Despite being the second smallest state in terms of land area, Delaware offers a diverse range of attractions for visitors. The state’s most notable attraction is its beautiful beaches, including Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach, which offer swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Also known as the First State, Delaware is home to many historical landmarks and museums. Fun fact: Delaware is the only state without any national parks! But that’s not why you’re here. So, let’s cut to the chase and dig into the question you want to be answered: is weed legal in Delaware?
Is Weed Legal in Delaware? Straight to the point.
- Recreational THC: No
- Medical THC: Yes
- CBD: Yes
- Delta-8: No
Medical Weed Laws
In May 2011, Governor Jack Markell signed a bill into law, permitting individuals aged 18 years or above with specific severe or debilitating medical conditions to possess and use cannabis, with parental consent for pediatric patients. To acquire a medical marijuana card in Delaware, certain criteria must be met, including being diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition listed, obtaining Health Care Practitioner Certification from a licensed MD, DO, APRN, or PA in Delaware, and providing proof of residency in Delaware.
The qualifying conditions are:
- Terminal Illness
- Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV Positive)
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Decompensated Cirrhosis
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Autism with aggressive behavior
- Chronic Debilitating Migraine
- Anxiety (CBD-rich card only)
- 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 measures for more than three months, or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects.
- Intractable Nausea
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis.
Medical marijuana patients can purchase up to six ounces per month, with a limit of three ounces every 14 days.
Recreational Weed Laws
Trends show that many states with medical marijuana programs usually move towards adult-use recreational legalization. However, recreational weed’s regulatory environment tends to be far more complex. Although many states maintain their medical programs to support patients, the same rules do not apply to the general public once recreational marijuana is legalized. Possession limits may vary, as well as the consequences for using marijuana outside of the state-mandated guidelines. See below for more information about the current legal status and recreational legalization efforts.
Is Weed Decriminalized in Delaware?
In Delaware, there has been some degree of decriminalization for weed. As of December 18, 2015, HB 39 went into effect, eliminating the possibility of arrest and imprisonment for adults who possess a small quantity of marijuana. The law established a $100 civil fine for simple possession, whereas before, possession was a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $575 or up to three months in jail, or both.
On July 31, 2019, Gov. John Carney signed SB 45, which extended the state’s decriminalization law to individuals under 21.
As the popularity of CBD and other cannabinoids continues to grow, many consumers are left wondering about their legality and any constraints surrounding their use. In this section, we will delve into the legality of various cannabinoid variants, including CBD, Delta-8, Delta-10, THC-O, HHC, and HHC-O in Delaware. While some cannabinoids have been legalized at the federal level, individual states may have their own regulations and restrictions, and Delaware is no exception.
Is CBD legal in Delaware?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in the United States. This legislation opened up vast possibilities for CBD-rich hemp to enter the mainstream market, allowing consumers to purchase CBD in retail establishments and online. CBD is often found in supplements, topicals, edibles, portable vape pens, home goods, and beauty and body care products.
The Farm Bill legally protects CBD production, but it is not without stipulation. All commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Even though some states have elected to regulate CBD independently and may have further restrictions on its use and distribution, Delaware is not one that has additional regulations and allows for the sale and consumption of CBD.
Is Delta-8 legal in Delaware?
Despite its hemp origin, Delta-8 is considered illegal in Delaware due to its THC content, prohibiting its sale, possession, and consumption.
Is Delta-10 legal in Delaware?
Delta-10 THC is a THC isomer, which is a derivative of hemp and is legal at the federal level due to the 2018 Farm Bill. However, in Delaware, Delta-10 THC is treated similarly to Delta-8 THC and is entirely prohibited and classified as a Schedule 1 drug.
Are THC-O and other THC variants legal in Delaware?
In recent years, alternative hemp-derived cannabinoids have dominated the market as a more accessible way to get high. However, they have existed in a legal gray area until February 2023.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. These compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers.
For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. Advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.
Are HHC and HHC-O legal in Delaware?
The use of HHC and HHC-O is illegal in Delaware. Hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC are permitted but unregulated, whereas Delta-8 is not allowed. The Delaware Uniform Controlled Substances Act’s Title 16 prohibits THC products and isomers.
In Delaware, patients seeking medical marijuana cannot obtain it from commercial sources or grow their own cannabis. Instead, they can access their medicine through state-regulated, non-profit compassion centers that are also responsible for cultivating marijuana. So, if you want to grow weed in Delaware, you need to apply for a dispensary license.
Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Delaware
To be eligible for a Medical Marijuana card in Delaware, you must meet all of the qualifications and complete the process set by the Department of Health and Social Services. If you believe you have a qualifying condition not listed, there is still a chance you may obtain your card. The Oversight Committee web page provides information on how to request the addition of a new medical condition to the qualifying list if you believe your condition should qualify.
A few steps and required items are needed to start the application process. First, schedule a meeting with a licensed healthcare practitioner in Delaware to discuss medical marijuana. If the practitioner believes that you will benefit from the use of medical marijuana, they will complete a health care practitioner certification.
Then, complete the patient or pediatric patient application online or by printing a paper copy. If you require a caregiver, ensure that they complete a caregiver application. The non-refundable application fee is $50.00, which can be paid online or by check or money order payable to the State of Delaware if mailing the application. Additionally, you must provide proof of age and residency by uploading a copy of your Delaware-issued driver’s license or State issued ID with your application or by sending a clear photocopy if mailing the application. You will then receive your medical marijuana card by mail once approved.
Where to Buy Weed in Delaware
If you’re looking to catch a buzz in Delaware, there are few places to obtain weed.
In the state of Delaware, only patients with a valid medical marijuana card may purchase marijuana from a licensed dispensary, which Delaware calls “Medical Marijuana Compassion Centers.” There are only 11 of these centers in this three-county state. The state of Delaware Department of Health and Social Services provides a list of these dispensaries on its website.
Only registered Medical Marijuana Compassion Centers in Delaware are allowed to conduct home deliveries of medical marijuana to patients with prior approval from the Office of Medical Marijuana.
Direct to Consumer
Although Delaware permits medical marijuana and has decriminalized the possession and consumption of small amounts of marijuana, the state has not yet legalized direct-to-consumer sales.
Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.
Efforts to Legalize Recreational Weed in Delaware
In 2022, an attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in Delaware failed. However, with more progressive lawmakers elected in November, there may be enough votes to override Governor John Carney’s objections when he leaves office in 2025. Rep. Ed Osienski, a Democrat from Newark, has reintroduced legislation that would legalize weed for anyone 21 and over and create a market with up to 30 retailers and a 15% tax on sales. After clearing committee hearings, the bills have advanced to the full House and are favored by Democrats, who hold majorities in both chambers. A vote is not expected until March, when the Legislature reconvenes after budget hearings.
Where can you smoke weed in Delaware?
Delaware prohibits smoking tobacco, vaping, marijuana, or any other inhalable products in public places. Patients with valid medical marijuana cards are only allowed to smoke weed in their private residences or private property. However, if they are renting their home, they must obtain consent from the property owner before smoking marijuana on the premises.
Can you smoke weed in public in Delaware?
In Delaware, public consumption of any substance, including nicotine and cannabis, is prohibited by law. This means that even if you have a valid medical marijuana card, smoking weed in public is not allowed.
When was medical weed legalized in Delaware?
Medical marijuana was legalized in Delaware on May 13, 2011, when Governor Jack Markell signed Senate Bill 17 into law. The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act allowed qualified patients with certain debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation and obtain it from a licensed compassion center.
Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ
What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?
In Delaware, selling or gifting marijuana is considered a distribution and can result in severe penalties. For instance:
Distributing, selling, or manufacturing less than 1,500 grams of marijuana (referred to as Tier 1 Quantity) is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison and a fine determined by the court.
Distributing, selling, or manufacturing 1,500 to less than 5,000 grams of marijuana (referred to as Tier 2 Quantity) is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, along with a fine determined by the court.
Distributing, selling, or manufacturing more than 5,000 grams of marijuana (referred to as Tier 3 Quantity) is a felony that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years and up to 25 years in prison, as well as a fine determined by the court.
Additionally, if there are aggravating factors involved, the prison sentence may be increased.
What is the penalty for selling to a minor?
Selling marijuana to a minor under 18 years of age in Delaware is considered a class E felony and carries a maximum sentence of five years.
What is possession with the intent to sell?
In Delaware, possession with intent to distribute marijuana means having more cannabis than what is considered reasonable for personal consumption, potentially exceeding legal limits. Possession with intent to distribute marijuana is considered a felony offense and carries severe penalties. The punishment for possession with intent to distribute marijuana in Delaware can range from a minimum of one year to a maximum of 25 years in prison, depending on the amount and circumstances of the offense. Additionally, fines and other legal consequences may also apply.
When is possession a crime?
Possession is a crime if you possess more than the allotted legal limit or if you are suspected of intent to distribute.