Home Grow Issue Divides Some Marijuana Legalization Advocates - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Home Grow Issue Divides Some Marijuana Legalization Advocates

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DOVER, Del. --- A bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Delaware has drawn some an unusual opponents: people who want to see pot legalized in the First State.

Some marijuana legalization advocates say the fact that House Bill 110 does not include a provision allowing people to grow some marijuana on their own is a reason why the bill should be defeated. The legislation legalizes consumption and possession of up to an ounce of pot for people who are at least 21 years old. It also establishes a system in which cannabis sales can be regulated and taxed.

Sam Chick, a vape shop owner and member of marijuana advocacy group Delcanna, said the current bill hurts small business owners like himself and people who want to be able to grow cannabis.

"It criminalizes regular people and hands a very profitable monopoly to a select few," he said.

HB 110 would initially allow the state to issue 15 retail licenses for the sale of recreational marijuana. That number could grow after 16 months, though medical cannabis dispensaries would also be allowed to sell recreational pot.

However, the bill would require the dispensaries to have enough supplies on hand to serve patients in order to sell recreational marijuana.

Despite that provision, Kim Petters, a veteran and member of Delcanna who is also a medical marijuana patient, said the state's existing dispensaries are already having a difficult time keeping up with demands and thinks HB 110 would exacerbate that problem.

"We don't want any patients to go without because a recreational consumer purchased their medicine," she said.

Sen. Trey Paradee (D-Dover), a chief sponsor on the bill, dismissed those concerns and said the language of HB 110 would prevent that scenario from happening.

In regards to not allowing home grow in HB 110, Paradee said there are concerns adding that provision would expand the black market for cannabis.

"In order to make sure the bill can be passed this year, it cannot be included with the bill," he said. "It's a simple political reality."

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