Delaware Lawmakers File New Marijuana Legalization Bill With Key Equity Revisions

MJ moment

Delaware lawmakers on Wednesday filed a newly revised marijuana legalization bill that has several changes from a previous version that passed a House committee last year but stalled ahead of a scheduled floor vote amid disagreements about equity provisions. Rep. Ed Osienski (D) is sponsoring the legislation again. It would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis, but it would not provide a home grow option. A marijuana commissioner under the state Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement would be responsible for regulating the cannabis market and issuing business licenses for retailers, cultivators, manufacturers and laboratories. Equity is built into the licensing scheme. After 19 months of the bill’s enactment, regulators would have to approve 30 retailer licenses, half of which would go to people identified as social equity applicants who have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis criminalization, for example. There would also be a 15 percent excise tax on retail cannabis sales, which would not be applied to medical marijuana products. Seven percent of tax revenue from adult-use sales would go to a new Justice Reinvestment Fund, and the legislature would be tasked with appropriating the remaining revenue after administrative costs are covered. The Justice Reinvestment Fund would support grants, services and other initiatives that focus on issues like jail diversion, workforce development and technical assistance for people in communities that are economically disadvantaged and disproportionately impacted by the drug war. The money would also be used to help facilitate expungements, according to a summary from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “We’re excited about the prospects for legalization in Delaware this year,” Olivia Naugle, a legislative analyst with MPP, told Marijuana Moment. “Delawareans have long supported ending prohibition, but it is up to the legislature to bring equitable legalization to Delaware.…

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Source : Delaware Lawmakers File New Marijuana Legalization Bill With Key Equity Revisions

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