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Delaware Officials Release First Draft Rules For Adult-Use Marijuana Market As States Prepares For Legalization



Delaware officials have released draft regulations for the state’s adult-use marijuana market that’s expected to launch next year, and they’re now seeking public input on the proposed rules.

The Office of the Marijuana Commissioner (OMC) published the draft regulations on Thursday, laying out a basic framework for various cannabis business license types and requirements for the application process.

The office said it will be releasing draft regulations on a weekly basis as it prepares for the implementation of the legalization under a pair of marijuana bills that Gov. Jay Carney (D) allowed to become law without his signature last year.

“It is important to note that these preliminary, draft regulations are dependent on proposed legislative changes currently under consideration by members of the General Assembly, and the regulations may have to be adjusted based on legislative action,” OMC said. “The draft regulations presented in this informal process are a preview of the direction that the OMC is taking in the development of the formal regulations.”

The informal public comment period for this first batch of draft rules is open until March 29. Regulators said that after they release the rest of the regulations, they will be collectively open to a formal public comment period before being finalized, which they aim to do from May 1-31.

“The sections of draft regulations released today include those applicable to the licensing of adult-use recreational marijuana businesses, the application process, the issuance of licenses, and the processes regarding the renewal and transfer of licenses,” the office said.


Delaware Marijuana Commissioner Robert Coupe previewed plans to publish the first proposed rules during a hearing before the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee last week.

He also disclosed that retail marijuana sales in the state may not start until March 2025, four months later than initially planned. But officials are also considering the possibility of allowing existing medical cannabis dispensaries to start serving adult consumers sooner.

Coupe said that the current plan is to finalize rules for the adult-use cannabis program by July 11, start accepting license applications in September and begin approving different license types on a staggered schedule in October. Cultivation licenses could be approved beginning in November, followed by manufacturer licenses in December and retailer and testing licenses in March 2025.

Meanwhile, the Delaware House of Representatives also approved a bill last month to significantly expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

The bill from Rep. Ed Osienski (D) would make a series of changes to the state program, including removing limitations for patient eligibility based on a specific set of qualifying health conditions. Instead, doctors could issue marijuana recommendations for any condition they see fit.

It would also allow patients over the age of 65 to self-certify for medical cannabis access without the need for a doctor’s recommendation.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

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Last year, after the passage of his two bills to legalize cannabis, Osienski gave advice to lawmakers in other states who are pushing for marijuana reform.

“The key was just to keep plugging away at it and see what the other states have done and see what works best for your state,” he said last May.

He also advised legislators to sit down with “affected state agencies” like the Departments of Health, Finance and Agriculture.

“We had to sit down through meeting after meeting to try to work out a lot of the issues,” he said.

Separately, the Delaware Senate separately approved a resolution last March that urges the state’s congressional representatives to support legislation to end federal cannabis prohibition.

In 2022, Carney vetoed a more narrowly tailored bill that would have clarified that medical marijuana patients are not prohibited from buying, possessing or transferring firearms under state law.

Florida Lawmakers Approve THC Potency Limits For Marijuana Ahead Of Possible Recreational Legalization Ballot Vote

Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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