Delaware House Approves Bill to Allow Recreational Marijuana Sales to Begin This Year

The Delaware House of Representatives has approved a bill that allows medical marijuana dispensaries to transition quickly into the recreational market, allowing recreational sales months ahead of schedule.

Today, the House voted 29 to 11 to pass House Bill 408, sponsored by State Representative Ed Osienski, with a companion bill from Senator Trey Paradee. The bill proposes temporary conversion licenses for medical marijuana retailers, enabling them to sell recreational marijuana while maintaining their medical operations.

Rep. Osienski stated, “As we approach the launch of recreational marijuana sales in Delaware, it’s vital to implement policies that support both new and existing retailers. Our experienced centers can smoothly handle this transition, using the fees from conversion licenses to support social equity applicants.”

The conversion licenses would be available under certain conditions, including:

  • Eligibility for renewal in the Delaware Medical Marijuana Program.
  • Adequate documentation of the ability to meet medical demand and support social equity programs.
  • A labor peace agreement with a recognized labor organization.
  • Submission of facility dimensions for cultivation.
  • A $100,000 license fee per license, supporting social equity applicants financially.

Sen. Paradee added, “The Marijuana Control Act aims to replace the illicit market with a regulated industry that creates jobs and supports communities affected by previous drug policies. HB 408 provides a practical route for existing businesses to enter the recreational market and support those communities.”

HB 408 sets the application period for conversion licenses from August to November 2024. Licensed retail facilities must receive commissioner approval before starting recreational operations. Conversion licenses will expire after four years, with the possibility of renewal.

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