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

Newark City Council discusses recreational marijuana retail sales

Meg Roessler
Delaware Public Media

Newark City Council isn’t exactly opening its arms to the possibility of recreational marijuana retail stores.

Council discussed the issue, raising concerns about the odor of marijuana as people are walking or eating, especially on Main Street.

That is why more than one councilperson said if the town approves retail marijuana stores, they shouldn’t be in the area of Main Street.

If not the Main Street area, where? Councilman Jason Lawhorn suggested an industrial part of Newark, adding he would support production facilities in town.

Councilwoman Corinth Ford is vehemently against any recreational marijuana sales in Newark.

"I don't care what the planning commission’s recommendation is, I don't want any point of sale shops in the city of Newark. I don't want any marijuana cafes in the city of Newark if we decide to. Let's make it clear this is recreational marijuana,” said Ford. “We already have a medical marijuana facility that's fine with me."

Ford notes the medical marijuana dispensary in town, is well-controlled

Councilwoman Dwendolyn Creecy was the only council member fully supporting retail marijuana in Newark, pointing to family members using medical marijuana to help deal with ailments.

Creecy also says there’s a financial impact.

"If it comes to light an avenue to add money to the city, and that's what we're doing we're searching for revenues. So I don't want to shut something down that could be another tool in the box," said Creecy.

Newark is a college town and a University of Delaware official reiterated the school’s stance. Marijuana is not allowed in dorms with no plans to change.

If Newark bans retail marijuana, it wouldn’t be the first in the state or even New Castle County, as Middletown has already done so. And many beach towns have also decided to bar marijuana sales.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.