Law enforcement veteran appointed Delaware marijuana commissioner

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Delaware Gov. John Carney installed longtime law enforcement official Robert Coupe as the state’s first marijuana commissioner.

Coupe spent nearly 30 years with the Delaware State Police, climbing the ranks to superintendent, according to a news release.

He also served as secretary of Delaware’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security before working as chief of staff to the attorney general and, most recently, the state’s Department of Technology and Information.

In his role as marijuana commissioner, Coupe will be responsible for:

  • Creating a regulatory office.
  • Writing regulations left unaddressed by state lawmakers.
  • Issuing the first of what could be up to 125 licenses to grow and sell adult-use cannabis.

The state legalized recreational marijuana in April after having launched medical cannabis sales in 2015.

A longtime opponent of legalization who allowed a legalization bill to become law without signing the measure, Carney said in a statement that Coupe is “exactly the right person to take on this new challenge.”

Coupe is expected to sign off on the first adult-use licenses in summer 2024.

Of the first 30 retail licenses that state law mandates be issued before the end of 2024, 15 are reserved for social equity applicants.

And 10 of the first 30 cultivation permits of up to 1 acre of canopy are also reserved for social equity applicants.