The Delaware Legislature reintroduced a bill to legalize recreational marijuana. The bill is refreshingly simple- coming in at a mere 45 pages - as compared to similar legislation introduced in Illinois, New Jersey and New York. It may be a bit ambitious to introduce the bill this late in the legislative session, which closes on June 30, 2019. However, it may indicative of an earnest effort that may take place in 2020.
The top six (6) things that you should know about Delaware’s recreational marijuana bill include:
Licenses will be allocated using a scoring system that takes into consideration a social responsibility plan, an environmental and sustainability plan, and a plan for a safe, healthy and economically beneficial working environment.
The number of available retail licenses is capped at 15. The state will accept retail store applications 10 months after the effective date of the Act, and will start issuing licenses 11 months after the effective date. After 3 years, the state may issue more than 15 licenses if there is sufficient market demand.
Licenses are also capped as follows:
Testing facility licenses - 5
Cultivation licenses - 50
Manufacturing licenses - 10
Local municipalities may prohibit commercial cannabis businesses. A protest hearing is scheduled if 10 people within 1 mile of the establishment file a protest. Marijuana may not be delivered or sold on Sundays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or other days as prescribed by rule.
The Act requires the State to perform a suitability analysis on owners of 10% or more of the outstanding stock. Licenses may be transferred with the State’s approval.
A 15% tax is charged on the retail recreational sales only.