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Is weed legal in Delaware? It’s currently only legal for medical use. Lawmakers have drafted adult-use bills, but they have not fared well. Despite the legislation failure, most residents are in favor of legal weed.  The state also continues to reform its approach towards pot.

Market research data predicts that the state’s medical market will reach $32 million by 2024. If lawmakers passed adult-use laws, the state could bring in $71 million.

Is Adult-Use Weed Legal?

Recreational pot use is illegal in Delaware. The state has decriminalized possession of small amounts of weed. In June 2015, lawmakers passed a decriminalization bill allowing adults to possess one ounce or less of weed. Possession of small amounts is a civil infraction that carries a $100 fine.

The bill took effect in December 2015. In 2019, lawmakers expanded the bill to decriminalize juvenile possession of one ounce or less.

Is Medical Cannabis Legal?

In May 2011, the state legalized medical pot. Under the law, patients 18 and older with serious illnesses can use it. They are able to buy three ounces of usable weed every 14 days, for a total of six ounces per month. All patients must obtain a medical cannabis card.

Patients must pay a non-refundable $50 application fee. They will also need to renew the card every year. The Office of Medical Marijuana (OMM) runs the state's medical cannabis program.

Adult Patient Qualifying Conditions

  • Terminal illness
  • Cancer
  • Decompensated cirrhosis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis(ALS)
  • Agitation of Alzheimer's disease
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Intractable epilepsy
  • Autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior
  • Glaucoma
  • Chronic Debilitating Migraines
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following
    • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
    • Severe, debilitating pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measure for more than three months, or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects
    • Intractable nausea
    • Seizures
    • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis

Pediatric Patient Qualifying Conditions

  • Intractable epilepsy
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition where they have failed treatment involving one or more of the following symptoms
    • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
    • Intractable nausea
    • Severe, painful and persistent muscle spasms
    • Autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior

Designated Caregiver

A designated caregiver can possess or buy weed for a patient. Caregivers must apply for a registry card. They'll have to obtain a state and federal background check, which is good for three years. Qualified pediatric patients under the age of 18 can't buy medical cannabis on their own.

Parents or legal guardians will need to get a responsible party ID card. Caregivers can have up to five patients. They'll be required to have an ID for each patient. A caregiver may be a registered qualifying patient.

How to Apply for a Medical Card?

You must obtain official written certification from a Delaware licensed doctor. You'll submit this with your application. If you want to apply online, your doctor must be registered in the system to accept online applications. If they are not registered in the system, they can complete a paper application. You must submit your application within 90 days of the doctor's signature. Keep in mind, only Delaware residents can apply for a card.

Online applicants can choose between different payment options. Include a check or money order payable to the State of Delaware for mail-in applications. Along with your application, submit proof of age and residency. Upload a copy of your driver's license or state-issued ID along with your online application. For mail submissions, send your application to the following address.

Delaware Division of Public Health

Medical Marijuana Program

417 Federal St., Suite 140

Dover, E 19901

The department will verify your application information. They must approve or deny it within 45 calendar days of receipt. The department will return incomplete applications with re-submission instructions.  The renewal process is the same as the initial application. The cost is also the same. You may submit your renewal up to 90 days prior to your expiration date. If you misplace your card, there is a $20 replacement fee for cards.

Where to Buy Medical Cannabis?

Patients and caregivers can't grow their own cannabis. They can, however, purchase it from a licensed dispensary. In June 2015, the state's first medical pot clinic opened in Wilmington.

The state required that all three of the state's counties – New Castle, Kent, and Sussex – have a “Compassion Center” by January 2013. Dispensaries were slow to open at first. In 2016, only one facility was open. Today, Delaware has six active dispensaries.

Where to Use Weed?

For now, patients must consume weed from the comfort of their own homes. You can't use pot on a school bus. You can’t consume pot on the grounds of any preschool, primary, or secondary school.

Pot consumption is prohibited in a correctional facility. This includes any healthcare treatment facility operated or funded by the department. Pot use is not legal in any form of transportation. You can't consume it in any public place.

Is Hemp and CBD Legal?

Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in Delaware. Patients can purchase cannabis-derived CBD from licensed dispensaries. In August 2018, lawmakers passed a bill allowing for the cultivation of hemp. Under the bill, farms could produce hemp for agricultural or research purposes.

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In January 2020, USDA approved the state’s plan for a domestic hemp program. It was the second East Coast state to receive approval.

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