Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Delaware Department of Public Health
Medical Marijuana Program
417 Federal St., Suite 140
Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 744-4749
Fax: (302) 739-3071
Website: Delaware Medical Marijuana Program
Note from State, on sources for medical marijuana
“The State currently recognizes properly permitted compassion centers as the only legal way to obtain marijuana” Medical Marijuana Questions & Answers [Accessed March 01, 2016]
The Delaware Patient Registry application fee is $125, however, a sliding scale fee is available, based on income. The Delaware Marijuana Registry is mandatory and does NOT accept other state’s registry cards.
State leaders have done a great deal in recent years to establish the Delaware medical marijuana program as well as take steps toward decriminalizing possession of small amounts of weed.
On May 13, 2011, Governor Jack Markell (D), signed into law Senate Bill 17, effective July 01, 2011, after it was approved by the House 27-14, and the Senate 17-4.
Senate Bill 17 protects a patient from arrest if he or she has a written certification from their physician, stating that they may “benefit from the therapeutic use of medical marijuana”, where the patient has a specified debilitating medical condition. All certified patients are required to send a copy of the written certification to the state Department of Health and Social Services, upon receipt of which, the Department will issue the patient with a Delaware ID card, validating the information. No arrests may be made, so long as the patient remains in compliance with the law.
Delaware allows for state-regulated, non-profit distribution of medical marijuana by compassion center, also known as a dispensary.
On February 12, 2012, Governor Markell posted the following statement (available on delaware.gov in its entirety), in response to a letter from US District Attorney Charles Oberly:
“I am very disappointed by the change in policy at the federal department of justice, as it requires us to stop implementation of the compassion centers. To do otherwise would put our state employees in legal jeopardy and I will not do that. Unfortunately, this shift in the federal position will stand in the way of people in pain receiving help. Our law sought to provide that in a manner that was both highly regulated and safe.”
On August 15, 2013, Governor Markell sent a letter to Delaware lawmakers, stating his intention to relaunch the state’s medical marijuana program, despite earlier decisions to halt implementation.
On June 23, 2015, Governor Markell signed Senate Bill 90, “Rylie’s Law”, effectively allowing patients with severe seizure disorders to use cannabidiol (CBD), one of many the cannabinoids in cannabis shown to have medical benefit, especially for patients with epilepsy.
Please be advised that as Per SB 90, “[T]he Department shall issue a registry identification card to a qualifying patient with intractable epilepsy or involuntary muscle contractions that cause slow, repetitive movements or abnormal postures, such as dystonia, who is younger than 18 years of age, but only for the use of medical marijuana oil [that is not more than 7% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)]”.
For more information on how to access CBD cannabis oil in Delaware, kindly contact the Delaware Department of Health directly.
In July 2017, Senate Bill 24, signed by Governor John Carney, expanded access to medical marijuana to Delaware residents with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Senate Bill 24 removes the additional authorization steps patients needed to take to qualify for medical marijuana, making the process similar to that of other qualifying conditions.
In 2014, the first Delaware medical marijuana dispensary was expected to open near Wilmington. First State Compassion Center did not open until June 2015 due to legal issues and delays in construction. First State won a second contract, which opened in 2016. Previously, it has been difficult for medical marijuana patients in Delaware to find dispensaries closeby that have the means to fill their medical marijuana recommendations, but that might change starting in 2018. More medical dispensaries, including dispensaries connected to NY’s Columbia Care, are expected to open in the spring.
Delaware patients 18 and older, with certain debilitating conditions, may possess up to six ounces of marijuana, with a valid doctor’s recommendation. Registered compassion centers may not dispense more than 3 ounces of marijuana to a registered qualifying patient in any fourteen-day period, and a patient may only register with one compassion center. Home cultivation is NOT allowed under any circumstance. However, Senate Bill 17 contains a provision that allows for an affirmative defense, for individuals found “in possession of no more than six ounces of usable marijuana.”