The Bulletin Board

Starting next month, kids under 14 can legally sell lemonade without a permit

By: - August 9, 2021 1:54 pm
The state house as viewed through a stone arch

Supporters of the bill had portrayed it as a means to increase housing stock in towns and cities without large apartment complexes that tend to draw controversy. (Dave Cummings | New Hampshire Bulletin)

There’s a new exemption for young entrepreneurs in New Hampshire: They can sell lemonade without a permit. The exemption applies to other soft drinks, too, as long as they are being sold on family property.

House Bill 183 was signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu at the end of July and will go into effect on Sept. 28. The exemption extends to those who are under 14 years old; an earlier version of the bill included everyone under the age of 18.

Opponents of the measure had argued that the bill was unnecessary, as municipalities aren’t doling out fines to children for operating a stand. Others argued that the issue is a question of local control, and the state shouldn’t make a sweeping mandate.

The bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Chris True, a Sandown Republican, said during a hearing on the bill before the Senate Election Law and Municipal Affairs Committee that it makes a statement that government should butt out of children’s lives.

As recently as 2020, lemonade stands were actually illegal in most states. Country Time, a lemonade mix company, started a legalize lemonade campaign in 2019 .

New Hampshire joins other states that have carved out permit exceptions for kids selling lemonade, including Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California.

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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s energy and environment reporter. She previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.