Two days after the Delaware House of Representatives approved a bill to legalize the possession of marijuana the same chamber has passed a separate bill that would legalize a regulated system of marijuana retail outlets.
House Bill 2, filed by State Represenstive Ed Osienski, was passed by the full House by a vote of 27 to 13. This is almost identical to the 28 to 13 vote on House Bill 1 to legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. House Bill 2, which now heads to the Senate, would authorize marijuana to be sold to anyone 21 and older through licensed and regulated retail outlets which would be stocked by licensed producers. The Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement would be charged with regulating the marijuana industry through a new Office of Marijuana Control Commissioner.
“It has been a long journey to get to this point. We have experienced setbacks along the way and none worse than losing business to New Jersey and we have learned a great deal and produced what we believe is a strong bill that will make Delaware an industry leader in this field”, says Representative Osienski.
He continued: “In the past five years, we have listened to concerns from communities that have, for decades, been negatively impacted by the prohibition of marijuana to try to undo some of the harm done and ensure that these same communities will benefit from the new legal market”.
Represenstice Osienski says that he’s optimistic that even if the governor vetoes House Bill 1 and 2 there is enough support in the legislature to override the veto which can be done with a 2/3 majority.
If both measures are passed into law marijuana will be taxed at 15% with medical marijuana remaining tax-free.