New Hampshire Considers Franchise Model for Marijuana Legalization


Franchise Model Marijuana: A Budding Approach to Cannabis Legalization

If you’re anything like me, the topic of cannabis legalization has likely crossed your mind more than once. In recent years, we’ve seen a shift in attitudes and policies towards cannabis across the United States. New Hampshire, in particular, has been exploring some interesting avenues for making cannabis more accessible to adults while maintaining safety and control. One such approach that’s generating buzz is the “Franchise Model” for marijuana legalization.

What’s the Buzz About?

So, you might be wondering, what exactly is this “Franchise Model” for marijuana, and how does it work? Well, let me break it down for you. Imagine the New Hampshire Liquor as the franchisor, and private businesses as the franchisees. In this scenario, the takes on the role of handling the administration and marketing of adult-use marijuana, while the nitty-gritty of retail operations falls into the capable hands of private owners. It’s a bit like what you see with nationwide chains like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.

The Look and Feel of Cannabis

Now, you might be thinking, “What about the look and feel of these cannabis stores?” Good question! The state would oversee and organize the aesthetics and safety aspects of selling cannabis products, ensuring that everything is up to snuff. After all, we want this to be a seamless experience for both consumers and businesses.

The Financial Nitty-Gritty

Of course, it wouldn’t be a discussion about cannabis without touching on the financial side of things. Under this proposed model, retail operators would need to fork over 15 percent of their gross monthly sales to the state. It’s a way for New Hampshire to get its piece of the pie while still allowing private businesses to thrive.

Getting the Governor on Board

Now, remember, this is not a one-sided conversation. The folks behind this franchise model have been in touch with Chris Sununu. They’ve kept him in the loop about their plan and are even testifying before the relevant committee. However, it’s important to note that the New Hampshire Liquor Commission is not taking a position on this; they’re simply here to provide information and expertise.

The Commission in Charge

Speaking of committees, there’s a 17-member body called the “Commission to Study with the Purpose of Proposing Legislation, State-Controlled Sale of Cannabis and Cannabis Products.” Quite a mouthful, right? This group has until December 1 to evaluate different approaches to cannabis regulation and draft a legalization bill to present to lawmakers next year.

Diverse Perspectives at Play

This commission is not short on diversity. It includes lawmakers from both the House and Senate, professionals from various fields, and representatives from , law enforcement, and civil rights interests. The goal? To create a comprehensive approach to cannabis legalization in New Hampshire.

What’s on the Table?

Now, let’s talk about what’s on the table. The commission is looking at several key factors:

  • Allowing the state to control distribution and access.
  • Keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors and away from schools.
  • Regulating the marketing and messaging surrounding marijuana sales.
  • Preventing the oversaturation of marijuana retail establishments (no “marijuana miles” here!).
  • Giving municipalities the power to limit or prohibit marijuana retail.
  • Reducing multi-drug use.
  • Avoiding additional to remain competitive.

Comparing Notes

In their first meeting, commission members received a side-by-side comparison of two state-run legalization that have been circulating in the legislature. It’s like doing your homework before tackling a big project. They’ve got some existing legislation to work from.

Leadership Shuffle

As with any group, leadership roles can change. Initially, Senator Daryl Abbas was named chairman of the commission, and pro-legalization Senator Becky Whitley was appointed clerk. However, at the second meeting, Senator Whitley handed the clerk baton to Senator Timothy Lang. It’s all part of the process.

Looking Ahead

What’s next on the horizon? The commission’s upcoming meeting on October 5 will feature officials from the state Department of Health and Human Services and the attorney general’s office. They’ll be diving into how the franchise proposal might impact the state’s existing medical marijuana and New Hampshire’s stance under federal prohibition.

A Shift in Perspective

This franchise model is turning heads in New Hampshire. It represents a significant departure from the previous plan of exclusively selling marijuana through state-run stores, which Governor Sununu had supported. It’s a change that has advocates and observers excited, with many eager to explore this new approach further.

A New Player in the Game

Under this model, private entities would handle marijuana cultivation and processing, with state licensing in place to keep everything legal and above board. These entities would have the green light to distribute to retailers, provided their products pass third-party testing for contaminants and potency.

State Involvement and Responsibility

While private businesses handle the growing and processing, the state would take the reins when it comes to enforcement, marketing, and other administrative tasks. It’s a delicate dance between public and private entities.

Addressing Federal Concerns

Now, you might be wondering about the elephant in the room: . Cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, so how does the franchise system navigate this tricky terrain? Joseph Mollica, chairman of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, believes that the franchise model could actually insulate the state from liability in the event of federal enforcement. It could mean less legal risk for the state if federal authorities decide to crack down.

A Risky Business?

Some experts are cautious about this approach. Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, raises about the risks involved. She points out that selling cannabis is still a federal crime, and the franchise model could expose the state to unnecessary risks, potentially causing financial harm to private growers and manufacturers.

The Cost Question

Of course, we can’t ignore the financial aspect. When Chief John Bryfonski of the Bedford Police asked about the costs of administering the program, Mollica wisely noted that the answer would depend on the legislation that ultimately comes into play. It’s a “wait and see” situation.

The Governor’s Perspective

Governor Sununu, though initially hesitant about cannabis legalization, has expressed support for a government-operated model. He believes that legalization is inevitable and that a state-run system is the best way to address concerns about health and safety.

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, the franchise model for marijuana legalization in New Hampshire is an intriguing development in the world of cannabis policy. It represents a shift away from the traditional state-run model and opens up new possibilities for private businesses to enter the cannabis market. While it’s not without its and risks, it’s a sign of the evolving landscape of cannabis legalization in the United States.

So, there you have it, my take on the “Franchise Model Marijuana.” Thanks to Ben Adlin for his reporting on this topic. It’s an exciting time for cannabis enthusiasts and policymakers alike as we continue to explore innovative ways to regulate and legalize this budding industry.

Q&A: Your Burning Questions About the Franchise Model Marijuana

Q1: How does the franchise model for marijuana work?

A1: The franchise model for marijuana involves the state (New Hampshire Liquor Commission) acting as the franchisor and private businesses as franchisees. The state handles administration and marketing, while private businesses manage retail operations.

Q2: What are the key aspects being considered by the commission?

A2: The commission is looking at various factors, including state control of distribution, preventing access by minors, regulating marketing, avoiding oversaturation of retail stores, allowing municipalities to set limits, reducing multi-drug use, and avoiding additional taxes.

Q3: How is the state addressing federal law concerning cannabis?

A3: The franchise model is believed to insulate the state from federal liability if federal authorities decide to enforce prohibition. This approach could reduce legal risks for the state.

Q4: What is the governor’s stance on cannabis legalization?

A4: Governor Chris Sununu has expressed support for a government-operated model for cannabis legalization. He believes it’s the best way to address health and safety concerns.

Q5: Is the franchise model risky for private growers and manufacturers?

A5: Some experts have raised concerns about the risks associated with the franchise model. Selling cannabis is still a federal crime, and this approach could expose the state and private businesses to unnecessary risks.


Rosemary Puffman
I'm Rosemary, a staunch supporter of cannabis legalization and its potential benefits. My roles as a writer, cannabis entrepreneur, and informed investor allow me to contribute to the evolving narrative around cannabis. Through my writing, I aim to destigmatize and educate, while my business ventures and strategic investments align with my belief in the positive impact of responsible cannabis use.

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