Delaware seeks public feedback on draft rules for recreational cannabis market

The Delaware Office of the Marijuana Commissioner (OMC) has opened an informal public comment window on the draft regulations for the recreational cannabis market in the state. The draft regulations, which were released on February 15, 2024, are part of the implementation of the recreational cannabis legalization bill that was signed by Governor John Carney in July 2023. The draft regulations provide a preview of the direction that the OMC is taking in the development of the formal regulations, which will be published in the Register of Regulations by June 7, 2024.

The public comment window, which will run until March 29, 2024, at 5 p.m. ET, gives the opportunity for the public and the stakeholders to review the draft regulations and provide their feedback and suggestions. The draft regulations cover various aspects of the recreational cannabis industry, such as licensing, application, issuance, renewal, transfer, fees, taxes, testing, packaging, labeling, advertising, and enforcement. The draft regulations are available on the OMC website, where a link for individuals to submit their comments is also provided. The OMC encourages the public and the stakeholders to participate in this informal process, as well as in the formal rulemaking process, which will commence after the publication of the final regulations in the Register of Regulations.

A dependency on the proposed legislative changes under consideration

The draft regulations are dependent on the proposed legislative changes that are currently under consideration by the General Assembly. The legislative changes, which are expected to be passed by May 13, 2024, the last day of the legislative session, aim to address some of the issues and concerns that have been raised by the public and the stakeholders regarding the recreational cannabis legalization bill. Some of the proposed changes include increasing the number of licenses for growers, processors, and retailers, creating a social equity program for applicants from disproportionately impacted communities, and allowing local governments to opt out of allowing recreational cannabis businesses in their jurisdictions. The draft regulations may be adjusted based on the legislative action, and the OMC will update the public and the stakeholders accordingly.

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