June 7, 2023 01:30 pm ETEstimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
On April 21, 2023, Delaware became the 22nd state to legalize marijuana—despite the governor’s opposition. Gov. John Carney (D) passed two bills to legalize cannabis into law without his signature. He announced legislation to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, and this decision marked a huge win for Democrats and marijuana supporters after many decades of fighting. They have been advocating for legalization because of the economic potential of the industry to bring in huge tax revenue.
According to the bill, every state-level civil and criminal punishment for possessing weed has been removed, and a regulated industry will be created for recreational marijuana sales. Gov. Carney has made it clear that he doesn’t consider the legalization of adult-use cannabis a step forward.
Gov. Carney’s Opposition to Legal Cannabis
Carney mentioned in a press statement that his position had not changed and that he understood that those who share the same view as him would be disappointed in his “decision not to veto the legislation.” He explained that the decision had been lingering “when Delawareans face more serious and pressing concerns every day” and that it was time to finally move on.
One of the primary reasons Carney cited for not signing the bills was his concern that recreational marijuana will have a negative impact on road safety, the health of minors, and the poorest neighborhoods in the state. Alongside House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, Carney is one of the few Democrats who do not support weed legalization. He mentioned that many legislators were not on his side and that he respected the legislative process. He added that prolonging the debate on the authorization of marijuana didn’t serve the interest of Delawareans.
Although recreational weed will not be officially sold in the state for the next 16 months, Delawareans are free to possess and consume it in their private residences in personal-use quantities. However, it is prohibited to use it in public places. Employers are also to maintain a zero-tolerance cannabis policy.
Gov. Carney vetoed the bill to allow recreational use of marijuana in May 2022. He explained that there were questions regarding the economic impacts and the long-term health concerns of cannabis use. There were also “serious law enforcement concerns” that remain unresolved. While the governor’s veto was expected because his opposition to full weed legalization was well-known, it is believed that he was defying the will of the majority.
The Legal Framework of Recreational Cannabis in Delaware
House Bill 1and House Bill 2 have now been passed without the governor’s signature, and they define the legal framework of recreational cannabis legalization in Delaware.
Apply For Your Medical Marijuana Card Today
Veriheal has satisfied hundreds of thousands of patients nationwide
Get approved or your money back
Appointments available on-demand
Customer support available 24/7
House Bill 1 allows persons that are 21 years old and above to have, use, purchase, and share a maximum of 1 ounce of marijuana. However, it is not allowed to be exchanged as a gift to prevent misuse. Anyone under 21 years old who breaks this law can be fined up to $100 by the police if it’s their first offense. A citation can also be issued based on the discretion of the officials.
House Bill 2 creates a controlled system of the recreational cannabis market by the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement (DATE). The market is overseen by the Marijuana Control Officer. Within the first 16 months, the agency can approve a maximum of 30 cannabis retail licenses, 30 production licenses, 60 cultivation licenses, and five testing licenses.
The new legislation applies a 15% tax to recreational cannabis sales. It also allows 7% of the tax revenue generated to the Justice Reinvestment Fund, overseen by the Department of Justice. They will be used to finance projects that would improve the quality of life in localities that have been negatively affected by laws that prohibit cannabis.
Recreational use sales of cannabis would also be subject to a control enforcement fee of 15%. Lawmakers have explained that the money would be used on restorative justice and to reduce the state’s prison population.
The legislation doesn’t change the existing state laws regarding driving under the influence of recreational drugs. It also doesn’t allow individuals to personally grow cannabis plants.
Delaware has joined the growing number of U.S. states that have legalized the adult use of marijuana. Although personal use of marijuana is now legal, its implementation and sale would still take some time and effort.
The decision on legalization is a result of extensive negotiations, discussions, and advocacy on the best way to regulate the use of recreational marijuana in the state. This milestone reveals the strong support that Delaware voters have had for marijuana legalization over the years. A poll in October 2022 revealed that 60% of registered voters favored legalizing marijuana, 30% were in opposition, and 10% were undecided.
The chief sponsor of the legalization bills, State Rep. Ed Osienski (D), acknowledged that he understood the governor’s opposition to the legislation. He then went on to appreciate his effort to prioritize the interest of the thousands of people supporting the legalization.
Mary Ekundayo is a passionate cannabis writer and entrepreneur with a love for all things literary. When she's not creating content, you can find Mary lost in the pages of a captivating book or meditating to set the tone for her day.
Blunts: What are they exactly, and how do they affect your body? If you’re interested in smoking blunts—or already smoke them—this guide is for you. We’ll cover everything you need to know about this popular cannabis intake method, including how they’re made, how they differ from spliffs and joints, risks of use, and alternative intake…
People have been smoking joints for a long time. The first rolling papers surfaced around the early 1500s in Alcoy, Spain. These weren’t like the rolling papers we know today though. To start, these papers were intended for tobacco, not cannabis. They were made of hemp along with other textiles and lacked an adhesive gum…
“Stoned,” “high,” “tripping,” and “baked,” are all terms engrained in the cannabis community. These metaphorical descriptions contribute to how we perceive, interpret, and learn from the experiences produced by cannabis consumption. Cannabis experiences, of course, are unique and highly variable. Specific plant strains, the presence of other cannabinoids, different delivery methods, and a user’s individual…
Cannabis seeds, aka beans, come in a lot of different varieties. On top of countless different strains to choose from, there are regular cannabis seeds, feminized cannabis seeds, auto-flowering cannabis seeds, and ruderalis cannabis seeds. Ruderalis cannabis seeds are the least common out of the group, generally only used by breeders. Regular cannabis seeds produce…
With fall well underway, many growers are getting ready to harvest their cannabis cards. When it comes to harvests, you better have a plan ready, or things will get really hectic real quick. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be. With a little due diligence and some planning, you can make harvesting your outdoor cannabis plants…
The statements made regarding cannabis products on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cannabis is not an FDA-approved substance and is still illegal under federal law. The information provided on this website is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. We strongly recommend that you consult with a physician or other qualified healthcare provider before using any cannabis products. The use of any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk.