Updated on June 28, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
May 13, 2011, Senate Bill 17, was signed by Delaware Governor Jack Markell (D), effective July 01, 2011. SB 17 protects patients 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. No arrests may be made, so long as the patient remains in compliance with the law.
February 12, 2012, Governor Markell posted a statement, 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.”
August 15, 2013, Governor Markell sent a letter to Delaware lawmakers, stating intentions to relaunch the state’s medical marijuana program, after an earlier decision was made to halt implementation.
June 26, 2015, the first Delaware medical marijuana dispensary opened, near Wilmington.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH
4400 Health Systems Protection
4470 State of Delaware Medical Marijuana Code
The Secretary of Delaware Health and Social Services adopts these Regulations in response to the authority vested in the Secretary by 16 Del.C. Ch. 49A, The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act. These Regulations establish the standards for the procedures for issuing a certificate of registration to qualified patients and primary caregivers. These Regulations provide a system of permitting and inspection, as well as governing confidentiality, payments of fees, and enforcement of these rules.
17 DE Reg. 738 (01/01/14)
These Regulations shall be liberally construed and applied to promote their underlying purpose of protecting the public’s health.
State of Delaware Medical Marijuana Code
These Regulations shall hereby be known as the “State of Delaware Medical Marijuana Code.”
The following words and terms, when used in these Regulations, should have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Act” means the Delaware Marijuana Act, 16 Del.C. §§4901A et seq.
“Adulterated” means made impure or inferior by adding extraneous ingredients. Goods that are prepared in food establishments that are licensed facilities in response to 16 Del.C. §122(3)(u) and 16 Del.C. §134, and that contain marijuana for medical use by a registered patient, are not considered to be adulterated. “Advisory board” means a nine member committee established, chaired, and appointed by the General Assembly of Delaware to evaluate and make recommendations to the state legislature and the Department. “Applicant” means any person applying to participate in the Delaware Office of Medical Marijuana Program, hereinafter OMMP.
“Background check” means any person required to obtain a background check under this chapter shall submit fingerprints and other necessary information to the State Bureau of Identification in order to obtain a report of the person’s entire criminal history record from the State Bureau of Identification or a statement that the State Bureau of Identification Central Repository contains no such information relating to that person. The report will include the person’s entire federal criminal history record from the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to Federal Bureau of Investigation appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544 (28 U.S.C. § 534) or a statement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s records contain no such information relating to that person. A person required to obtain a background check under this chapter is responsible for any costs associated with obtaining the background check.
“Bona fide physician-patient relationship” means a treatment or counseling relationship between a physician and patient in which all the following are present:
(1) The physician has reviewed the patient’s relevant medical records and completed a full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, including a relevant, in-person, medical evaluation of the patient.
(2) The physician has created and maintained records of the patient’s condition in accord with medically accepted standards.
(3) The patient is under the physician’s continued care for primary medical care or the debilitating condition that qualifies the patient for the Medical Marijuana Program.
(4) The physician has a reasonable expectation that he or she will provide follow-up care to the patient to monitor the efficacy of the use of medical marijuana as a treatment of the patient’s debilitating medical condition.
(5) The relationship is not for the sole purpose of certifying for medical marijuana.
“Cardholder” means a registered patient or a registered designated caregiver who has been issued and possesses a valid registry identification card.
“Compassion center agent” means a principal officer, board member, employee, or agent of a registered compassion center who is 21 years of age or older and has not been convicted of an excluded felony offense, and has not been convicted of a drug misdemeanor within five years.
“Debilitating medical condition” means one or more of the following:
(a) cancer, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), decompensated cirrhosis (may develop in patients with hepatitis C), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), intractable epilepsy, autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior, and agitation of Alzheimer’s disease or the treatment of these conditions;
(b) a chronic or debilitating disease 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 measures for more than three months or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects; intractable nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis;
(c) any other medical condition or its treatment added by the Department, as provided for in 16 Del.C. §4906A and Section 6.0 of this code.
“Department” means the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. “Designated caregiver” means a person who:
(a) is at least 21 years of age unless the person is the parent or legal guardian of a minor who is a qualifying patient,
(b) has agreed to assist with a patient’s medical use of marijuana
(c) has not been convicted of an excluded felony offense; and
(d) assists no more than five qualifying patients with their medical use of marijuana.
“Excluded felony offense” means:
(a) a violent crime defined in 11 Del.C. §4201(c), that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted; or
(b) a violation of a state or federal controlled substance law that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted, not including:
(1) an offense for which the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration, or supervised release, was completed 10 or more years earlier; or
(2) an offense that consisted of conduct for which 16 Del.C. Ch. 49A would likely have prevented a conviction, but the conduct either occurred prior to July 1, 2011, or was prosecuted by an authority other than the State of Delaware.
“Incidental amount of marijuana” means marijuana seeds, stalks and roots of the plant that are not included when calculating the allowable amounts of marijuana specified in these rules. This includes the weight of any non-marijuana ingredients combined with marijuana, such as ingredients added to prepare a topical ointment, food or drink.
“Intractable epilepsy” means an epileptic seizure disorder for which standard medical treatment does not prevent or significantly ameliorate recurring, uncontrolled seizures or for which standard medical treatment results in harmful side effects.
“Marijuana” means the same as defined in 16 Del.C. §4701 (23).
“Marijuana paraphernalia” is limited to equipment, products and materials that are ordinarily used in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing marijuana into the human body.