Policy Recommendations Delaware

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations for Delaware

Newly authorized Compassionate Use Cards (CUSs) will be issued to eligible applying patients and will specifically indicate the type of cardholder (e.g. physician, patient, caregiver, etc). Patients and their physicians must submit information to the Division of Public Health indicating that the patient has a severe and debilitating condition and that current standard care practices and treatments have been exhausted. In 2020, Delaware implemented emergency features to the state's medical access model, declaring cannabis businesses essential, allowing for telehealth visits for patient registrations, and authorizing both curbside pickup and delivery.

Delaware licensed only six retailers, which are owned by the same three ownership groups. Patient access is negatively impacted in a number of ways as a result of this oligopoly arrangement. Core issues include inadequate and inconsistent supply of critical medicine to treat patient conditions, lack of medical cannabis product consistency, excessive pricing and lack of product availability in larger quantities.

Delaware lawmakers should expand the number of retail access points, impose requirements on retail operators to maintain sufficient quantities and varieties of products, and provide for sufficient patient engagement accommodations (e.g. seating, pre-order capability for curbside pickup). ASA also encourages the state to make improvements to lab testing regulations, product safety protocols, and product labeling requirements. Lab testing should include an analysis of the volume of specific cannabis compounds in the product (e.g. THC, CBD, CBG) and related terpenes, and included on all product labels. ASA also encourages the state to maintain COVID emergency program additions.