FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Dover, DE — On Thursday, the Delaware House of Representatives voted in favor (27-13, with 1 absent) of HB 2, a bill that would set up a regulatory framework for adult-use cannabis sales. This marks the first time that the chamber has passed legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis.
Earlier this week, the Delaware House approved (28-13) HB 1, a bill that would legalize possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults. Notably, HB 1 does not legalize or regulate adult-use sales. Now, both HB 1 and HB 2 are awaiting consideration in the Senate.
“It’s encouraging to see these bills advance through the legislature with supermajority support. The people of Delaware overwhelmingly agree that legalizing cannabis is the right move, and with this development we are hopeful that this is the year Delaware finally ends cannabis prohibition once and for all,” said Olivia Naugle, senior policy analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project.
In 2022, cannabis legalization fell short when Governor John Carney vetoed a simple legalization bill and the legislature failed to override the decision. Since then, new members have been elected to the General Assembly and the margins of both chambers in the latest votes would be enough to override a veto.
Polling has shown that a strong majority of Delaware voters support legalizing cannabis. To date, 21 states have passed laws to legalize cannabis for adult use, including neighboring New Jersey and Maryland. Meanwhile, several bills to legalize adult-use cannabis are working their way through state legislatures such as Hawaii, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.
Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 12 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and also works to advance federal reforms. Visit www.mpp.org for more information.
Contact: Violet Cavendish