapter.

(f)  A schedule of civil fines for violations of the liquor commission rules by a retail marijuana store.

(g)  Procedures for hearings on civil fines, suspensions, and revocations of a retail marijuana store registration.

(h)  Restrictions on the advertising, signage, marketing and display of marijuana, including but not limited to a prohibition on mass-market campaigns that have a high likelihood of reaching minors restrictions to prevent marijuana from being marketed to minors.

(i)  Restrictions on where a retail marijuana store may be located, consistent with the provisions of this chapter.

(j)  Restrictions on the hours of sale when a retail marijuana store may sell marijuana and marijuana products, provided the regulations shall not allow retailers to begin sales before 6:00 a.m. or to sell marijuana or marijuana products after 11:45 p.m.

(k)  Requirements for the transportation of marijuana by a retail marijuana store, including documentation that shall accompany any marijuana being transported by a retail marijuana store.

IV.  Not later than August 1, 2018, the department of health and human services shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A for the registration and regulation of marijuana product manufacturing facilities.  Such rules shall include:

(a)  Procedures for the issuance, denial, annual renewal, suspension, and revocation of a registration to operate a marijuana product manufacturing facility.

(b)  A schedule of application, registration, and renewal fees, provided that the non-refundable portion of any application fees shall not exceed $1,000 adjusted annually for inflation.

(c)  A schedule of civil fines for violations of department rules by a marijuana product manufacturing facility.

(d)  Procedures for hearings on civil fines, suspensions, and revocations of a marijuana product manufacturing facility registration.

(e)  Qualifications for registration that are directly and demonstrably related to the operation of a marijuana product manufacturing facility.

(f)  Security requirements to operate a marijuana product manufacturing facility, including lighting, physical security, video, and alarm requirements.

(g)  The number of marijuana product manufacturing facility registrations to be issued consistent with the provisions of this chapter.

(h)  Labeling requirements for marijuana products sold or distributed by a marijuana product manufacturing facility, including:

(1)  Disclosing the THC content of each product;

(2)  Restrictions on packaging to ensure it is not designed to appeal to minors; and

(3)  Establishing the amount of THC that may be included in each serving of a marijuana product.

(i)  Health and safety rules and standards for the manufacture of marijuana products, including:

(1) Restrictions or prohibitions on additives to products that are toxic, designed to make the product more addictive, designed to make the product more appealing to children, or misleading to consumers; and

(2) Safety standards regulating the manufacture of marijuana extracts and concentrates.

(j)  Requirements for the transportation of marijuana by a marijuana product manufacturing facility, including documentation that shall accompany any marijuana being transported by a marijuana product manufacturing facility.

V.  Not later than August 1, 2018, the department of health and human services shall develop a safety insert, which shall include:

(a)  Methods for administering marijuana, and how long marijuana may impair a person after it is ingested in each manner; and

(b)  How to recognize problematic usage of marijuana and how to obtain appropriate services or treatment for problematic usage.

VI.  Not later than August 1, 2018, the department of health and human services shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A for the registration and regulation of marijuana testing facilities.  Such rules shall include:

(a)  Procedures for the issuance, annual renewal, suspension, and revocation of a registration to operate a marijuana testing facility.

(b)  Standards for the operation of testing laboratories, including requirements for equipment and qualifications for personnel.

(c)  A schedule of application, registration, and renewal fees, provided that the non-refundable portion of any application fees shall not exceed $1,000 adjusted annually for inflation.

(d)  A schedule of civil fines for violations of department rules by a marijuana testing facility.

(e)  Procedures for hearings on civil fines and suspensions and revocations of a marijuana testing facility registration.

(f)  Qualifications for registration that are directly and demonstrably related to the operation of a marijuana testing facility.

(g)  Security requirements for a marijuana testing facility.

(h)  The number of marijuana testing facility registrations to be issued, which may not be fewer than 4 unless the number of qualified applicants is fewer than 4, in which case every qualified applicant shall be granted a registration.

(i)  Restrictions on where marijuana testing facilities may be located, consistent with the provisions of this chapter, and requiring that all testing shall be conducted on the registered marijuana testing facility premises.

(j)  Requirements for the transportation of marijuana by a marijuana testing facility including documentation that shall accompany any marijuana being transported by a marijuana testing facility.

(k)  Requirements for the testing of marijuana, including:

(1)  Requirements to ensure at a minimum that products sold for human consumption do not contain contaminants that are injurious to health and to ensure correct labeling;

(2)  That testing shall include, but not be limited to, analysis for residual solvents, poisons, or toxins; harmful chemicals; dangerous molds or mildew; filth; dangerous pesticides and harmful microbials such as E. Coli or salmonella and pesticides;

(3)  Providing that in the event that test results indicate the presence of quantities of any substance determined to be injurious to health, such products shall be immediately quarantined and immediate notification to the department shall be made.  The adulterated product shall be documented and properly destroyed;

(4)  That testing shall also verify THC potency representations for correct labeling;

(5)  That the department shall determine an acceptable variance for potency representations and procedures to address potency misrepresentations; and

(6)  That the department shall determine the protocols and frequency of marijuana testing by a marijuana testing facility.

(l)  Standards for registration laboratories for marijuana and marijuana products.

318-F:17  Registration Procedures for Marijuana Establishments.

I.  Each application for a registration to operate a marijuana establishment shall be submitted to the regulatory agency.  Each application shall include both the fee established by the regulatory agency and a $500 fee for the municipality to review the application.  The regulatory agency shall:

(a)  Accept and process applications beginning on June 1, 2018 for marijuana cultivation facilities, beginning on August 1 for marijuana product manufacturing facilities and marijuana testing facilities, and beginning on September 1 for marijuana retail stores;

(b)  Immediately forward a copy of each application and the $500 municipality fee to the municipality in which the applicant desires to operate the marijuana establishment; and

(c)  Issue a registration to the applicant between 45 and 90 days after receipt of an application unless:

(1)  The regulatory agency finds the applicant is not in compliance with the requirements of this chapter or rules adopted thereunder; or

(2)  The regulatory agency is notified by the relevant municipality that the applicant is not in compliance with an ordinance adopted pursuant to this chapter and in effect at the time of application; or

(3)  More qualified applicants have applied than the number of registrations available in the state or the municipality, and the applicant was not selected.

II.  When considering an applicant for each type of marijuana establishment registration, the regulatory agency shall consider:

(a)  Whether the applicant has experience operating as a marijuana establishment.

(b)  Input provided by the government of the municipality in which the prospective marijuana establishment would operate, including information regarding compliance with any local zoning laws.

(c)  The principal officers’ and board members’ character and relevant experience, including any training or professional licensing related to botany and their experience operating a nonprofit organization or business.

(d)  Whether the principal officers, board members, and managers of the marijuana establishment have business experience in the state of New Hampshire.

(e)  The plan for record keeping, security, inventory control, and diversion prevention of the applicant.

(f)  Criminal, civil, or regulatory issues encountered by other entities that the applicant and managing officers of the applicant have controlled or managed.

(g)  The financial history of the applicant and managing officers of the applicant, including any bankruptcy filings and any delinquent taxes.

(h)  Whether the entity possesses or has the right to use land, buildings, and equipment sufficient to properly carry out its duties as a marijuana establishment.

318-F:18  Sales to Persons Under 21 Years of Age.  The establishment of all the following facts by a retail marijuana store or an agent or employee of a retail marijuana store making a sale of marijuana or marijuana accessories to a person under the age of 21 shall constitute an affirmative defense to any prosecution for such sale:

I.  That the person falsely represented in writing and supported by official documentation that he or she was 21 years of age or over.

II.  That the appearance of the person was such that an ordinary and prudent person would believe him or her to be 21 years of age or over.

III.  That the sale was made in good faith relying upon such written representation and appearance in the reasonable belief that the person was 21 years of age or over.

318-F:19  Proof of Purchaser's Identity.

I.  For the purposes of this chapter, any person making the sale of marijuana or marijuana accessories to any purchaser whose age is in question may accept any of the following documentation as proof that the purchaser is 21 years of age or over:

(a)  A valid motor vehicle driver's license issued by the state of New Hampshire, or a valid driver's license issued by another state, or province of Canada, which bears the name, address, date of birth, and photograph of the purchaser.

(b)  A valid identification card issued by the director of motor vehicles under the provisions of RSA 260:21, or any picture identification card issued by another state which bears the name, address, and date of birth of the purchaser.

(c)  A valid armed services identification card showing the purchaser's name and date of birth.

(d)  A valid passport from a country with which the United States maintains diplomatic relations showing the purchaser's name, address, and date of birth.

II.  The appearance of the purchaser shall be consistent with the photographic identification presented under this section and the proof of identification shall be free of alteration, erasure, blemish, or other impairment.

318-F:20  Employers; Driving; Minors; and Control of Property.

I.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in the workplace or to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.

II.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit driving or operating under the influence of drugs or liquor pursuant to RSA 265-A, nor shall this section prevent the state from enacting and imposing penalties for driving under the influence of or while impaired by marijuana.

III.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit the transfer of marijuana, with or without remuneration, to a person under the age of 21, or to allow a person under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, use, transport, grow, or consume marijuana.

IV.  Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a state or county correctional facility from prohibiting the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana on or in the correctional facility's property.

V.(a)  Except as provided in this section, this chapter does not require any person, corporation, or any other entity that occupies, owns, or controls a property to allow the consumption, cultivation, display, sale, or transfer of marijuana on or in that property.

(b)  In the case of the rental of a residential dwelling, a landlord shall not prohibit the possession of marijuana or the consumption of marijuana by non-smoked means unless:

(1)  The tenant is a roomer who is not leasing the entire residential dwelling.

(2)  The residence is incidental to detention or the provision of medical, geriatric, educational, counseling, religious, or similar service.

(3)  The residence is a transitional housing facility.

(4)  Failing to prohibit marijuana possession or consumption would violate federal law or regulations or cause the landlord to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations.

318-F:21  Enforcement of Contracts.   Contracts related to the operation of a marijuana establishment registered pursuant to this chapter shall be enforceable.  No contract entered into by a registered marijuana establishment or its employees or agents as permitted pursuant to a valid registration, or by those who allow property to be used by an establishment, its employees, or its agents as permitted pursuant to a valid registration, shall be unenforceable on the basis that cultivating, obtaining, manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, transporting, selling, possessing, or using marijuana or hemp is prohibited by federal law.

3  New Chapter; Hemp Regulation.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 433-C the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 433-D

REGULATION OF HEMP

433-D:1  Definitions.  In this chapter:

I.  "Department" means the department of agriculture, markets, and foods.

II. "Hemp" means the plant of the genus cannabis and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed three-tenths percent on a dry weight basis of any part of the plant cannabis, or per volume or weight of marijuana product, or the combined percent of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid in any part of the plant regardless of moisture content.

III.  "Hemp products" means all products made from hemp, including, but not limited to, cloth, cordage, fiber, food, fuel, paint, paper, construction materials, plastics, seed, seed meal, seed oil, and certified seed for cultivation.

433-D:2  Hemp as an Agricultural Product.  Hemp may be grown as a crop, produced, possessed, and commercially traded in New Hampshire pursuant to this chapter.  The cultivation of hemp shall be subject to and comply with any regulations issued by the department pursuant to this chapter.

433-D:3 Registration.

I.  Except as provided in this section, a person who intends to grow hemp shall register with the department and submit on a form provided by the department the following:

(a)  The name and address of the person.

(b)  A statement that the seeds obtained for planting are of a type and variety that do not exceed the maximum concentration of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol set forth in this chapter.

(c)  The location and acreage of all parcels sown and other field reference information as may be required by the state.

II.  A person registered with the department pursuant to this section shall allow hemp crops, throughout sowing, growing season, harvest, storage, and processing, to be inspected and tested by and at the discretion of the department.

III.  The department may assess an annual registration fee of $100 for the performance of its duties under this chapter.

IV.  A person or entity that is allowed to cultivate marijuana plants under RSA 318-F or RSA 126-X may instead cultivate hemp plants without registering under this chapter.  If the person or entity has not registered to cultivate hemp under this chapter, the hemp plants shall be considered marijuana plants and shall comply with the requirements of RSA 318-F or RSA 126-X, including any limitation on the number of marijuana plants that the person may cultivate.

433-D:4  Rulemaking.  The department may adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to requiring hemp to be tested during growth for tetrahydrocannabinol levels and requiring inspection and supervision of hemp during sowing, growing season, harvest, storage, and processing.  The department shall not adopt a rule that would prohibit a person to grow hemp based on the legal status of hemp under federal law.

433-D:5  Exemption from State Penalties.

I.  It shall not be a violation of state or local law for a person to plant, grow, harvest, possess, process, sell, and buy hemp if that person does so in compliance with this chapter and rules adopted in accordance with it.

II.  It shall not be a violation of state or local law for a person to purchase and possess industrial hemp or hemp products.

4  New Chapter; Taxation of Marijuana.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 77-G the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 77-H

TAXATION OF MARIJUANA

77-H:1  Definitions.  In this chapter, the definitions set forth in RSA 318-F:1 shall apply.

77-H:2  Tax Imposed.

I.  A tax shall be levied upon marijuana sold or otherwise transferred by a marijuana cultivation facility to a marijuana product manufacturing facility or to a retail marijuana store at a rate of $30 per ounce of marijuana flowers or proportionate part thereof and $15 per ounce on all parts of marijuana other than marijuana flowers.  The department shall collect such tax and adjust the rate annually to account for inflation or deflation based on the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards, Consumer Price Index.

II.  A tax shall be levied upon marijuana sold or otherwise transferred by a retail marijuana store at a rate of 15 percent of the sale price.  The department shall collect such tax as provided in this chapter.

III.  The commissioner of the department of revenue administration shall collect all tax revenues generated pursuant to this chapter and:

(a)  Shall deposit 70 percent of such revenues into the general fund for distribution to cities and towns pursuant to RSA 31-A for the purpose of property tax reduction.  The sum required in this subparagraph is hereby appropriated each fiscal year to the state treasurer for distribution pursuant to RSA 31-A; and

(b)  Shall deposit 30 percent of such revenues into the alcohol abuse prevention and treatment fund established in RSA 176-A:1 to be used for providing drug abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

IV.  The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to the procedures for collection of tax revenues under this chapter.

77-H:3  Administration.

I.  Each application for a registration to operate a marijuana establishment shall be submitted to the department.  The department shall:

(a)  Accept and process applications beginning on June 1, 2018;

(b)  Immediately forward a copy of each application and half of the registration application fee to the municipality in which the applicant desires to operate the marijuana establishment;

(c)  Issue a registration to the applicant between 45 and 90 days after receipt of an application unless the department finds the applicant is not in compliance with the requirements of this section or the department is notified by the relevant municipality that the applicant is not in compliance with an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section and in effect at the time of application, provided, where the department or a municipality has enacted a numerical limit on the number of marijuana establishments and a greater number of applicants seek registrations in such municipality, the department shall solicit and consider input from the municipality as to the municipality's preference for registration; and

(1)  Whether the applicant has experience operating as an alternative treatment center pursuant to RSA 126-X.

(2)  The suitability of the proposed location, including compliance with any local zoning laws.

(3)  The proposed marijuana establishment's plan for operations and whether it has sufficient capital to operate.

(4)  The principal officers' and board members' character and relevant experience, including any training or professional licensing related to botany and their experience operating a nonprofit organization or business.

(5)  The sufficiency of the applicant's plans for recordkeeping and inventory control.

(6)  The sufficiency of the applicant's plans for safety and security, including proposed location and security devices employed.

(7)  Whether the entity possesses or has the right to use land, buildings, and equipment sufficient to properly carry out its duties as a marijuana establishment.

(8)  Any input provided by the municipality in which the applicant seeks to operate.

II.  A municipality may enact an ordinance specifying the entity within the municipality that shall be responsible for reviewing applications submitted for a registration to operate a marijuana establishment within the boundaries of the municipality.

III.  A municipality may enact an ordinance, consistent with this section, RSA 318-F, and any rules adopted, regulating the time, place, manner, and number of marijuana establishment operations.

IV.  A municipality may enact an ordinance prohibiting or limiting the number of any type of marijuana establishment that may be permitted within the municipality.

5  Controlled Drug Act; Definitions.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 318-B:1, X-a (k) to read as follows:

(k)  Objects used or intended for use or customarily intended for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing [marijuana,] cocaine[, hashish, or hashish oil] into the human body, such as:

6  Controlled Drug Act; Penalties.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 318-B:26, I to read as follows:

I.  Any person who manufactures, sells, prescribes, administers, or transports or possesses with intent to sell, dispense, or compound any controlled drug, controlled drug analog or any preparation containing a controlled drug, except as authorized in this chapter or as otherwise authorized by law; or manufactures, sells, or transports or possesses with intent to sell, dispense, compound, package or repackage (1) any substance which he or she represents to be a controlled drug, or controlled drug analog, or (2) any preparation containing a substance which he or she represents to be a controlled drug, or controlled drug analog, shall be sentenced as follows, except as otherwise provided in this section:

7  Controlled Drug Act; Penalties.  Amend RSA 318-B:26, I(c)(5) to read as follows:

(5)  Marijuana in a quantity of more than one ounce [or more] including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of more than 5 grams [or more] including any adulterants or dilutants;

8  Controlled Drug Act; Penalties.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 318-B:26, II to read as follows:

II.  Any person who knowingly or purposely obtains, purchases, transports, or possesses actually or constructively, or has under his control, any controlled drug or controlled drug analog, or any preparation containing a controlled drug or controlled drug analog, except as authorized in this chapter or as otherwise authorized by law, shall be sentenced as follows, except as otherwise provided in this section:

9  Controlled Drug Act; Penalties.  Amend RSA 318-B:26, II(d) to read as follows:

(d)  In the case of marijuana, [including any adulterants or dilutants,] the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

10   New Subparagraphs; Controlled Drug Act; Penalties.  Amend RSA 318-B:26, II by inserting after subparagraph (e) the following new subparagraphs:

(f)  In the case of a person over the age of 18 and under the age of 21 who possesses not more than 1/2 ounce of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish, the person shall be guilty of a violation and may be fined up to $200.

(g)  In the case of a person under the age of 18 who possesses not more than one-half ounce of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish, the person shall be guilty of a violation and fined not more that $200.  The fine shall be suspended pending completion of a drug awareness course within 6 months of the violation.  If the person fails to complete the course within the time allotted, the court shall impose the fine.

11  Model Drug Dealer Liability Act; Definitions.  Amend RSA 318-C:4, I to read as follows:

I.  "Illegal drug'' means any drug which is a schedule I-IV drug under RSA 318-B, the possession, use, manufacture, sale, or transportation of which is not otherwise authorized by law.

12  Repeal.  The following are repealed:

I.  RSA 318-B:1, X-a(g), relative to separation gins and sifters used or intended for use with marijuana.

II.  RSA 318-B:26, I(d)(1), relative to the penalty for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.

13  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.

 

LBAO

17-0543

1/25/17

 

HB 656-FN-A-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE

as introduced

 

AN ACT relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [ X ] Highway           [ X ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill legalizes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and up to five grams of hashish, possessing or growing up to six marijuana plants, and transferring up to one ounce of marijuana and up to six immature marijuana plants by a person twenty-one years old or older without remuneration.  Additionally, this bill establishes a regulatory system for the  cultivation, transport, sale, and taxation of marijuana.  This bill identifies four regulatory agencies responsible for regulating businesses involved in the production, purchase, and sale of marijuana; (1) Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food (DAMF), (2) Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), (3) New Hampshire Liquor Commission (Commission), and (4) Department of Revenue Administration (DRA).  The new regulatory system sanctions the following licensed businesses and activities:

  • Marijuana Cultivation Facility. A business that grows and cultivates marijuana.  DAMF and DRA are both responsible to license and regulate these businesses.  It isn't clear as to whether the bill is intentionally designed to have two agencies involved with the regulation of the same business type.
  • Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facility.  A business that purchases marijuana from Marijuana Cultivation Facilities and produces products infused with marijuana.  Such products can include cake, ice cream, candy, tinctures, cookies, or brownies.  DHHS is responsible to license and regulate these businesses.
  • Retail Marijuana Store.  A retail business that purchases marijuana or products from Marijuana Cultivation Facilities or Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facilities and sells those goods to customers who are the age of 21 or over.  The Commission is responsible to license and regulate these businesses.  
  • Marijuana Testing Facility. A business that tests for the potency of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana and any containments.  DHHS is responsible to license and regulate these businesses.
  • Hemp Production.  Persons will be permitted to cultivate hemp.  DAMF shall be required to license individuals and  regulate this activity.

 

There is no information available to estimate how many applicants will apply for or become licensed.  The four aforementioned regulatory agencies (DRA, DAMF, DHHS, and the Commission) are responsible for adopting administrative rules for the facilities and activities they are charged with regulating that includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Procedures for the issuance, denial, renewal, suspension, and revocation of licenses;
  • Qualifications for licensee applicants;
  • Safety standards;
  • Transportation requirements;
  • Schedule of civil fines;
  • Security standards;
  • Record keeping requirements; and
  • Procedures for hearings on civil fines and suspensions and revocations of licenses.

 

In addition to the provisions included in the preceding bullet points, this bill requires the Commission, DAMF, and DHHS to establish schedules for application, registration, and annual renewal fees via administrative rules.  However, this bill statutorily establishes a $250 application fee and a $250 registration renewal fee every two years for Marijuana Cultivation Facilities collected by DRA and duplicatively requires DAMF to establish application and registration fees via rule for Marijuana Cultivation Facilities.  

 

In addition to the statutory fees and fees established through rules, applicants for any of the four business licenses must submit a $500 fee to the applicable regulatory agency that is subsequently transferred, along with a copy of the application, to the municipality in which the business will be located.  The municipality receives the payment and may then review and deny or approve the application.  Municipalities may adopt ordinances prohibiting or limiting the number and type of marijuana establishments, establishing hours of operation, and creating local review procedures.   

 

The rate at which marijuana shall be taxed shall be $30 per ounce of marijuana flower or proportionate part and $15 per ounce on all parts of marijuana other than the flower sold or transferred by a Marijuana Cultivation Facility to a Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facility or a Retail Marijuana Store.  DRA must collect the tax and adjust the rate for inflation on an annual basis.  Finally, an additional 15 percent tax shall be applied to the sales price for marijuana sold or transferred by a Retail Marijuana Store to the consumer, which will be collected by DRA.  The Commissioner of DRA shall deposit 70 percent of the revenue into the general fund for distribution to the cities and towns for the purpose of property tax reduction.  The remaining 30 percent of revenue will be deposited into the alcohol abuse prevention and treatment fund.  

 

DRA is required to license Marijuana Cultivation Facilities which will involve processing applications, forwarding the application and $500 fee to the municipality where the applicant desires to operate and evaluating registration applications and issuing registrations based on numerous areas of consideration.  DRA states this bill cannot be administered as written as DRA must establish administrative rules and accept registration applications on June 1, 2018, prior to the bill becoming effective on July 1, 2018.  

 

To administer this bill, DRA states it would need the following positions:  

 

Position

Number of Positions

FY 2018*

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

 

Administrative Secretary (LG 14)

1

$31,000

$58,000

$61,000

$64,000

 

Administrator III (LG 31)

1

$50,000

$99,000

$104,000

$110,000

 

Tax Auditor VI (LG 31)

2

$93,000

$188,000

$200,000

$212,000

 

Attorney I (Unclassified DD)

2

$97,000

$196,000

$208,000

$220,000

 

 

Total

$271,000

$541,000

$573,000

$606,000

 

Note:  * Assumes positions will be filled during half of FY 2018.

 

DRA estimates the additional tax revenue will be between $42 million to $52.5 million annually based on the following assumptions and analysis:  

GENERAL ASSUMPTIONS

2015 NH Population - 20 years or older

(US Census Bureau)

1,028,854

2014 Marijuana Use among Persons 20 or older

(National Survey on Drug Use and Health

19.3%

Estimate of State Population Using Marijuana

   198,569

Average Annual Marijuana Consumption

(Colorado Futures Center)

3.53 ounces

Estimated Ounces Consumed Per Year

   700,948

 

REVENUE DERIVED FROM $30 PER OUNCE TAX

Tax Rate Per Ounce

$30

Estimated Additional Tax Revenue

 $     21,028,438

 

REVENUE DERIVED FROM 15% SALES TAX

Low Estimate*

Estimated Total NH Marijuana Sales at $200 per Ounce

$140,189,600

Estimated Additional Tax Revenue at $200 per ounce

$21,028,440

High Estimate*

Estimated Total NH Marijuana Sales at $300 per Ounce

$210,284,400

Estimated Additional Tax Revenue at $300 per ounce

$31,542,660

Note: * The per ounce price estimates are derived from the Colorado Marijuana Policy Group.  The average price of medical marijuana is $200 and recreational marijuana is $300.  

 

DRA is unable to estimate the revenue generated from registration and application fees at the State and local level because the registration fee amounts and number of registrations will not be established until the rulemaking process is complete.  Consequently, the Department has no method available to estimate the potential revenue at the State or local level.          

 

DAMF states that to regulate Marijuana Cultivation Facilities and the cultivation of hemp it would need to hire new staff, obtain new office space, purchase vehicles, and make a one time purchase of a marijuana plant tracking database to track marijuana plants.  The following table provides the estimated costs:

 

DAMF Personnel Costs

 

Position Title

Number of Positions

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

 

Agricultural Inspector (LG 20)

5

$355,000

$345,000

$360,000

$380,000

 

Telecommunications Specialist (LG 20)

1

$71,000

$69,000

$72,000

$76,000

 

Administrator I (LG 32)

1

$103,000

$103,000

$108,000

$114,000

 

Attorney I (LG 26)

1

$85,000

$84,000

$88,000

$92,000

 

Administrative Secretary (LG 20)

1

$71,000

$69,000

$72,000

$76,000

 

Institutional Safety Officer

1

$85,000

$84,000

$88,000

$92,000

 

DAMF Operations

 

Office Space

$15,000

$15,000

$15,000

$15,000

 

Office Support Costs

$100,000

$100,000

$100,000

$100,000

 

6 Vehicle at $96,000 each

$96,000

$0

$0

$0

 

Marijuana Plant Tracking Database

$1,500,000

$0

$0

$0

 

 

 

Total DAMF Personnel and Operations Costs

$2,481,000

$869,000

$903,000

$945,000

 

DAMF is responsible to register individuals growing hemp and may assess $100 fee for the performance of its oversight duties.  DAMF must adopt administrative rules relative to the regulation of Marijuana Cultivation Facilities no later than June 1, 2018, which is prior to the July 1, 2018 effective date of the bill.  Additionally, DAMF is charged to adopt administrative rules for the regulation of hemp.    

 

The Commission states it will need to hire new personnel prior to July 1, 2018.  The Commission is responsible for establishing a maximum number of licenses that may be issued for the operation of Retail Marijuana Stores.  The minimum number in the bill is one for every ten liquor stores which equates to approximately eight retail licenses.  The Commission assumes there will be many more applications than the minimum number provided for by the bill.  However, assuming only eight licensees are permitted, the Commission will need the additional personnel included in the table below to implement the provisions of this bill.  Ultimately the number of staff needed will depend on the actual number of Retail Marijuana Store licenses issued.  

 

 

Commission Personnel Costs

 

Position Title

Number of Positions

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

 

Legal Coordinator (LG 28, Group I)

1

$94,000

$107,000

$113,000

$116,000

 

Legal Secretary III (LG 14, Group I)

1

$53,000

$68,000

$71,000

$73,000

 

Liquor (Cannabis) Licensing Specialist (LG 18, Group I)

1

$61,000

$83,000

$87,000

$89,051

 

Liquor Enforcement Sergeant (LG 20, Group II)

1

$144,000

$128,000

$130,000

$130,000

 

Liquor (Cannabis) Investigator (LG 18, Group II)

2

$236,000

$202,000

$210,000

$216,000

 

Liquor (Cannabis) Examiner II (LG 20, Group I)

1

$93,000

$87,000

$92,000

$94,000

 

Total Position Costs

$681,000

$675,000

$703,000

$718,051

 

The Liquor Commission states if eight licenses were issued, and license fees were approximately $10,000 (the fee will be determined through administrative rules), then state revenue would increase by $80,000.  The Commission must adopt administrative rules no later than September 1, 2018, relative to the regulation of Marijuana Retail Stores.       

 

Under this bill, DHHS would be required to register and regulate Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facilities and Marijuana Testing Facilities.  The Department assumes this would include an inspection process.  DHHS states it would incur a cost to establish administrative rules for the regulation of these facilities, which must be done no later than August 1, 2018.  Depending on the number of facilities that become licensed, there may be a need to hire additional staff to perform the required regulatory functions.  However, DHHS is unable to estimate the degree of the impact on DHHS resources and expenditures.    

 

This bill establishes new violation level offenses and a class B felony offense, which may result in additional appeals to the supreme court, and eliminates an existing class A misdemeanor, an unspecified misdemeanor, and two felony offenses that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought or not brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

Judicial Branch

FY 2018

FY 2019

Violation Level Offense

$48

$48

Class B Misdemeanor

$49

$50

Class A Misdemeanor

$71

$72

Routine Criminal Felony Case

$451

$456

Appeals

Varies

Varies

It should be noted average case cost estimates for FY 2018 and FY 2019 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Felony

$756/Case

$756/Case

Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor

$275/Case

$275/Case*

Assigned Counsel – Felony

$60/Hour up to $4,100

$60/Hour up to $4,100

Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor

$60/Hour up to $1,400

$60/Hour up to $1,400

 

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

 

* The Council’s budget request for the FY 2018-19 biennium includes an increase to $300 per case for contract attorney misdemeanor cases.

Department of Corrections

 

 

FY 2016 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$35,832

$35,832

FY 2016 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$573

$573

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$85 to $110

$85 to $110

 

The Department of Justice states that existing resources used to prosecute large-scale drug trafficking crimes involving marijuana would be used to prosecute other controlled substances.  Therefore, in regards to prosecution costs, the net impact would be $0.  However, the four regulatory agencies would require legal assistance to implement the administrative rules required of them under this bill.  Such associated costs are indeterminable.  

 

The Department of Safety states this bill will have an indeterminable impact on its operations.  The Department assumes there will be an increase in the number of driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana related cases which could include DUI arrests and DUI crash investigations.  There could also be fewer arrests made for marijuana possession which would represent an indeterminable cost savings.  However, marijuana related arrests are often accompanied with additional unrelated charges so this savings may be minimal.  

 

There may be an indirect reduction in local law enforcement expenditures because fewer violations for possession of marijuana are likely to be prosecuted.  Any such reduction is speculative and cannot be determined.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Departments of Corrections, Justice, Safety, Health and Human Services,  and Agriculture, Markets and Food, New Hampshire Liquor Commission, Judicial Council, New Hampshire Association of Counties, and Department of Revenue Administration