Delaware House panel approves marijuana legalization bill

DOVER, Del. – (AP) – A bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Delaware has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The legislation, which was released Wednesday by a House committee and now goes to the full House for a vote, regulates and taxes marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.

The bill doesn’t allow people to grow their own marijuana but allows adults over age 21 to legally possess less than an ounce of marijuana for personal use.

The legislation would create a commission to regulate, license and tax the marijuana industry, allowing licenses for up to 40 retail stores.

Consumers would pay an excise tax of $50 an ounce, while businesses would pay an application fee of $5,000 and a $10,000 licensing fee every two years.

Uruguay reveals cannabis sale plans

Uruguay has said that consumers can purchase up to 10 grams of marijuana per week at less than $1 per gram, as the country embarks on an experiment in drug regulation.

In December, the South American country became the first in the world to regulate the market for cannabis and its derivatives in what was considered a bold move by authorities frustrated with losing resources to fighting drug trafficking.

National Drug Board President Diego Canepa said on Friday that buyers would have to register first under the decree, due to be signed by ministers on Monday and published on Tuesday.

The government will call on private interests to plant cannabis “no more than two weeks after the decree enters into force,” he added, noting that two to six licenses would be issued.

Canepa estimated that legal marijuana would be available in pharmacies for public consumption in December. The cannabis will be sold to the public at a price of 20 to 22 pesos ($0.90) per gram.

“There are no state subsidies,” said Canepa, who added that the price was based on production costs and profits for the involved companies and pharmacies.

“The total volume consumed in Uruguay would be around 18 to 22 tons” of cannabis, National Drug Board Secretary- General Julio Calzada said. “Based on this, we need a maximum of 10 hectares (25 acres) to produce for this population of users.”

Although it had not been illegal to use marijuana in Uruguay for decades, production and commercialisation of the drug had been illegal.

The new regulations are part of an initiative by President Jose Mujica, a former guerrilla and doctor by training.

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