Delaware has become the 22nd U.S. state to legalize the possession and sale of recreational cannabis, despite opposition from the Governor.
Read more about the legalization of recreational cannabis in Delaware and find other important cannabis news from around the world with the Hemp.im mobile app.
Delaware Governor announces the legalization of cannabis for recreational use
Delaware Governor John Carney announced on April 21 that he will allow the legalization and sale of cannabis for recreational use, despite his concerns. With this, Delaware becomes the 22nd state to legalize cannabis for adults.
Delaware will introduce two bills, which will not require the Governor’s signature, to remove all previous convictions at the state level for cannabis possession and create a regulated market for recreational cannabis sales.
The Governor’s attitude toward legalizing recreational cannabis
Despite his support for medical cannabis laws and the decriminalization of small amounts for personal use, Governor Carney does not see the legalization of recreational cannabis as a step forward.
“I want it to be clear that my views on this issue have not changed. I understand that there are those who share my views and will be disappointed by my decision not to veto this legislation. I have decided to do so because I believe we have spent too much time on this topic, while the people of Delaware are struggling with more pressing and serious issues every day. It’s time to move on,” – he said in a press statement.
The Govewrnor’s concerns about the legalization of recreational cannabis
Governor Carney’s main concerns about the legalization of recreational cannabis is the potential impact of a regulated recreational cannabis market on young people and the increased risk of traffic accidents for drivers under the influence of THC. However, data from other states suggests that these concerns are not warranted.
“I’m particularly concerned about the potential impact on children in Delaware, the safety of our roads, and the poorest neighborhoods, where I believe a legal cannabis industry will have a disproportionately negative impact.” – he said.
The legal framework for legalizing recreational cannabis in Delaware consists of two bills.
Bill 1 allows individuals 21 years of age or older to possess, use, purchase, and share cannabis, but with a possession limit of up to 28 grams. However, sharing cannabis in exchange for other items is not permitted. Growing cannabis and consuming it in public will continue to be prohibited. People under 21 who break this law can be fined up to $100 for a first offense, but police have the option of issuing a ticket instead of a fine.
Law No. 2
Law No. 2 introduces a regulated adult-use cannabis market system, overseen by the Alcohol and Tobacco Products Agency and the new Office of the Marijuana Control Commissioner.
The agency can approve up to 30 retail licenses, 30 manufacturing licenses, 60 cultivation licenses, and five research licenses in the first 16 months.
The law provides for the transfer of 7% of taxes collected to the Justice Reinvestment Fund. The Justice Department will oversee this fund, which will finance projects to improve the quality of life in communities that have been disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition policies.
The fund will also be used to develop technology to help expunge previous convictions for cannabis possession, as the law does not provide for automatic expungements.
Sales of recreational cannabis will be taxed at 15% of the retail price of the product.
Legalization of recreational cannabis vs. introduction of sales
Although cannabis use became legal on Sunday, April 23rd, implementing cannabis sales will take time and effort. Delaware joins a growing number of states that have legalized recreational cannabis in recent years, and this step is the result of intense discussions, negotiations, and efforts to regulate the adult-use cannabis market in the state.
The legalization of cannabis in Delaware reflects the strong support of the state’s voters for cannabis legalization over the years. One recent poll conducted in October 2022 found that 60% of registered voters believe cannabis use should be legal, while 30% are opposed and 10% are undecided, according to Marijuana Moment.
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