Lawmakers let time slip by without making a decision on cannabis
It appears that support and interest are two factors that are not included in the cannabis reform equation in the state of Delaware. This is the second time this legislative session brought together different members of the House to address the bill that seeks to establish a regulated market for cannabis for adult use. However, the action was paused and it is expected that the issue will be addressed again once the legislative recess is over.
State-licensed entities would have the opportunity to commercially produce and sell marijuana, at least that is the intent of House Bill 372. Given how the plans have worked out so far, it is unclear if this will even become a reality.
A few months ago, House members were unable to move forward on a similar measure after falling two votes short. The proposal requires a three-fifths majority to move forward as it establishes new tax structures. This goal was not met again yesterday.
Through a procedural effort, the author was able to have the bill placed back on the agenda at a later date. However, this means at least a couple of weeks of waiting, as the vacation on the House floor ends in June.
“Legalizing cannabis is about more than just allowing recreational use or the money that can be made,” said Laura Sharer, Executive Director for Delaware NORML. “It’s about undoing a century of racist policy that disproportionately targeted Black and Latino communities.”
HB 371, a companion piece of legislation that decriminalizes possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults and allows adults to transfer cannabis without money involved, has already passed both chambers. The governor is expected to take action before the deadline (May 31). However, it is not yet known what the outcome will be as John C. Carney continues to express opposition to legalization.