A bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Delaware cleared its first legislative hurdle, with the House Revenue and Finance Committee voting to advance the measure for consideration by the full House.
The legislation calls for initial authorization of 50 cultivation facilities of various sizes, 10 processing facilities, 15 retail stores and five testing labs.
A state oversight committee and a marijuana commissioner would regulate the industry, which is being touted as a revenue-generating measure.
Marijuana products would be assessed a 15% sales tax.
Democratic Gov. John Carney remains wary of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, but Democratic Attorney General Kathy Jennings supports the idea.
A similar bill failed to clear the House by four votes last year, with the chief sponsor blaming opposition from the law enforcement community. Five lawmakers, all members of the Democratic majority, declined to vote on that measure, ensuring its failure.
Under the current bill, adults 21 and older could buy and possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, no more than 5 grams of which could be in a concentrated form such as that used in edibles and vape liquids.
The bill would not allow Delawareans to grow marijuana for personal use, a problem for some legalization advocates.
– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily