State officials in Delaware have unveiled a draft of the regulations that will govern the First State’s recreational cannabis market when it is hoped to launch sometime next year.

The Office of the Marijuana Commissioner (OMC) released the draft regulations to garner public input on the proposals which cover issues such as cannabis businesses licensing and licensing application requirements.

The OMC said sections of the draft regulations will be published weekly for this purpose as Delaware officials continue to put the two pieces of cannabis legislation signed by Gov. Jay Carney (D) last year into effect.

“It is important to note that these preliminary, draft regulations are dependent on proposed legislative changes currently under consideration by members of the General Assembly, and the regulations may have to be adjusted based on legislative action,” OMC said. “The draft regulations presented in this informal process are a preview of the direction that the OMC is taking in the development of the formal regulations.”

Comments on the first set of draft rules are welcomed from the public until March 29. After this date, more proposed regulations will be released for further comments. There will then be one final public comment period on the draft regulations as a whole, which officials hope to hold between May 1 – 31.

“The sections of draft regulations released today include those applicable to the licensing of adult-use recreational marijuana businesses, the application process, the issuance of licenses, and the processes regarding the renewal and transfer of licenses,” OCM added.

Delaware Marijuana Commissioner Robert Coupe laid out a provisional timeline leading up to legal cannabis sales in the state. The aim is for the rules to be finalized by July 11, to begin the licensing process for marijuana businesses in September and to start approving applications on a staggered basis from October.

Cultivation licenses will be the first to be considered, followed by manufacturing licenses. Coupe acknowledged that retail and testing licenses may have to wait until early next year. This would mean a likely start date for legal marijuana sales of March 2025, four months later than planned.

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