Delaware Adult Use Cannabis Sales May Not Launch Until 2025

The first business licenses, which are slated for cultivation, must be issued by Oct. 1, 2024.

Delaware, the latest state to join the adult-use cannabis club, won’t actually begin recreational marijuana sales for another year and a half, at the minimum, and perhaps not until early 2025.

According to WHYY News, the new market won’t get off the ground until September 2024 at the earliest, and it will likely take “a few more months” for operators to open their doors to customers, under the timeline established by the legislature.

In the interim, the state must first install a new cannabis commissioner and establish a regulatory office with which to issue 125 new business permits and oversee the industry.

The law does require authorities to start accepting business license applications by Aug. 1, 2024, which gives entrepreneurs a deadline to prepare for and regulators a timeline to keep an eye on.

The next deadline after that is Oct. 1, 2024, by which 60 cultivation licenses have to be awarded, WHYY News reported. Then come the 30 manufacturing licenses, which need to be issued by Nov. 1, 2024. After that will come five testing lab licenses.

Once those are all awarded, the 30 new retail permits be handed out, with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2025.

That means it’s completely unclear when exactly the new market will actually launch, said state Rep. Ed Osienski, the primary sponsor of the bill that legalized adult-use cannabis.

It “would be purely speculative” to answer when the market may launch, Osienski told WHYY News, but said his guess would be three months after the first cannabis crops are planted by licensed growers, as long as at least one testing lab is open to make sure products are safe, which puts the launch date in 2025, WHYY News calculated.

John Schroyer

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