Delaware lawmakers have introduced recreational cannabis legislation nearly one year after the House rejected a different legalization proposal, Delaware State News reports. The new bill does not include home-grow provisions, as its predecessor did, but contains much of the same language.
The measure would impose a 15 percent sales tax at the point of sale, limits customers to one-ounce purchases, and allows municipal control to block industry operations.
Democratic state Rep. Ed Osienski, the bill’s main sponsor, said the measure would have “numerous benefits” for the state including “good-paying jobs” and weakening the illicit cannabis market.
“There’s a tremendous amount of public support for legal, recreational marijuana, and what we are proposing is a measured, reasonable approach that addresses many of the concerns people have raised while providing a framework that will allow for a successful industry.” – Osienski to Delaware State News
Like alcohol sale in the state, cannabis sales would only be allowed from certain hours. The state would issue 15 retail licenses within 16 months of the bill’s passage.
The measure does not have the support of Democratic Gov. John Carney, whose spokesperson said the governor “does not believe [Delaware] should move forward with legalization.”
“There are still unanswered questions, and he believes we should continue to monitor progress in other states that have legalized,” Jonathan Starkey said in the report.
Last year, the House received 21 votes of 41 in favor of legalization but the state requires 60 percent legislative support in both chambers to pass measures that would levy a new tax. That bill estimated the state would see $9 million to $50 million in industry-derived tax revenues.
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