Delaware House Passes Bill to Create Cannabis Market

Two days after voting to legalize cannabis for adults, the Delaware House of Representatives passed a bill that would create an adult-use cannabis marketplace.

Full story after the jump.

Two days after approving a bill to legalize cannabis use and possession by adults Delaware House lawmakers approved legislation to create the framework for a regulated cannabis marketplace in the state, WHYY reports. The bill passed the chamber 27-13. 

In an interview with WHYY, Rep. Ed Osienski (D) who has sponsored the cannabis legalization push in the state for years, said “it has been a long journey to get to this point.” 

“We have experienced setbacks along the way, none worse than losing business to New Jersey, but we have learned a great deal and produced what we believe is a strong bill that will make Delaware an industry leader in this field.” — Osienski to WHYY 

The bill includes licensing provisions, restrictions on sales to minors, and driving under the influence rules. Under the proposal, the state would grant 30 retail dispensary licenses with half of them set aside for social equity applicants. Social equity licenses would be available for Delaware residents who lived for at least five years in areas “disproportionately impacted” by the state’s enforcement of cannabis laws and include anyone convicted for cannabis-related offenses, with some exceptions, the report says. 

The legislation also creates a Justice Reinvestment Fund which would receive 7% of revenues derived from cannabis excise taxes which would be used for “restorative justice, jail diversion, workforce development, industry-specific technical assistance, and mentoring services for economically disadvantaged persons,” Osienski said. 

The measure and the previously approved possession and use bill each move next to the Senate. If approved by the chamber, the bills would move to Gov. John Carney (D) who vetoed a similar effort last year.  

Both bills passed the House with enough votes to override a veto.

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