States that have legalized cannabis have seen lots of benefits, including the creation of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue. On top of that, most states have also focused on social equity, expunging the records of people with prior nonviolent cannabis-related convictions and giving individuals affected by the failed war on drugs a leg up in their respective cannabis industries. That is what a bill recently introduced by Delaware lawmakers seeks to achieve, despite the fact that the state governor isn’t a fan of recreational marijuana.
The legislation would create a regulated cannabis market in the state, allowing adults 21 years and older to buy and possess up to an ounce of cannabis. However, unlike recreational cannabis legislation passed in other states, it would not provide an option for home cultivation. The bill would also require the appointment of a marijuana commissioner who would issue cannabis regulations and provide licenses to qualifying applicants. Additionally, it would bestow regulatory responsibilities to Homeland Security, the State Department of Safety, and the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement.
Sponsored by Rep. Ed Osienski, the bill would also have a provision for the expungement of prior cannabis records, and it would create a business licensing category for communities disproportionately affected by the decades’ long war on drugs. This would include people living in areas that were adversely affected by prohibition, people convicted of a nonviolent cannabis offense, or the child of an individual with a prior cannabis-related conviction.
Social equity applicants would be granted access to a Social Equity Loan Fund, reduced fees, programs for technical assistance, an adjusted points scale, and the physical location requirement will be waived, says a press release from Osienski’s office. The legislation would allow industry regulators to approve up to 30 retail business licenses for the first 16 months, with applicants being scored based on a variety of factors, including whether or not they will pay their employees a living wage, provide health insurance and diversify their workforce.
The bill would also create a 15% sales tax, dubbed a marijuana control enforcement fee, that will be imposed at the point of sale. The tax revenue derived from cannabis sales would first be used to cover administrative costs and the legislature will then be tasked with apportioning additional funds. If the legislation is passed, the state could generate up to $43 million per year in revenue from a 20% excise tax, based on analysis by State Auditor Kathy McGuiness.
Bill sponsor Osienski believes establishing a cannabis industry in Delaware will strike a blow against the cannabis black market, create thousands of jobs for state residents and promote social equity for communities that were negatively affected by cannabis prohibition.
As the legislators in Delaware are discussing cannabis legalization, more established legal markets such as Canada have provides opportunity for companies to thrive. For example, Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR) (OTCQB: PACRF) has carved out a name for itself as a company that uses only high-end marijuana strains to manufacture the best products aimed at the medical and recreational markets.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR) (OTCQB: PACRF) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/PACR
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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