Delaware lawmakers likely to vote soon on bill to legalize marijuana

Delaware lawmakers are likely to vote before the end of session on legislation to legalize marijuana, which has supportive lobbyists and legislators working overtime to ensure it passes. 

Over a year ago, the House Revenue & Finance Committee approved the bill, which would tax and regulate marijuana for recreational use and allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce.

Zoe Patchell, president of the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network, said she and her colleagues are anticipating the bill's vote in both the House and Senate within the next few weeks. 

"We're anticipating House Bill 110 getting a vote in the House in the next couple weeks, as well as in the Senate," Patchell said. "We're confident that legislators will definitely act on removing the control from the existing criminal market and replacing it with a safe, legal, taxed, and well-regulated system."

Patchell worked closely with lawmakers who sponsored the legislation and attended every meeting of the Adult Use Cannabis Task Force, a state resolution to study the outcome of legalizing marijuana.

State Representative Paul Baumbach, one of the bill's sponsors, said as of right now to his knowledge there are not enough votes for the bill to pass; however, there's another four weeks for he and other lawmakers to garner support. 

"In the last months, pretty much anything can happen. With the budget pressures behind us I think we've got time to have some good conversations with each of our colleagues, and to see where there's room to bring people from a maybe to a yes. To my knowledge, we don't have the votes as of today, but we do have a full four weeks to work through that. I think that supporters, both legislator and grassroots, will be working hard to get those last few votes to bring it across the finish line."

On Thursday, the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network will hold their 17th Citizen’s Cannabis Lobby Day at 12:30 p.m. at Legislative Hall. Former NHL Philadelphia Flyer’s player and Delaware property owner Riley Cote will be in attendance to lobby behind the legislation.

Eight states have enacted laws regulating marijuana for adult use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. In the District of Columbia, voters enacted a law making personal possession and home cultivation legal for adults 21 and older.

Stay up to date, set your car radio to Delaware 105.9FM - Listen LIVE