Exciting news! In a 13-11 vote, the New Hampshire Senate voted today to approve New Hampshire’s medical marijuana bill, SB 409. This is a huge victory for New Hampshire patients and their families.
With this vote, New Hampshire’s Senate became the first Republican-led state senate in the nation to pass an effective medical marijuana bill. Eight Republicans voted in favor, joined by all five Senate Democrats.
Last year, the House passed a similar bill in a 229-96 vote, with more than half of Republicans voting in favor.
Unfortunately, Governor Lynch (a Democrat) has vetoed medical marijuana legislation in the past. His press secretary has already indicated that he will veto the bill despite the strong, bipartisan support it enjoys in both chambers of the legislature.
Several senators who voted “no” today are not certain in their opposition, and advocates are still optimistic about gaining support from additional senators (those who did not have the luxury of being present for the bill’s public hearing) as the bill continues moving through the process.
The bill will next be referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee for a hearing in April or May, and the process will continue from there.
By Matt Simon