HB448 (2012) Detail

Relative to spice incense products.






AN ACT relative to spice incense products.

SPONSORS: Rep. Emerson, Ches 7; Rep. Ladd, Graf 5; Rep. D. Reed, Merr 2; Rep. J. Johnson, Ches 6; Sen. Larsen, Dist 15

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety


This bill prohibits the possession or use of synthetic cannabinoid agonists or piperazines by placing them on schedule I of the controlled drug schedules.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT relative to spice incense products.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Paragraph; Controlled Drug Act; Definition Added. Amend RSA 318-B:1 by inserting after paragraph XXXI the following new paragraph:

XXXI-a. “Synthetic cannabinoid agonists or piperazines” means any chemical compound that contains Benzylpiperazine; Trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine; 1,1-Dimethylheptyl-ll-hydroxytetra-hydrocannabinol; 1-Butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole; 1-Pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole; dexanabinol; or 2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl] -5-(2-methyloctan -2-yl)phenol). The term shall not include synthetic cannabinoids that require a prescription, are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and are dispensed in accordance with state and federal law.

2 New Section; Synthetic Cannabinoid Agonists or Piperazines. Amend RSA 318-B by inserting after section 1-c the following new section:

318-B:1-d Synthetic Cannabinoid Agonists or Piperazines.

I. The general court intends that the provisions of paragraph II of this section shall remain in effect until such time as synthetic cannabinoid agonists or piperazines are scheduled by the commissioner of the department of health and human services in accordance with and pursuant to RSA 318-B.

II. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 318-B:1-a, relative to scheduling by rulemaking of the commissioner of the department of health and human services, synthetic cannabinoid agonists or piperazines shall be placed on schedule I of controlled drugs.

3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.



Revised 01/26/11


AN ACT relative to spice incense products.


      The Judicial Branch, the Judicial Council, the Department of Justice, Department of Corrections and the New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill will increase state and county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2011 and in each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on state, county or local revenue or on local expenditures.


    The Judicial Branch states the proposed bill would classify synthetic cannabinoid agonists or piperazines as schedule 1 controlled drugs under RSA 318-B making it a felony to manufacture, sell, transport or possess these products. The Branch has no information to estimate how many additional felonies will be brought under the proposed law. The Branch does have information on the average cost of processing such cases in the trial court. The cost to the Judicial Branch of an average routine criminal case in the superior court will be $394.13 in FY 2012 and $399.33 in FY 2013. In addition, the Branch also states the likelihood of appeals would increase the potential cost.

    The Judicial Council states this bill may result in an indeterminable increase in general fund expenditures. The Council states that if an individual is found to be indigent, the flat fee of $756.25 per felony is charged by a public defender or contract attorney. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $4,100 for a felony charge. The Council also states additional costs could be incurred if an appeal is filed. The public defender, contract attorney and assigned counsel rates for Supreme Court appeals is $2,000 per case, with many assigned counsel attorneys seeking permission to exceed the fee cap. Requests to exceed the fee cap are seldom granted. Finally, expenditures would increase if services other than counsel are requested and approved by the court during the defense if a case or during an appeal.

    The Department of Justice states both the Department and the county attorney prosecute felony drug offenses. The Department assumes passage of this bill would likely result in additional prosecutions by the Department, but is not able to determine the increase or the resulting fiscal impact.

    The Department of Corrections is not able to estimate the number individuals who would be affected. The Department states the average annual cost of incarcerating a person in the general prison population for FY 2010 was $32,492. The cost to supervise an offender by the Department’s Division of Field Services was $659 in FY 2010.

    The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill would increase county costs if more individuals are prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to incarceration in county correctional facilities for violation of the Controlled Drug Act. The Association states the average annual cost of incarceration in a county correctional facility is $35,000.

    The Department of Health and Human Services states the action required to schedule these drugs is not significant and will not result in any fiscal impact to the Department.

    The Board of Pharmacy states this bill will have no fiscal impact on the Board.