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New Hampshire Officials Consider State-Led ‘Franchise Model’ For Marijuana Legalization That Would Allow Privately Owned Stores

During the second meeting of a New Hampshire commission tasked with preparing legislation to legalize marijuana through a novel system of state-run stores, members on Monday considered an alternative proposal that would instead establish a franchise model for cannabis sales.

“The model that we are looking to put into place, that we feel would be feasible, is that the Liquor Commission would be the franchisor and the franchisee would be the retailer,” Joseph Mollica, chairman of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, told the panel.

The scheme would allow the state to handle administration and marketing of adult-use marijuana while leaving responsibility for retail operations to private owners, Mollica explained. He likened the model to what’s in place at nationwide chains like McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts.

“There’d be a certain look and feel,” he said. “We would oversee and organize that look and feel as well as all the safety aspects of selling the product.”

Retail operators would need to submit 15 percent of gross monthly sales to the state under the proposal.

Mollica said the agency had already informed Gov. Chris Sununu (R) of the plan and “that we’re going to testify on it today,” although he noted that “the

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