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Whether you’re a medical cannabis patient or an aspiring cannabis worker in Delaware, it’s important to know the latest Delaware marijuana laws and legalization news. Here, we cover everything you need to know about Delaware marijuana laws in 2022.
Is Cannabis Legal in Delaware?
Yes, but only medical cannabis use, which was legalized in 2011 with the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act (SB 17). Recreational cannabis use is not legal.
However, in 2015, possession of up to 1 ounce for personal use was decriminalized. Possession of up to one ounce of cannabis is punishable by a $100 civil fine.
Delaware Medical Marijuana Laws
As a medical cannabis-only state, Delaware allows patients with a physician’s certification and a qualifying condition to apply for the medical cannabis program.
For adult patients: Terminal illness, cancer, HIV/AIDS, decompensated cirrhosis, hepatitis C, ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, intractable epilepsy, autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior, glaucoma, chronic debilitating migraines, or a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces one or more of the following: cachexia (wasting syndrome), severe, debilitating pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measure for more than 3 months, or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects, intractable nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
For minor patients: Intractable epilepsy or a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition where they have failed treatment involving one or more of the following symptoms: autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior, cachexia (wasting syndrome), intractable nausea, severe, painful, and persistent muscle spasms
Refer to the Medical Marijuana Program Qualifying Conditions for the most current list of qualifying conditions.
- $50 fee (registry ID card valid for one year from the date of issue)
- Must be 18 years of age or older; minor patients must meet additional requirements
- Physician certification and be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition; Health care practitioners must be licensed in Delaware and be an MD (Medical Doctor) or DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), APRN (Advanced Practice RN), or PA (Physician Assistant)
- Completed application with all related forms and requirements
Cannabis caregivers assist card-holding medical patients with purchasing and administering cannabis.
- $125 fee
- Must be at least 21 years old or the parent or legal guardian of a minor child
- Background check, no excluding felony
- May have up to 5 patients (ID requirement for each patient)
- Completed application with all related forms and requirements
Medical Possession Limit
- Adult patients: 3 oz of flower every 14 days for a total of up to 6 oz of flower per month
- Minor patients: Limited to cannabis oil of at least 15% CBD and no more than 7% THC
Medical Cultivation Limit
Home cultivation is prohibited in Delaware.
Cannabis home delivery was temporarily allowed due to Delaware’s state of emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and then allowed permanently.
- Possession for personal use (up to 1 oz): Civil fine
- Possession of 1 oz to 175 gm: Misdemeanor
- Possession of over 175 gm: Felony
- Distribution of any amount: Felony
- Cultivation: Regulated as distribution based on the aggregate weight of the plants
- Possession, distribution, or cultivation of more than 5,000 gm: Felony trafficking
How Do I Apply for the Medical Marijuana Program in Delaware?
You can apply for the medical cannabis program online. The application will list the requirements. If your application is incomplete, it will be returned with resubmit instructions.
Applicants can submit their application on the Department of Health's medical cannabis website, or you may print the application from it and mail it to the Department. If requested, the Department will mail or email you an application.
Submit your completed paper application to:
Delaware Division of Public Health
Medical Marijuana Program
417 Federal St., Suite 140
Dover, DE 19901
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Where Can I Consume Medical Cannabis in Delaware?
Medical cannabis consumption is allowed in a private space.
Cannabis use is not allowed in the following spaces:
- School bus
- Grounds of any preschool, primary, or secondary school
- Any correctional facility, including any health care treatment facility operated by the Department of Health
- Any form of transportation
- Any public place
Does Delaware Accept Out-of-State Medical Cards?
Only Delaware residents can apply for the state’s medical cannabis program. Delaware does not accept out-of-state medical cannabis cards.
Cannabis Business Laws in Delaware
Delaware is a limited medical cannabis market state with three operators and six dispensaries, also known as compassion centers. Currently, the application process is closed.
Vertical Integration: Required
License Availability: No applications are currently being accepted
Licensing Fees: N/A
Inventory Tracking System: BioTrackTHC
Delaware Marijuana Legalization News 2022
Delaware lawmakers have been fighting for cannabis legalization measures to be passed. In May 2022, Governor John Carney vetoed a bill to legalize up to 1 ounce of cannabis.
Currently, possession of up to 1 ounce of cannabis is decriminalized and punishable by a civil fine and no jail time. In 2019, Governor Carney signed a bill that would apply the decriminalization policy to those under 21.
In his statement, Governor Carney explained:
“I recognize the positive effect marijuana can have for people with certain health conditions, and for that reason, I continue to support the medical marijuana industry and Delaware. I supported decriminalization of marijuana because I agree that individuals should not be in prison solely for the possession and private use of a small amount of marijuana – and today, thanks to Delaware's decriminalization law, they are not.”
“That said, I do not believe that promoting or expanding the use of recreational marijuana is in the best interests of the state of Delaware, especially our young people. Questions about the long-term health and economic impacts of recreational marijuana use, as well as serious law enforcement concerns, remain unsolved.”
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A few days before the governor's veto, a cannabis legalization measure failed to get a supermajority, requiring a three-fifths majority in the House and Senate.
Lawmakers had the power to overturn the veto but failed with a 20-20 vote. The decriminalization bill first passed with 26 votes, more than the supermajority needed to override the veto.
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