Delaware Doubling Number of Medical Cannabis Operators

Delaware is set to double its number of licensed medical cannabis operators ahead of likely adult-use cannabis reforms.

Full story after the jump.

Due to rising demand, Delaware is set to double the number of vertically integrated licensees in the state with three new medical cannabis business licenses, Marijuana Business Daily reports.

The three new licenses will cover four dispensary locations and must be veteran- or minority-owned. According to state numbers, Delaware’s medical cannabis sales more than doubled from $11 million in 2018 to over $27 million in 2020 (accompanied by complaints from patients of high prices and product shortages, the report notes), demonstrating the need to expand cannabis capacity. The state is forecasted to reach $37 million in medical cannabis sales in 2021.

“With new companies and new product lines coming out, we expect sales to jump considerably.” — Paul Hyland, Delaware’s medical marijuana director, via MJBizDaily

Despite the growing sales numbers, Delaware medical cannabis licensees are wary of a legislative proposal to legalize adult-use cannabis. In its current form, the bill would license 30 retail stores, 30 processors, and 60 producers, but medical cannabis license holders are alarmed because the legislation does not automatically include them in the retail license pool. Current licensees also argue that the large number of licenses will create a surplus of cannabis in the state.

Aaron Epstein, the Chief Operating Officer for Canntech Delaware — one of the state’s upcoming minority-owned cannabis companies — said the adult-use bill would “put us out of business before we even have a chance to open our doors.”

But Zoe Patchell, executive director of the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network, disagrees, telling Marijuana Business Daily that Delaware‘s medical cannabis businesses should apply for a license “like everyone else.”

“They want us to give them special privileges that would create an unfair advantage and undermine our social equity and small-business provisions,” Patchell said.

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