In two months, New Hampshire welfare recipients recipients won’t be able to use their payment cards on marijuana, tattoos or piercings.
Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a law that bans welfare “electronic benefit transfer” cards from being used on marijuana, among other vices.
More than 12,000 New Hampshire households receive benefits on EBT cards that essentially work as debit cards. The new law prohibits them from being used at marijuana dispensaries, cigar and smoke shops and tattoo and body piercing shops.
“We must always work to protect taxpayer dollars against public assistance fraud or abuse while also ensuring that those who need and qualify for financial support can purchase basic essential items,” Hassan said in a news release.
The cards have previously been banned by state and federal law from being used at liquor stores, gambling establishments and “adult entertainment venues.”
The law will go into effect in 59 days.
Hassan vetoed another bill that would have restricted the use of cash received from the cards on certain items, saying it would be too hard to enforce. The new law, though, has an “educational component for cash assistance recipients and retail establishments” to curb some of the other illegal usage of welfare funds.
In June 2013, New Hampshire passed a law decriminalizing the use of medical marijuana but does not allow recreational use of the drug.