Delaware Lawmakers Rewriting Marijuana Legalization Bill

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shutterstock 549472993

A bill to legalize marijuana use in Delaware is being rewritten to increase its chances of being passed.

Delaware could be one of the next states to legalize recreational marijuana use if a new bill is passed. The bill is being rewritten to make it more appealing to state lawmakers.

“There is a lot of stuff we have to go through to reach some consensus,” state Rep. Helene Keeley, (D-South Wilmington) said according to Delaware Online. “I plan to sit down with a lot of the groups that have raised some concerns and hopefully come to some kind of agreement.”

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Keeley’s comments come on the heels of a meeting with members of Delaware’s Adult Use Cannabis Task Force. The task force has been spending months researching how legal marijuana could be regulated and taxed in Delaware. The task force’s final report is due in February and could help give legalization momentum among state authorities.

Last year, the Delaware Marijuana Control Act was approved by a committee but never received a full vote by the legislature.

If passed, the new regulations would allow adults 21 and over to legally purchase up to one ounce of marijuana from approved retailers. The new system would also oversee manufacturers, cultivators, and testing labs.

Advocates of legalization in Delaware estimate that legal marijuana could generate $25 million in the first year of sales. It would also create new jobs for shops, growers, and professional service providers.

But there are concerns from law enforcement and the medical community as to how legal marijuana would impact Delaware. There are concerns about drivers operating vehicles under the influence of marijuana.

“I think one of the biggest outstanding concerns is driving under the influence and we’ll have to nail that down,” Keeley said.

This year’s legislative session will end on July 1 for Delaware. Keeley is hoping to have the new laws approved before then.

“I obviously hope it will become law by the time we leave session,” Keeley said. “We’ve done the yeoman’s work already. Now it’s down to the nitty-gritty.”

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