Delaware Medical Marijuana Laws & Regulations
In 2011, the Delaware state legislature approved Senate Bill 17, the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act making it legal for a patient with a Delaware registry identification card to use cannabis for medical purposes. Patients with a valid registry identification card are protected from arrest so long as they have no more than six (6) ounces of usable cannabis and are otherwise in compliance with state law. Police officers may verify an ID card's validity with the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). Designated caregivers with registry ID cards are similarly protected insofar as they are assisting their designated patient or patients.
Qualifying patients and caregivers are protected under Delaware law from discrimination affecting their employment, education, housing, parental rights, or medical care, including transplants. Employers are not required to allow patients to be impaired at work or to allow the possession of marijuana at a workplace. Insurance providers would not have to cover medical marijuana.
Threats against state officials and employees from the U.S. Attorney that caused the governor to suspend indefinitely the implementation of the dispensary licensing program mandated by the law. Nonetheless, Delaware lawmakers adopted regulations for the Medical Marijuana Program in 2012.
The state Division of Public Health is now accepting patient applications for registry IDâ€ˆcards through the Health Systems Protection office. You can contact the program by phone at (302) 744-4749 or by email at MedicalMarijuanaDPH@state.de.us. Passage of the law created an affirmative defense for up to six (6) ounces of medicine under certain conditions until 75 days after the state began accepting patient and caregiver registration applications on July 1, 2012.
Initial draft regulations were issued by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) in April 2012; however, before the regulation were finalized, the program was suspended by Governor Jack Markell as the result of a letter sent to him from the U.S. Attorney for Delaware threatening legal action against the state. In August 2013, Gov. Markell lifted the suspension and Rita Landgraf, secretary of DHSS, said she expected to propose new draft regulations on October 1, 2013. The Department finalized regulations in January 2014.
In 2015, 3 legislative updates were made to the program. SB 7 made technical changes to the oversight commission, while SB 138 authorized the research studies to be conducted to the states. The most notable change was SB 90, which allows for pediatric access to cannabis extract oils with less than 7% THC.
SB 138 (2015) Research Authorization
SB 90 (2015) Pediatric Access
SB 7 (2015) - Oversight Committee