Delaware Cannabis Market
The cannabis consultants at Point Seven Group are experts in the Delaware cannabis market. We have successfully helped our clients obtain cannabis licenses, design dispensaries, build identifiable cannabis brands, and operate compliant cannabis businesses. Our team of cannabis experts can help you reach your business goals in the Delaware cannabis market!
DELAWARE CANNABIS MARKET STATUS
In April 2023, Delaware became the 22nd state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. This accomplishment was realized through the passing of two distinct bills, collectively permitting the possession, sale, and regulation of cannabis within the State of Delaware.
Regulations and a licensing framework are expected to be released in 2024. In the meantime, medical patients will continue to have access to medical cannabis via one of the twelve compassion centers throughout the state.
ADULT-USE CANNABIS IN DELAWARE
Governor John Carney of Delaware took an interesting approach to cannabis legalization when on April 21st, 2023, he announced he would allow both HB 1 and HB 2 to be enacted without requiring his signature. HB 1 which legalizes possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older was the first to become enacted on April 22nd. HB 2 followed on April 26th which creates a pathway for regulation and a tax structure for cannabis sales to individuals 21 and older.
There will be 30 retail and 20 cultivation licenses available when the program comes to fruition. Residents and interested out of state individuals should not have to wait long for their opportunity to apply given that HB 2 provides deadlines for licensing milestones that point to a spring/summer 2024 timeframe. The timeline is as follows:
May 2024 – The Commissioner will begin accepting applications for licenses, including open*, social equity, and microbusiness licenses.
June 2024 – The Commissioner will begin issuing licensing.
July 2024 – Assuming there are a sufficient number of qualified applicants, the following licenses will be awarded: 20 microbusiness licenses and 10 social equity licenses for Indoor Facilities with a canopy area less than or equal to 2500 sq ft. or outdoor facilities with less than or equal to 1 acre.
August 2024 – Assuming there are a sufficient number of qualified applicants, the following licenses will be awarded: 10 open licenses*, 10 social equity, and 10 microbusiness product manufacturing facility licenses.
An “Open license” means a license that is not a social equity license or microbusiness license which includes all of the following:
a. Retail marijuana store license
b. Marijuana testing facility license.
c. Marijuana cultivation facility license.
d. Marijuana product manufacturing license.
Although the full application for licensure is not available at this time, HB 2 provides detailed information into many requirements applicants can expect to see on the formal application. 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.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN DELAWARE
Medical cannabis has been legal in Delaware since May 2011 when 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. While there has been little change to the program since enactment, the state did expand to allow delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivery has since been fully regulated and is now allowed permanently.
There are currently twelve compassion centers throughout the state. Delaware is not currently accepting applications for additional medical cannabis businesses.
ADULT-USE CANNABIS MARKET PROJECTIONS IN DELAWARE
DELAWARE CANNABIS NEWS
DELAWARE CANNABIS LAWS
The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act was enacted on July 1st, 2011. Under the law, patients can possess up to six ounces of cannabis purchased at one of the state's not-for-profit compassion centers. Patients are not allowed to cultivate cannabis at home. In 2015, revisions were made to the act to allow minors who are registered patients access to oils for treatment via Riley’s Law.
By 2015, cannabis was decriminalized within the state under HB 39. Under this bill, only a small fine of $100.00 was issued to individuals found with less than one ounce of cannabis. If an individual was found with more than 175 grams of cannabis, the penalty would then be considered a felony offense.
In 2018, SB 197 was signed into law which approved mandatory expungements for specific cannabis offenses. Expungement efforts were increased in 2019 when individuals under the age of 21 who were convicted of possessing a personal use quantity became eligible for mandatory expungement.
As of 2023, there are now two laws, HB 1 and HB 2, providing adult-use cannabis access and removing penalties for possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, 12 grams of concentrated cannabis, or products with 750 milligrams or less of delta-9 THC. HB 2 designates a Governor selected Marijuana Commissioner and a three person Appeals Commission to adopt rules and regulations for the new adult-use program. Robert Coupe, a former Delaware State Police Officer, was selected by Governor John Carney as the state’s first Marijuana Commissioner in June 2023.
A timeline for formal regulations has yet to be established; however, with applicants expected to be selected in spring/summer of 2024, Point7 assumes we should see regulations by early spring 2024.
DELAWARE HEMP LAWS
Senate Bill 266 was signed into law on August 28, 2018 and provided a pathway for hemp cultivation for agricultural uses or academic research. The hemp program was expanded in 2019 under the State of Delaware, 805, Rules and Regulations; however the implementation of the expansion did not begin until 2021 when the Delaware Department of Agriculture adopted the Rules and Regulations for the Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program.
The Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program establishes three license types: Producer, Processor, and Handler. Those who are interested in joining the program can apply for the license type of their choice as long as they are 18 years of age or older.