Lawmakers in the Delaware House of Representatives have recently approved a proposal aiming to enhance the state’s medical cannabis program. The legislation, voted on this week, would enable individuals aged 65 and older to self-certify for the medical cannabis program without requiring a doctor’s input, according to a report from Marijuana Moment.
Sponsored by Rep. Ed Osienski (D), the bill also seeks to eliminate the medical condition-based eligibility requirements of the program. Instead, it proposes allowing doctors to certify individuals for medical cannabis access based on their professional judgment regarding the potential benefits of the program for the patient.
Rep. Osienski emphasized that the bill was crafted in response to feedback from Delaware’s cannabis patients. He stated, “Drawing from their insights, we identified numerous ways to improve our medical marijuana program. HB 285 recognizes the need to remove outdated restrictions and breaks down the barriers that hinder patients who could truly benefit from improved access to medical marijuana.”
The legislation passed the House with a 22-10 vote and will now move to the state Senate for consideration. Sen. Kyra Hoffner (D) has sponsored a companion version of the bill in the Senate.
Sen. Hoffner expressed the need to update Delaware’s medical marijuana laws, stating, “…it is time to update our medical marijuana law and make it easier for the people who rely on these products to get the therapy that they need.”
While Delaware legalized adult-use cannabis last year, state-licensed stores are not expected to be operational until 2025. Lawmakers had approved an initial budget of $4.1 million last year for the rollout of the state’s adult-use cannabis industry.