DOVER, Del. (AP) — The Delaware Senate gave final approval Tuesday to bills legalizing recreational marijuana use by adults in the state and authorizing the establishment of a state-licensed and regulated cannabis industry, setting up a potential battle with Democratic Gov. John Carney.
The Democrat-controlled chamber voted 16-4 for a bill allowing personal possession by those 21 and older of up to one ounce of leaf marijuana or equivalent amounts in other forms. Sen. Eric Buckson of Dover was the lone Republican to vote for the bill.
Buckson, however, led the opposition to the industry-creation bill that calls for state officials to issue up to 30 initial retail marijuana licenses, 30 manufacturing licenses, 60 cultivation licenses and five testing licenses. The bill includes special license pools for “social equity” and “microbusiness” applicants. Residents would be prohibited, however, from growing their own plants for personal consumption.
The industry bill required a three-fifths supermajority because it creates a new tax, in the form of a 15% levy on retail sales. It cleared the Senate on a 15-5 party-line vote.
Carney, who vetoed a legalization bill last year, declined to comment as he left his Legislative Hall office following the vote.
“The governor continues to have strong concerns about the unintended consequences of legalizing marijuana for recreational use in our state, especially about the impacts on our young people and highway safety,” his office…
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