The bill before the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday would legalize up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of recreational marijuana and 5 grams of concentrated cannabis. Adults would be allowed to grow up to six plants, and a commission would be set up to license and regulate an industry supporters said could produce $33 million per year in revenue.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, however, opposes legalization and has said he would veto the bill if it passes. While supporters say marijuana could help people recover from opioid addiction, opponents argue legalization would only make things worse in a state with one of the highest rates of opioid overdose deaths.
“I think the statistics speak for themselves when it comes to the dangers of marijuana, especially given the severity of the opioid crisis,” he told reporters before Tuesday’s hearing, which was held in the 400-seat Representative’s Hall to accommodate the large crowd of speakers.