Delaware Bill To Expand Medical Marijuana Access Heads To Governor’s Desk, As House Passes Cannabis Banking Measure - Read of Green
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Delaware Bill To Expand Medical Marijuana Access Heads To Governor’s Desk, As House Passes Cannabis Banking Measure



A bill to significantly expand Delaware’s medical marijuana program is heading to the governor’s desk. At the same time, separate legislation to provide state-level protections for banks that work with cannabis businesses has passed through the House of Representatives and now moves on to the Senate.

As Delaware prepares to implement adult-use marijuana legalization, both cannabis reform measures saw major action on Thursday—with the previously House-approved medical marijuana proposal passing the Senate in a 16-5 vote, while the banking bill unanimously cleared the House and now heads to the opposite chamber.

Both bills are sponsored by Rep. Ed Osienski (D), who championed that marijuana legalization legislation that was enacted into law last year.

The medical cannabis expansion measure that’s being sent to the desk of Gov. John Carney (D) would remove limitations for patient eligibility based on a specific set of qualifying health conditions. Instead, doctors could issue marijuana recommendations for any condition they see fit.

The legislation would also allow patients over the age of 65 to self-certify for medical cannabis access without the need for a doctor’s recommendation.

“With the full legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana last year, my colleagues and I agreed that our medical marijuana law needed to be updated to help the people who rely on those products get the therapy they need,” Sen. Kyra Hoffner (D), a prime sponsor, said.

“These changes will allow healthcare providers to make sound decisions about which treatments best fit their patients, and make those treatments more readily accessible to people who need them the most,” she said. “I want to thank my colleagues in the General Assembly for continuing to support a responsible and reasoned approach to both recreational and medical marijuana in the First State.”

Meanwhile, the cannabis banking bill unanimously passed the House on Thursday, just two days after it cleared committee. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The legislation recently earned the endorsement of state Treasurer Colleen Davis (D). Its passage comes amid mounting pressure on Congress to enact federal cannabis banking reform.

“As many know, national banks and credit unions do not serve the marijuana industry because they are concerned about potential penalties and prosecutions due to the federal statutes,” Osienski said. “A local bank is better positioned to serve the marijuana industry because they are regulated by state law under which the state’s legal marijuana industry also operates.”

The Delaware measure is designed to clarify that banks, credit unions, armored car services and accounting services providers are not subject to state-level prosecution simply for working with cannabis businesses.

“This Act aims to facilitate the operation of cannabis-related businesses by helping to ensure that such businesses have access to necessary financial and accounting services,” the bill synopsis says.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,400 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

All this comes as regulators are rolling out a series of draft regulations to stand up the forthcoming adult-use cannabis market. The current timeline puts the launch of the market at March 2025, according to Delaware Marijuana Commissioner Robert Coupe.

The Office of the Marijuana Commissioner (OMC) published its latest proposed regulations earlier this month, with new sections related to issues such as cannabis testing, sampling, disposal, variances and fee schedules.

For its initial batch of rules last month, the office provided a basic framework for various cannabis business license types and requirements for the application process. That was followed with regulations on tracking, transportation, health standards, packaging and advertising.

An informal public comment period is now open for all of the proposed rules through March 29, but regulators have emphasized that this will not be the last chance to weigh in, as they’re aiming to have a formal comment window open once all rules are finalized between May 1-31.

Virginia GOP Governor Vetoes Marijuana Sales Legalization Bill, Along With Separate Measure To Resentence Prior Cannabis Convictions

Photo courtesy of Philip Steffan.

Source: Marijuana Moment



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