The House Revenue & Finance Committee today signed off on Delaware’s proposed legislation to legalize marijuana for adult use, ages 21 and over. As with recently approved legislation in Illinois, the bill also contains a clause to expunge criminal records for prior convictions for simple possession.
If approved, the Delaware plan would see a gradual rollout of legalized marijuana. There would be an initial 15 licensed retail outlets as well as limits on cultivation and manufacturing. After three years, there would be a review to consider additional retail licensing. The legislation contains no provision for the home cultivation of cannabis.
Existing medical cannabis dispensaries would receive preferential consideration in the licensing process. The bill also contains provisions to promote other “social equity” objectives.
An article covering the announcement reported the support of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership. Written testimony submitted to the Delaware House Committee included a submission from the former chief of staff to then-Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D). Douglas Friednash stated:
“Most of our elected officials and community leaders were convinced it would lead to increased teen marijuana use, destroy our economy, and hamper the tourism industry, and I shared some of their concerns. I’ve now had six-and-a-half years to see the effects firsthand. And, I can can tell you none of this has come true, and my opinion has changed.
I urge Delaware, and other states, to follow the lead of Colorado and nine other states and replace cannabis prohibition with thoughtful regulation.”
The message here for investors is that what is spreading across the United States (and is already a reality in Canada) is more than just marijuana legalization. This is cannabis normalization.
Correcting a mistake (cannabis Prohibition). Opening up enormous new commercial opportunities for cannabis companies and their shareholders.