NEWARK – Delaware will become the latest state to legalize and regulate adult recreational marijuana with the pending enactment of the two-bill Delaware Marijuana Control Act.
Sponsored by Rep. Ed Osienski, House Bill 1 removes all penalties for possession of a personal use quantity of marijuana, except for those who are under 21 years of age. House Bill 2 creates a legal framework to regulate the cultivation, sale and possession of marijuana, provides opportunities for small businesses to be licensed, and ensures people living in areas disproportionately affected by the prohibition of marijuana have equal access to this new market.
The General Assembly passed both bills by strong, bipartisan majorities last month and both were delivered to Governor Carney earlier this month. HB 1 officially will become law Sunday after a 10-day legislative process where the governor has 10 days from receipt of a bill to either sign, veto or take no action and let the bill become law without their signature. HB 2 will officially become law Thursday, as per his announcement Friday.
“After five years of countless meetings, debates, negotiations and conversations, I’m grateful we have reached the point where Delaware has joined a growing number of states that have legalized and regulated adult recreational marijuana for personal use. We know that more than 60% of Delawareans support the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use, and more than two-thirds of the General Assembly agreed,” said Rep. Osienski.
“I understand the governor’s personal opposition to legalization, so I especially appreciate him listening to the thousands of residents who support this effort and allowing it to become law. I am committed to working with the administration to ensure that the effort to establish the regulatory process goes as smoothly as possible.
“I have to thank my colleagues for standing together on this issue and contributing their input into the process. We have arrived at a stronger law, and Delaware will be better for it. I especially have to thank all the advocates who rallied for these bills and were patient as we negotiated, poked, prodded and cajoled our way to gaining enough support to pass the Marijuana Control Act. We’ve reached the mountaintop, and it feels great to finally get there. I hope everyone enjoys the moment.”