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June 12. 2013 8:53PM

House, Senate will negotiate details of medical marijuana bill

CONCORD — The House and Senate will attempt to reach a compromise on two very different versions of a bill establishing a medical marijuana program for the chronically and terminally ill.

House Bill 573 establishes a medical marijuana program for New Hampshire patients who are both terminally ill and exhibit certain symptoms, and who have had the same physician for more than three months.But the Senate version of the bill does not allow patients to grow their own plants while the House version does.

Under both versions, patients would be able to purchase marijuana from regional dispensaries.

The Senate bowed to Gov. Maggie Hassan's concerns and removed the home grow provisions from the bill.

She also sought and the Senate agreed to eliminate post traumatic stress syndrome from afflictions covered under the program.

New Hampshire would be the 19th state to allow medical marijuana and the last in New England.

Sen. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, is the lead Senate negotiator and Rep. James McKay, D-Concord, is the House's lead negotiator.

The first negotiating session is 9 a.m. Tuesday in Room 205 in the Legislative Office Building.

Contracts and passwords

The House and Senate will negotiate two versions of House Bill 414 which would prohibit employers from requesting or requiring employees to turn over passwords to their social media or personal electronic accounts such as email unless they were established through the employer's equipment and accessed using that equipment.

The Senate added the provisions of Senate Bill 158, which requires Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee approval of any cost items in state collective bargaining agreements, to the bill.

The House killed SB 158, whose prime sponsor is Senate President Peter Bragdon, R-Milford.

Bragdon is the chief Senate negotiator and Rep. Andrew White, D-Lebanon, is the chief House negotiator.

Payroll cards and credit

The House and Senate will negotiate over two versions of House Bill 357, which prohibits an employer from using a person's credit history in hiring decisions.

The Senate added the provisions of Senate Bill 100, which allows employers to issue payroll cards instead of paper checks to pay employees, to the bill.

The House killed the measure.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, SB 100's prime sponsor, is the Senate's lead negotiator and White is the House's.

Other bills the House and Senate will negotiate include:

• House Bill 599, which establishes a single liquor commissioner instead of the current three-member commission.

• Senate Bill 19, which would repeal provisions of an earlier law concerning the sale of the former Lakes Region prison facility and would also eliminate one of the three Merrimack ramp tolls on the F.E. Everett Turnpike.

The Senate concurred with House changes and sent to the governor:

• Senate Bill 41, which overhauls the state's business corporation laws.

• Senate Bill 123, which requires some of the proceeds from the sale of carbon allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program go to low-income and municipal energy efficiency projects.The deadline for reaching agreements on conference committees is noon on Thursday, June 20, for the Senate and 4 p.m. the same day for the House.

grayno@unionleader.com


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