New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has rejected a bill that would have permitted medical marijuana patients to grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes
New Hampshire is currently home to five medicinal marijuana dispensaries with more than 7,000 customers. Sununu, a Republican, stated in his veto message of House Bill 364 that the bill would have made it more difficult to obtain cannabis from dispensaries.
"This bill would bypass … public health and safety guardrails and make the job of law enforcement significantly more difficult," Sununu wrote. "Furthermore, it could serve to undermine the protections we have built within the Alternative Treatment Center system making those facilities less sustainable."
The bill sailed through the Democrat-controlled Legislature, passing the House on a voice vote and by a 14-10 margin in the Senate.
Supporters of the bill, such as Matt Simon, New England political director for Marijuana Policy Project, argued that if passed, it would have allowed decreased product costs and improved accessibility for patients who are in dire need of cannabis products to survive.
"I'm very sad to see that @GovChrisSununu vetoed the medical cannabis home cultivation bill," Simon wrote on Twitter. "HB 364 is critical for patients who are trying to stay off opioids and have difficulty affording cannabis from the state's handful of dispensaries."
But to Sununu, it was important to balance access to the marijuana with public safety interests.
"New Hampshire has reasonable regulations set up to ensure that our therapeutic cannabis program responsibly treats those in need while limiting the diversion of marijuana to the black market and ensuring that products meet public health standards," the governor wrote in his veto message.