Delaware has issued three new medical cannabis licenses, essentially doubling the state’s number of access points for cannabis patients by the end of the year, The Cape Gazette reports.
After requesting applications for licenses in the fall, the state’s medical cannabis program announced the three license awardees last week. The three vendors — Valor Craft Cannabis Company, CannaTech Research Inc., and EzyCure — were selected out of ten other applicants and plan to open five new dispensaries across Delaware over the next year. The additional locations will essentially double the state’s number of dispensaries, of which there are currently six.
Delaware has historically struggled to provide for cannabis patients after grossly underestimating the number of people in the state who would sign up for the program. According to Paul Hyland, Director of the Office of Medical Marijuana, the state estimated when the program was first established in 2011 that 4,700 to 5,000 people would sign up. Today, the state has 11,500 registered patients with several card types available.
Delaware state Auditor Kathy McGuiness, meanwhile, has put her support behind adult-use cannabis reforms. Citing high poll numbers for legalization and other East Coast states adopting the policy, she said in a special report issued in January, “It’s time to legalize it.”
“Each year that we fail to capitalize on this opportunity means more money could flow to neighboring states instead of being invested here. It is time Delaware pursue legalizing marijuana.” — McGuiness, via The Cape Gazette
According to McGuiness’ report, Delaware could add up to 1,400 jobs in a five-year period upon the passage of adult-use cannabis reforms. She does remain cautious in the report, however, noting that her support for legalization does not mean she supports cannabis consumption. Instead, she notes that adult-use legalization in the state would curb “black market” activity, as well as reduce access for minors and lead to additional tax dollars.
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