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Must-Read: The American Prospect On State-Run Weed In New Hampshire

NH Gov. Chris Sununu has no love for cannabis but promotes gambling on his social media accounts

“A bipartisan coalition of legalization supporters … could possibly move forward with a more restrictive bill than they would like, and attempt to seek legislative fixes afterward.”

If there is a reporter who is capable of writing about New England from afar, it’s Gabrielle Gurley, currently a senior editor at the American Prospect. In addition to being an an all-around ace journalist, she formerly spent time in Mass writing for CommonWealth Magazine (since renamed CommonWealth Beacon).

Even though New Hampshire’s presidential primary doesn’t hold the clout that it once did, the state still makes for a fascinating political study, and the allure extends to its current negotiations around cannabis. As Gurley writes in a new feature, Prospects Clouding for State-Run Marijuana Outlets in New Hampshire: Federal prohibitions make it difficult for what should be an easy state government opportunity:

The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a legalization bill earlier this year, yet the situation is vastly different in the state Senate. Now, the Senate has since passed a legalization bill—but one with so many points of divergence from the House measure that it appears to have been designed with rejection in mind. It may be a Pyrrhic victory for legalization advocates.

Still, if the two houses can reconcile the differences between the House and Senate bills, New Hampshire could become first state in the country to devise a state-run cannabis system. … But that’s a big “if. … That state of affairs has come about largely because Republican Gov. Chris Sununu pulled a fast one.

And the saga continues. For those following along, the American Prospect piece is critical political reading, from analysis of the potential impact of different scenarios on neighboring New England states to how Granite State Republicans compare to other conservatives nationally on these issues. As Gurley writes:

The New Hampshire House is in a no-win situation. Its bipartisan coalition of legalization supporters understands the possible problems with a state-run system. They could possibly move forward with a more restrictive bill than they would like, and attempt to seek legislative fixes afterward. They also understand that if they don’t, and if a Republican takes the governor’s seat in November, legalization may be completely off the table.