Vote Tracker

Recreational Marijuana Bill to get vote Tuesday

One part of a two-bill package known as the Delaware Marijuana Control Act, will get a vote Tuesday on the House floor. House Bill 1 would eliminate all penalties for possessing 1 ounce or less of marijuana by those 21 years of age or older. 

The Delaware Code was changed seven years ago to decriminalize the possession of “personal use” amounts of marijuana.  However, a civil penalty of $100 can still be levied under current law. This bill would eliminate this, and it would also remove all penalties for the adult use, possession, and sharing of personal use quantities of marijuana and eliminate any fines for possessing or using “marijuana accessories.”

House Bill 1 – Legalization of Recreational MarijuanaCurrrent Status – House Health & Human Development 1/20/23
House SponsorsOsienski, Longhurst, Baumbach, Morrisn, Heffernan, Chukwuocha, Cooke, Dorsey Waler, Griffith, Johnson, Lambert, Lynn, Minor-Brown, Moore, Neal, Phillips, Romer, Williams, Wilson-AntonSenate Sponsors Paradee, Hoffner, Gay, Huxtable, Lockman, McBride, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Walsh
House Yes VotesSenate Yes Votes
House No VotesSenate No Votes
House Absents or Not VotingSenate Absent or Not Voting

The second bill, House Bill 2, is not on the agenda today as it was reassigned to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration due to the fiscal aspects of the bill.

That bill would establish the bureaucratic framework for marijuana sales, including creating the office of the Marijuana Commissioner, which would be responsible for promulgating the necessary rules to carry out the law. It would also create the Delaware Marijuana Control Act Oversight Committee to coordinate the statute’s implementation and review its impact on public health and safety.

House Bill 2 would establish a marijuana control enforcement fee assessed at point of sale, set at 15%. Because this bill addresses revenue and taxation, it would require a 3/5 vote in each chamber (25 in the House). 

The bill would regulate and tax marijuana in the same manner as alcohol. It would allow adults 21 and older to purchase a personal use quantity of marijuana from a licensed retail marijuana store.

Interestingly, House Bill 2 got the votes of two Republicans in the House Revenue and Finance Committee back in January. Rep. Mike Smith, who voted no on a similar bill last year, voted yes in committee. Rep. Jeff Spiegelman, who “not voted” last year due to a conflict of interest, voted yes in committee.

House Bill 2 – Marijauna Regulation (Delaware Marijuana Control Act)Currrent Status – House Revenue & Finance 1/20/23
House SponsorsOsienski, Longhurst, Baumbach, Dorsey Walker, Heffernan, Lynn, Minor-Brown, Morrison, Chukwuocha, Griffith, Johnson, Lambert, Moore, Neal, Phillips, Romer, Williams, Wilson-AntonSenate SponsorsParadee, Hoffner, Lockman, McBride, Pinkney, Sturgeon, Townsend, Gay, Huxtable, Poore, Sokola, Walsh
House Yes VotesSenate Yes Votes
House No VotesSenate No Votes
House Absents or Not VotingSenate Absent or Not Voting

Rep. Osienski: “Delaware has been missing an opportunity to participate in the adult recreational marijuana market. We’ve missed out on hurting the illegal market, creating a new industry with good-paying jobs, and bringing tax revenue into our state that is currently going to nearby states like New Jersey. We have spent the past several years educating members about the merits of this program and dispelling the misconceptions that have persisted. I’m optimistic that we have the support to make this effort a reality.” 

Sen. Trey Paradee: “Every year we don’t pass these bills, Delaware misses out on millions in revenue. From both an economic and a criminal justice perspective, legalizing and regulating the sale of marijuana is the right thing to do. I will continue to serve as the lead Senate sponsor on these bills for as long as it takes to for them to become law.” 

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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