Delaware General Assembly Creates Task Force to Explore Regulating and Taxing Marijuana for Adult Use

Jul 01, 2017


State lawmakers used the last day of the legislative session to begin preparing for the future passage of legislation to end marijuana prohibition

 

DOVER, Del. — The General Assembly passed a concurrent resolution Saturday morning to create a task force that will study regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use in Delaware.

The Adult Use Cannabis Task Force “shall study adoption of a model for regulation and taxation of adult-use cannabis in Delaware, including local authority and control, consumer safety and substance abuse prevention, packaging and labeling requirements, impaired driving and other criminal law concerns, and taxation, revenue, and banking issues.” It will hold its first meeting no later than September 7, 2017, and it must report its findings and recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly by January 31, 2018.

“The General Assembly is ready to take a serious look at regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use,” said Maggie Ellinger-Locke, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “This is an opportunity for a variety of stakeholders to come together and examine every aspect of this issue. We hope it will pave the way for the General Assembly to adopt a more thoughtful approach to cannabis next session. Lawmakers can see the direction the country is moving on this issue and they know most Delaware voters support making marijuana legal for adults.”

The 23-member task force will be co-chaired by Sen. Margaret Rose Henry and Rep. Helene Keeley, Democrats who sponsored legislation this year to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol for adults 21 and older. It will also include:

•    a state senator and a state representative from the minority caucus, appointed by the Senate president and House speaker, respectively;
•    the Secretary of the Department of Finance;
•    the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;
•    the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security;
•    the Director of the Division of Public Health;
•    the Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health;
•    the State bank commissioner;
•    the Attorney General;
•    the Chief Defender, Office of Defense Services;
•    the Mayor of the City of Wilmington;
•    the Chair of the Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee;
•    a marijuana policy reform advocate and a medical marijuana industry representative, both appointed by the Governor;
•    a physician with experience recommending treatment with medical marijuana, appointed by the Medical Society of Delaware
•    the President of the Delaware League of Local Governments;
•    the Chair of the Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council;
•    the Chair of the Employer Advocacy Committee of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce;
•    a representative of AAA Mid-Atlantic; and
•    a pharmacist, appointed by the President of the Delaware Pharmacist Society.

More than 60% of Delaware voters support making marijuana legal, according to a September 2016 poll by the University of Delaware Center for Political Communication.

Eight states have enacted laws regulating marijuana for adult use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. In the District of Columbia, voters enacted a law making personal possession and home cultivation legal for adults 21 and older.

# # #

The Delaware Cannabis Coalition is a coalition of citizens and organizations working to end marijuana prohibition in Delaware and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit http://www.DelawareCannabisPolicy.org.