Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Coalition say Medical Marijuana distributors are holding up Adult Use Marijuana legislation
Delaware – As Delaware considers Adult Use Recreational Marijuana legalization for the 2nd time, advocates say Medical Marijuana distributors are asking the state for a monopoly or risk tanking the bill.
Delaware Cannabis Coalition Director Zoe Patchell tells us medical marijuana permit holders are banding together to lobby against the legislation, asking for specific carve-outs for their businesses before being able to move forward.
Those carve-outs include allowing only allowing medical marijuana permit holders to sell adult-use cannabis for months and getting a fast track for approval compared to other companies who might want to buy in.
Patchell tells 47ABC those measures would hurt small businesses looking to get into the space.
“It’s not like these distributors are banned, HB2 and the legalization measures don’t prevent them from getting into the industry, it simply requires that they stand in line with every other Delawarean looking to get a license and compete in this industry,” Patchell said.
Patchell says the 5 centers in the state already have an advantage, by being the only centers by law for the 20,000 medical use recipients. She tells us adult use could see as many as 180,000 customers enter the marketplace, a stressor she says the current medical marijuana infrastructure the companies are looking to preserve, is not built for.
“The medical cannabis program is not working for patients it is pricing out low-income patients completely out of that program and they want to do the same for adult use, if they succeed the entire legislation will fail,” she said adding, that those patients have been shown to pay the highest cost for medical cannabis in the US.
Members of the Delaware State Senate are set to vote on the bill on Tuesday, March 28th.
Patchell says she believes there are enough votes to defeat the added amendments, but their failure to be added to the bill could be cited by Governor Carney, who vetoed the measure during the previous legislative session.
“The Governor has said he supports decriminalization and our healthcare partners, he has not mentioned the small businesses, and of course, he has already vetoed this once before,” Hatchell said.