Gov. Markell Ready to Move Medical Marijuana Program Forward - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Gov. Markell Ready to Move Medical Marijuana Program Forward in Del.

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(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

DOVER, Del. (AP/WBOC) - Gov. Jack Markell has decided to move forward with a medical marijuana program in Delaware after halting plans last year amid fears that state officials could be subject to federal prosecution.
    
In a letter to lawmakers Thursday, Markell proposed a scaled-down pilot program involving one state-licensed "compassion center" that would grow and distribute marijuana to eligible medical patients. A law signed by Markell in 2011 called for three such centers.
    
Citing changes made to medical marijuana programs in Rhode Island and New Jersey, Markell said he believes a single, tightly secured compassion center could allay federal concerns about multiple, large-scale centers. Security measures would include 24/7 video surveillance and an agreement that would allow for random searches to be conducted.
    
Markell halted implementation of Delaware's medical marijuana program last year after federal officials indicated that people involved in cultivating and distributing marijuana could face civil fines or prosecution.

The governor's office says the Department of Health and Social Services will propose regulations in October. Requests for proposals should go out around January 1. A vendor would be chosen in mid-Spring. And the timeline to open the center would then be on that vendor.

To read Markell's letter to state lawmakers regarding the state's medical marijuana program, click here.

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