This bill has already passed into New Hampshire law, but our food industry needs to set its sights on undoing HB345., “An act establishing a license for mushroom harvesters.”
Signed this summer by our Governor under the justification of playing along with national regulations, this bill created a permitting process for those involved with mushrooms. Not only did it make permits necessary for harvesting or selling mushrooms, but you need to get a permit to identify them as well. These permits are only available after passing exam testing requirements. The bill also includes a lot of text detailing additional red tape including record keeping requirements and giving the government the power to determine which mushrooms can be sold.
We need to see fewer bills like HB345. On its surface it pretends to fix a problem that doesn’t exist by making the mushroom industry safer through oversight. In reality this bill is a classic example of the sort of regulatory burden that is only created so that larger producers can discourage competition and entry into the marketplace. Mushroom harvesters and purchasers are already the most incentivized to use safe and sustainable practices. Those who would be ignorant of how to safely work with harvested mushrooms aren’t going to bother getting this permit regardless. A better solution would be to offer voluntary classes and certification for those who wish it.
Follow this link for the full text of the bill: