Delaware Public Media

State cannabis task force hears concerns about pot legalization

Oct 4, 2017

The Adult Cannabis Use Task Force met for the second time Wednesday. The task force is gathering information on potential legalization to submit to Gov. John Carney early next year.


The Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security wants strict state regulations on recreational marijuana - if lawmakers decide to legalize it.

Homeland Security Director John Yeomans said he’s against allowing people to grow cannabis at home. In Colorado, some residents have exploited rules permitting people to grow their own pot, leading to a “grey market.”

“We’ve talked about black and grey markets," Yeomans said. "I don’t think you’re ever going to eliminate these things, but I think with regulatory model as well as advanced enforcement efforts outside within the law enforcement community, perhaps we can minimize those particular issues.”

Yeomans added edibles like gummy bears should not allowed because they appeal to kids. Colorado recently banned cannabis gummies shaped as people, animals and fruits.

Meanwhile, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce voiced employers’ concerns about attempts to legalize recreational marijuana in Delaware.

Labor lawyer Tim Holly told members businesses are concerned about workplace injuries, unemployment claims and the definition of impairment.

Holly said if the state legalizes marijuana use for adults, companies want immunity from worker’s compensation and unemployment claims.

He also argued for employers to keep their existing right to have zero tolerance policies for drug use and ability to fire workers for using pot.

“The point is that employers should retain the right for lower health care costs, company image issues, consumer preference reasons, etc. to not employ marijuana users," he said. "At least so long as it’s federally illegal to use marijuana and we submit even after such time.”

Members of the task force also presented recommendations on labeling and packaging of recreational cannabis. The meeting also addressed food safety issues and preventing use by minors.

The task force is made up of state lawmakers, agency leaders and interest groups. It plans to meet once a month for the rest of the year.