Delaware Lawmakers Vote to Establish Marijuana Legalization Task Force

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Delaware Lawmakers Vote to Establish Marijuana Legalization Task Force

Delaware’s full Assembly has voted to create a marijuana legalization task force.

The Adult Use Cannabis Task Force, approved by the Assembly on Saturday, is designed to “study adoption of a model for regulation and taxation of adult-use cannabis in Delaware, including local authority and control, consumer safety and substance abuse prevention, packaging and labeling requirements, impaired driving and other criminal law concerns, and taxation, revenue, and banking issues.”

The task force will consist of 23 members, with the first meeting planned for September. The group is required report its findings as well as recommendations to the Assembly and the governor by January 31, 2018.

“This is unchartered territory for The First State, and we want to make sure we are fully prepared to execute cannabis legalization safely and effectively,” says Representative Helene Keeley, who proposed the task force. “By studying the experiences of other states that have taxed and regulated cannabis, we will be able to learn from them.”

The task force will be chaired by Keeley and senator Margaret Rose Henry, along with 21 other members including:

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•    a state senator and a state representative from the minority caucus, appointed by the Senate president and House speaker, respectively;
•    the Secretary of the Department of Finance;
•    the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;
•    the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security;
•    the Director of the Division of Public Health;
•    the Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health;
•    the State bank commissioner;
•    the Attorney General;
•    the Chief Defender, Office of Defense Services;
•    the Mayor of the City of Wilmington;
•    the Chair of the Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee;
•    a marijuana policy reform advocate and a medical marijuana industry representative, both appointed by the Governor;
•    a physician with experience recommending treatment with medical marijuana, appointed by the Medical Society of Delaware
•    the President of the Delaware League of Local Governments;
•    the Chair of the Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council;
•    the Chair of the Employer Advocacy Committee of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce;
•    a representative of AAA Mid-Atlantic; and
•    a pharmacist, appointed by the President of the Delaware Pharmacist Society.

“The General Assembly is ready to take a serious look at regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use,” says Maggie Ellinger-Locke, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “This is an opportunity for a variety of stakeholders to come together and examine every aspect of this issue. We hope it will pave the way for the General Assembly to adopt a more thoughtful approach to cannabis next session. Lawmakers can see the direction the country is moving on this issue and they know most Delaware voters support making marijuana legal for adults.”

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