Delaware Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS DELAWARE'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Content Below Last Updated by Point7 04/06/2022
On March 10th, 2022, a House Bill that would have made cannabis legal in Delaware for adult-use, unfortunately failed. The bill, House Bill 305, fell just two votes short to clear the House, at 23 yes, 14 no, and 4 who did not vote.
If HB 305 had passed, it would have legalized possession for up to one ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older, create programs for social equity initiatives, and reinvested a portion of the cannabis sales tax revenue into disproportionately impacted communities through the Justice Reinvestment Fund. With the majority of Delawareans supporting legalization, most are frustrated that this bill did not pass. A group of organizations are now working closely to regulate adult-use cannabis in the Delaware Cannabis Policy Coalition. Hopefully within the next few years, this small state will legalize cannabis for adult-use.
WHAT ARE DELAWARE'S CANNABIS LAWS?
Medical cannabis is the only form of legal cannabis in the state of Delaware. In May 2011, Governor Jack Markell signed legislation allowing patients 18 and older with "certain serious or debilitating conditions" to use cannabis and possess up to six ounces. Qualifying conditions include: cancer; Alzheimer's disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; and conditions that cause nausea, severe pain or seizures, among other illnesses.
WHAT IS DELAWARE'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
Delaware is not currently accepting applications for medical cannabis businesses.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN DELAWARE?
Cannabis in Delaware is legal for medical purposes for qualifying patients and efforts to decriminalize and legalize recreational cannabis are in the works.
The first medical cannabis clinic in Delaware opened in Wilmington in June 2015. Since then, around 340 Delaware residents have obtained medical-cannabis cards from the Delaware Health and Social Services, allowing them to purchase cannabis in order to treat their medical conditions. However, as of 2016, medical-cannabis card holders still struggle to obtain the treatment, causing people to seek out the drug from the illicit market or cross state-lines.
The medical cannabis legislation provided that all three of the state's counties — New Castle, Kent, and Sussex — must have a place to legally obtain medical cannabis by January 1, 2013. However, only a single facility (the Wilmington facility in New Castle County) has opened as of 2016.
In June 2015, Governor Markell signed legislation decriminalizing the possession of one ounce or less of cannabis by adults with a civil infraction that carries a $100 fine. Under the legislation, it remains illegal for people under age 21 to possess cannabis.
In June of 2019, A Delaware House committee approved a bill to legalize cannabis for adult use in the state, but failed in the House in 2022. The legislation would have allowed people aged 21 and older to possess, consume and purchase certain amounts of cannabis. It also contained a number of social equity provisions, including expungements for individuals with prior possession convictions.
DOES DELAWARE HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
PREPARING FOR THE DELAWARE CANNABIS MARKET
Although there are no current applications available for licensing the Point7 team is ready to support your team as you prepare for future cannabis licensure in Delaware. Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.