Delaware Legalizes Recreational Cannabis

Cannibis stock photo

Delaware recently became the latest state to legalize recreational cannabis. Governor Carney, although not in agreement with the push to legalize adult-use cannabis, decided to allow the passage of two bills (HB 1 and HB 2) pertaining to legalization without signing them. Cannabis became legal immediately although the state has yet to establish dispensaries, retail regulations, and more.

What Does HB 1 Say?  

HB 1 legalized recreational cannabis for adults aged 21 and older, removing all penalties for the possession, use, display, purchase, or transportation of accessories or cannabis. Residents can possess 1 ounce or less of cannabis leaves or products. HB 1 makes no mention of employers or the workplace.

What Does HB 2 Say?  

HB 2 primarily creates a framework for the production, manufacture, and sale of cannabis through a legal industry, though some details still need to be determined by the legislature. The law stipulates that driving under the influence of cannabis remains illegal, which may impact certain workplaces/positions. Retail, manufacturing, cultivation, and testing licenses will be approved within the next 16 months. Recreational cannabis will be subject to 15% sales tax. Additionally, HB 2 states that it is not intended to impact/impose any requirements or restrictions on employers regarding terms or conditions of employment. This includes, but is not limited to, workplace accommodations, policies, or discipline. An employer who occupies, owns, or controls a property can prohibit or regulate the possession, consumption, use, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growth of cannabis on the property.

When Are the Bills Effective?  

As of 04/23, personal use cannabis is legal in the state, although a regulatory sales framework has not been enacted. HB 2 will not take effect until such a time as either the funds required to implement the bill have been appropriated and published in the Register of Regulations or the bill is enacted.

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