Delaware Releases Draft Regulations for Adult-Use Marijuana Market

Delaware Releases Draft Regulations for Adult-Use Marijuana Market

Delaware officials have unveiled draft regulations for the state’s forthcoming adult-use marijuana market, inviting public feedback on the proposed rules. The Office of the Marijuana Commissioner (OMC) published the draft regulations, establishing a preliminary framework for various cannabis business license types and application requirements.

The OMC emphasized the preliminary nature of the draft regulations, highlighting their dependency on proposed legislative changes currently under consideration by the General Assembly. The office plans to release additional draft regulations on a weekly basis as it prepares for the implementation of legalization, which Governor Jay Carney allowed to become law last year.

Interested stakeholders have until March 29 to provide informal public comments on the initial batch of draft rules. Following this, regulators will open a formal public comment period for all regulations, aiming to finalize them from May 1 to May 31.

Key sections of the draft regulations cover the licensing of adult-use recreational marijuana businesses, the application process, license issuance, and renewal and transfer processes.

Delaware Marijuana Commissioner Robert Coupe previewed plans to publish the proposed rules during a recent hearing before the Joint Finance Committee. He also revealed that retail marijuana sales may not commence until March 2025, four months later than initially planned. However, officials are considering allowing existing medical cannabis dispensaries to serve adult consumers earlier.

The current timeline aims to finalize adult-use cannabis program rules by July 11, with license applications accepted starting in September. Approval of different license types is scheduled on a staggered basis from October onwards.

In a related development, the Delaware House of Representatives passed a bill last month to expand the state’s medical marijuana program significantly. Proposed by Rep. Ed Osienski (D), the bill removes limitations on patient eligibility based on specific health conditions and allows patients over 65 to self-certify for medical cannabis access.

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Last year, following the passage of legalization bills, Rep. Osienski advised lawmakers in other states to persist in their efforts and collaborate with relevant state agencies to address key issues.

Separately, the Delaware Senate passed a resolution urging congressional representatives to support legislation to end federal cannabis prohibition.

The cannabis landscape in Delaware continues to evolve, with officials striving to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for both medical and adult-use cannabis markets.

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