A bill legalizing marijuana in Delaware was introduced May 16 by Rep. Ed Osienski, D-Newark.
The Delaware Marijuana Control Act, House Bill 110, creates a legal framework to regulate the production and sale of marijuana and establishes a new industry. The bill allows adults over 21 to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana from a licensed retail marijuana store. Under the bill, the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement would absorb marijuana enforcement and create a separate, administrative Office of Marijuana Control Commissioner within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
The legislation allows for up to 15 retail licenses to be issued within 16 months of the bill’s effective date. HB 110 would also allow medical marijuana compassion centers, which already are operating under many of the provisions established in this legislation, to sell small amounts of recreational marijuana.
The bill allows municipalities to prohibit the operation of marijuana facilities within their borders. HB 110 would not change existing state law regarding driving under the influence of an illicit or recreational drug. It also would not allow individuals to grow their own plants. Public consumption of marijuana would still not be permitted.
Employers would be permitted to drug test workers for marijuana to ensure compliance with zero-tolerance policies. They also would be able to discipline workers for being under the influence at work, as well as prohibit the consumption of marijuana at work.
HB 110 also would allow for the expungement of prior marijuana-related offenses as long as the individual has no convictions for violent felonies. HB 110 has been assigned to the House Revenue & Finance Committee.