Recreational marijuana bill in Delaware nixed, but MMJ program expanding

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Delaware lawmakers defeated a bill that would have legalized adult-use marijuana, but the state’s heavily regulated medical cannabis industry is about to see a boost in business.

The state House, just days before adjournment, voted 21-15 on Wednesday against legislation that would have made Delaware the 10th state to legalize recreational MJ.

The bill called for regulating and taxing marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.

However, it wasn’t all bad news on the marijuana front in Delaware.

Columbia Care, a New York-based multistate MMJ company, announced that it is finally set to open a dispensary in Smyrna on Friday.

Columbia Care will be just Delaware’s third MMJ dispensary (called a compassion center by the state). It had been envisioned to open last year.

Delaware has issued a permit for a fourth dispensary, which is expected to open later this year in Newark.

Marijuana Business Factbook 2018 projects that with the additional dispensaries, MMJ sales in Delaware could increase to $6 million-$8 million this year, up from an estimated $4 million-$6 million in 2017.

Though Delaware legalized MMJ in 2011, the first dispensary didn’t open until late 2015, and the second not until 2017.