Delaware Lawmakers Advance Proposal for Early Adult-Use Sales

A key Delaware House committee has advanced a proposal to allow early adult-use cannabis sales by letting medical dispensaries service adult-use customers; some industry advocates say the move would be giving certain businesses an unfair advantage.

Full story after the jump.

Lawmakers in the Delaware House Economic Development, Banking, Insurance, and Commerce Committee last week advanced a proposal that would launch adult-use cannabis sales early in the state by letting medical dispensaries begin serving anyone aged 21 or older, WHYY reports.

Sponsored by state Rep. Ed Osienski (D), House Bill 408 would let the state’s licensed medical dispensaries acquire temporary “conversion licenses” that would allow them to sell to medical and adult-use customers alike while the state’s adult-use market comes online. The conversion license fee would cost $100,000 and proceeds would be assigned to the state’s social equity fund.

Osienski told the committee members the proposal would benefit consumers by opening the market faster. “Part of the real issue is brand new cultivation takes a lot of time,” he said, suggesting that a full crop can take up to 18 months.

“This utilizes the existing growth facilities,” he said.

However, some cannabis advocates are concerned that the proposal would be giving certain businesses an unfair advantage during a critical time of the industry’s rollout, the report said.

“This bill will allow six businesses to basically skip the line and get guaranteed licenses when everyone else will likely be subjected to the lottery process where they may not get a license at all, and they certainly won’t get their application fees back if they’re not selected.” — Zoë Patchell, executive director and co-founder of Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network, via WHYY

Cannabis is currently legal to possess in Delaware but as lawmakers have yet to begin the licensing process, there are no legally approved sources — and home growing is not allowed.

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