Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Office of the Marijuana Commissioner announces cannabis industry training program at Del Tech

Delaware Marijuana Commissioner Rob Coupe presents updates to the Marijuana Control Act Oversight Committee at the Delaw
Sarah Petrowich
Delaware Public Media
Delaware Marijuana Commissioner Rob Coupe presents updates to the Marijuana Control Act Oversight Committee at the Delaware Archives Building on Wednesday.

The Delaware Marijuana Control Act Oversight Committee met for the second time since its inception, discussing potential regulations for the recreational marijuana industry.

The committee elected current Department of Safety and Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Kimberly Chandler as its chair and elected New Castle County Advocate Richard Jester as its vice chair.

Delaware Marijuana Commissioner Rob Coupe opened the meeting with industry development updates, including announcing Del Tech is currently developing a cannabis industry curriculum expected to be ready by Fall 2024.

Coupe says Del Tech President Mark Brainard pitched the idea, noting the program would be similar to when the gaming industry entered Delaware, and Del Tech provided workforce training to teach the skills necessary to work in casinos.

Coupe says they are still working out the logistics of the curriculum, explaining it could be certification focused or end up being an entire comprehensive program, but Delaware’s medical marijuana industry is in favor of it.

“We asked the existing licenses, would they support something like this? Do they think there’d be a need for it? And they were all overwhelmingly saying ‘yes, this would be great,’ because when they started, they said they had that challenge where people were coming to work for them with no experience," Coupe says.

The commissioner adds the Delaware Cannabis Industry Association has been contributing to the curriculum development, and the association will help appoint instructors.

Committee members also presented on potential regulation changes and considerations for the recreational marijuana industry.

New Castle County Advocate Laura Sherer requests the committee support updating the state code terminology to replace "marijuana" with "cannabis," which she says promotes scientific accuracy, reduces stigma and has the potential to enhance public perception. She notes other states have made similar changes.

State Rep. Ed Osienski (D-Brookside), sponsor of the Marijuana Control Act and several other pieces of marijuana legislation says while it's not a priority for him right now, he believes the changes are doable and could be looked at in the future.

In addition, Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network member Adam Windett advocated for the transition from pre-packaged to apothecary-style dispensing in the new recreational marijuana regulations.

He explains apothecary-style dispensing would allow consumers to see and smell the product before purchasing it.

Windett argues this style of dispensing reduces packaging waste and fosters customer transparency. He also proposed allowing dispensaries to choose between pre-packaging or apothecary-style.

Commissioner Coupe says the state currently enforces pre-packaging regulations, but he’s open to the discussion.

“It’s definitely something we’ll take back and talk about, and I did like the presenter, Adam Windett – how he finished with a compromise, right? He offered some different paths that we can consider, so we’ll definitely take those back and discuss them.”

The Office of the Marijuana Commissioner is currently requesting public comment on drafted recreational marijuana regulations and plans to adopt a final form by July.

Before residing in Dover, Delaware, Sarah Petrowich moved around the country with her family, spending eight years in Fairbanks, Alaska, 10 years in Carbondale, Illinois and four years in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2023 with a dual degree in Journalism and Political Science.
Related Content