Corporate cannabis, legalization backers duke it out

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Good afternoon,

It isn’t every day that you get a 1,600-word, four-page press release on pending legislation.

But that’s what happened last week after a Zoom hearing on a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana and provide a pathway for smaller fry wishing to gain a foothold.

Big weed wasn’t going to stand idly by and let the smaller guys gain an edge in Dover. Among other things, they claimed that HB150 would lead to a glut of marijuana in the state, not something that would not keep your average toker up nights.

Click here for a link to the release. (PDF reader required).

According to CAN, corporate marijuana wants guaranteed licenses to sell weed.

Zoƫ Patchell, executive director of Delaware CAN, came out swinging. She accused corporate weed and its lawyers of offering testimony that included a wild claim that Delaware under legalization would be capable of producing enough cannabis to supply the East Coast.

The release noted that corporate weed already enjoys an advantage in securing licenses thanks to “medical permit holders’ experience operating on liquid investment capital, securing local zoning permits, and lobbying in Dover would already make them tough competitors against new social equity and micro-licenses participants.”

The release went on to quote coalition members who criticized the quality of the state’s medical marijuana and high prices and hinted that patients would boycott their locations.

The medical marijuana lobby, in a statement to Delaware Public Media, affirmed their support from legalization while also seeking temporary first dibs on recreational licenses. Reading between the lines, a delay of a year or two on legalization would not be a major disappointment

Opponents of legalization that range from segments of the medical community and law enforcement were in “pass the popcorn” time and perhaps relishing the debate while preparing their own strategy.

As the coalition noted, passing a legalization bill is a formidable task since it involves imposing a Delaware tax that requires a three-fifths majority.

Moreover, Delaware does not have the voter referendums that pushed legalization across the finish line in many other states, including New Jersey.- Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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