Adult-use cannabis is officially legal in Delaware
Cannabis in Delaware is now officially legal. The state became the 22nd in the US to approve adult-use cannabis over the weekend when Governor John Carney declined to veto two legalization bills approved by lawmakers earlier this year.
Adults over 21 can now possess up to one ounce of cannabis. Consumption and sharing of the plant are legal, but the practice of “gift with purchase” (seen in other jurisdictions like Washington, D.C.) remains illegal. While personal use is now approved, it could be months before dispensaries open.
A new Office of Marijuana Control Commissioner, a subsect of the state’s Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement, will implement the regulated market.
Cannabis products will be subject to a 15 percent tax rate; the Justice Reinvestment Fund will divert seven percent of the taxes collected to benefit communities disproportionately impacted by the criminalization of the plant.
Gov. Carney previously vetoed adult-use legalization but has signified support of medical cannabis and overall decriminalization. While stating his opposition to full legalization, the governor admitted there are higher priorities for his constituents.
“I want to be clear that my views on this issue have not changed,” Gov. Carney said in a statement, “And I understand there are those who share my views who will be disappointed in my decision not to veto this legislation. I decided because I believe we’ve spent far too much time focused on this issue, when Delawareans face more serious and pressing concerns every day. It’s time to move on.”
Delaware joins a growing number of states approving adult-use marijuana. The East Coast region is expected to be a robust market as New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Rhode Island continue to see strong sales. Cannabis in Delaware could bring in $215 million in sales in its first year and $32 million in tax revenue.