NH House Passes Historic Bitcoin Protection Bill + Cannabis Decrim Passed by Record 89%!

March 8th, 2017 - 3:40pmby FTL_Ianin

Will New Hampshire become a haven for bitcoin and cannabis?

Will New Hampshire become a haven for bitcoin and cannabis?

Today was a historic day in the New Hampshire state house. Two very important bills were passed and if they make it through the senate and governor will ensure that New Hampshire is the best place to be a bitcoiner as well as decriminalize cannabis.

In 2015, a bill (HB 666) was passed that spooked many in the international bitcoin community as it added cryptocurrency to the “money transmitter” statutes. This caused at least one bitcoin business to cease doing business with customers in New Hampshire and quite a bit of buzz about New Hampshire losing its vaunted crytpo-friendly status. How did this happen in a state with the largest concentration of bitcoin enthusiasts per capita? Honestly, we were caught off-guard, but now that’s all changed. In 2016 a state house committee to study cryptocurrency was formed, whose meetings I attended and video recorded.

After hearing from multiple NH bitcoiners in the committee meetings, state representative Barbara Biggie stepped up and filed a bill, HB 436, that proposed to repeal NH’s lone statute regulating cryptocurrencies. Here’s video from the public hearing on HB 436. As Darryl and I pointed out at the hearing, the bill as filed wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for. It created a new definition and exemption for “virtual currency” in the statutes, but still left in statutes a definition and regulation for “convertible virtual currency”. We explained to them that this was confusing and they should be striking the regulation for “convertible virtual currency” rather than creating the additional terminology.

You know what? They listened AND did us one better! The commerce committee amended the bill and turned it into the best possible protection for bitcoin businesses in New Hampshire! The amended bill completely exempts from the money transmitter statutes:

Persons who engage in the business of selling or issuing payment instruments or stored value solely in the form of convertible virtual currency; or receive convertible virtual currency for transmission to another location.

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I don’t think anyone expected the language to be that good, but there it is. This is essentially the opposite of what New York did with it’s business-killing “bitlicense” regulations. Today, the full New Hampshire house of representatives passed HB 436 by a vote of 185-170!

In other exciting state house news, the state house outdid their previous record of 81% voting for cannabis decriminalization, which was set in 2015. This time, 89.8% of the state house members that voted today (318-36), voted for HB 640 which would decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, up to five grams of hashish, and cannabis-infused products. If this bill makes it through the senate and governor (who allegedly is friendly to decrim), then people over 21 years of age who are caught with these products will only face a violation instead of a misdemeanor, as they do today.

UPDATE: Liberty Lobby‘s Darryl W Perry just informed me that the state house also voted to add chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions for prescribing medical cannabis, 301-47.

UPDATE 2: The house also passed HB 160, 302-46 which adds PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for prescribing medical cannabis.

UPDATE 3: Home grow of medical cannabis (HB 472) also passed the house, 213-118.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for more exiting news on the frontlines of freedom! Better still, if you love liberty, start planning your move to New Hampshire and help us advance liberty. We’ve already got 101 Reasons Liberty Lives in New Hampshire, and as more libertarians, voluntarists, and liberty-loving anarchists move here, it just keeps getting better and better!