Recreational Marijuana Business Moves on With New Laws and Social Equity Programmes

The Office of the Marijuana Commissioner (OMC) has shared proposed marijuana regulations for public review as part of the ongoing efforts to open the adult-use market in Delaware.

The guidelines include rules for granting licences to marijuana businesses, standards for inspecting and packaging products, and methods for testing marijuana in Delaware’s recreational market.

The Marijuana Commissioner, Rob Coupe, has announced that the regulations are now open for public comment until June 3. After considering feedback from stakeholders, a final version of the regulations may be released on July 11.

At the February meeting of the Marijuana Control Act Oversight Committee, some members advocated for a dispensing method similar to an apothecary, where customers can examine and smell the product before buying it.

Coupe explains that the office chose to implement the more commonly used pre-packaged dispensing style for safety reasons, but there is an exception.

“They need to tell us how they will make sure the product is safe and that consumers are safe. They also need to explain how they will do this safely. If there is a demand for it and the retailer wants to do it, they can get permission to do so.”

Also Read: New Jersey Legislators Advance a Bill Overhauling the State’s Open Records Law

According to him, if everything goes well, the market for recreational use by adults is still planning to give out licences for retail dispensaries in March 2025. OMC has announced that registration is now open for its Social Equity Workshops in June of this year, in addition to the new regulations.

Social equity licences are given to people who have been arrested for a marijuana-related crime or have lived in an area that has been affected by marijuana laws more than other areas for five out of the past 10 years.

Areas in Delaware that had a lot of arrests or convictions for marijuana before it was legalised for recreational use are being affected more than other areas. Coupe says the workshops will cover important topics such as social equity eligibility, banking, taxes, legal matters, real estate, and an overview of the marijuana industry.

“We are currently working on a project that will most likely begin in June. It will provide an online opportunity for people to confirm their eligibility to apply as a social equity applicant,” he explains.

Coupe explains that the piece relies heavily on the creation of a Social Equity Disproportionately Affected Area Map. This map is being developed using data on marijuana arrests. According to him, the map will show applicants if they are eligible based on their location.

If someone qualifies for a social equity licence, they will receive special discounts and opportunities for grants to obtain licences for marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, testing, and retail in the state.

You can find the registration for the workshops. The dates and locations are as follows:

  • New Castle County (6/5/2024) Stanton Campus Delaware Technical Community College (400 Stanton Christiana Rd, Newark, DE 19713)
  • Sussex County (6/12/2024) Owens Campus Delaware Technical Community College (21179 College Dr, Georgetown, DE 19947)
  • City of Wilmington (6/18/2024) Wilmington Campus Delaware Technical Community College (333 N Shipley St, Wilmington, DE 19801)
  • Kent County (6/25/2024) DNREC, Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Hwy SW, Dover, DE 19901

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