Delaware Governor John Carney announced Friday he will not veto two bills that legalize marijuana possession and use, and begin the process of creating a legal recreational weed marketplace. Possession of up to one ounce of marijuana will become legal April 23 at midnight.
The Democratic governor vetoed similar legislation last year, and said his views on cannabis haven’t changed, but that he believes “we’ve spent far too much time focused on this issue, when Delawareans face more serious and pressing concerns every day.” A poll taken last fall showed 60 percent of Delaware voters support legalization.
Both bills passed the state General Assembly with veto-proof majorities. House Bill 1 legalizes possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for adults 21 and older, and sets civil penalties for possession by those under 21. House Bill 2, which becomes law April 26, sets the groundwork for creation of a legal cannabis marketplace, and fixes the state tax rate for sales at 15 percent.
Business licenses could be issued as early as this summer but it’s not certain when sales will begin, according to MJBizDaily. The law limits licenses to 30 each for retailers and cultivators. Private cultivation will not be legal.
Delaware will become the 22nd U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana possession, use and sales. Sixteen other states have some form of legal medical cannabis program.