Delaware: Marijuana Legalization Bill Passes House Committee

By Nicolas Jose Rodriguez

A Delaware House committee has approved a bill that would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and five grams of cannabis concentrates, reported Marijuana Moment.

HB 305 filed by Rep. Ed Osienski (D) passed the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday. The Delaware Marijuana Control Act would regulate and tax marijuana in the same manner as alcohol. The new legislation would not legalize home cultivation and marijuana delivery services.

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The legislation will create the position of Marijuana Commissioner who will establish health and safety regulations for marijuana cultivation and coordinate the Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism “so that potential businesses licensed under this Act have access to programs, particularly those that support small businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans.”

If the bill is approved, it would establish separate licensing requirements for retail marijuana stores, marijuana testing, cultivation and manufacturing facilities. Licensing requirements would also differ between open licenses, social equity licenses and microbusiness licenses.

In addition, the bill would create the “Marijuana Regulation Fund” and the “Justice Reinvestment Fund.”

The Regulation Fund will consist of fees collected, penalties imposed, and taxes collected if the bill becomes an Act. It would create a “marijuana control enforcement tax on retail marijuana in the amount of 15%.”

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Seven-percent of the tax revenue collected will be allocated to the Justice Reinvestment Fund, for projects dedicated “to improve quality of life for communities most impacted by the prohibition of marijuana and war on drugs era policies.

The legal market could also create more than 1,000 new jobs over five years if the policy is enacted, reported Marijuana Moment.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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