Delaware adult-use marijuana legalization bill fails in House

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A bill in Delaware that would have legalized adult-use marijuana in the state and set up a cannabis business program was defeated in the House.

Members of the Democrat-led body voted 23-14 in favor of the bill on Thursday, but the measure required a three-fifths majority, or 25 votes, because it would have imposed a new tax, the Associated Press reported.

No Republicans voted in favor of the bill, and four lawmakers, including two Democrats, abstained.

The measure, House Bill 305, was sponsored by Newark Democrat Ed Osienski, his third attempted legalization effort in the past three years, according to the Newark Post. HB 305 was the first of the three to reach a floor vote.

The proposed measure focused in large part on social equity and small businesses.

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The bill would have licensed:

  • 30 retailers, including 15 social equity applicants.
  • 60 cultivators, with 20 social equity applicants.
  • 30 product manufacturers, including 10 social equity applicants.
  • Five testing labs, with two social equity applicants.

The state would have overseen the manufacturing and distribution industry and levied a 15% tax on retail sales.