On the heels of the historic passing of a recreational marijuana bill in Vermont, legislators in Delaware also took steps this week toward the legalization of a full-scale cannabis market.
On Wednesday, the General Assembly’s House Revenue and Finance Committee approved the “Marijuana Control Act,” which is designed to establish a taxed and regulated cannabis industry similar to what is currently underway in several legal states.
The goal at this point, according to supporting lawmakers, is to dig deep into the language of the measure and give it a bit of fine-tuning before dragging it in front of the full House for a vote. That way, there isn’t too much debate once it reaches the floor.
“I want to get as many people at the table so we’re not going back and piece-mealing changes to the bill, and going back and fixing things that may arise after the bill is signed into law that Colorado had to do once it was started,” Representative Helene Keeley, the bill’s sponsor, told Newsworks.
The bill would give adults 21 and over the freedom to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana from dispensaries across the state.
Representative Keeley and her co-conspirator in the marijuana legalization scheme, Senator Margaret Rose Henry, believe the state could see around $22 million in tax revenue by embracing this reform. What’s more is the overall economic impact could be even more substantial, considering the lawmakers also predict a surge in tourism as a result of legalization.
Unfortunately, while the prospect of legal weed in the Small Wonder is exciting, there is not much hope the bill has what it takes to go the distance in the 2017 session. In fact, the proposal may have never made it this far were Keeley not the head of the committee responsible for giving the bill the green light to advance to the next level.
However, even if the bill does manage to get through the General Assembly, Governor John Carney has stated that he does not support full legalization right now. He would like to see Delaware study the impact of legalization on the state before passing a law.
Nevertheless, Keeley is confident the bill will make it through the House without issue.