Recreational marijuana has been legalized in Delaware after Delaware Gov. John Carney allowed House Bill 1 and House Bill 2 to pass into law in April 2023. House Bill 2 creates the legal architecture for the state's legal market. House Bill 1 legalizes marijuana, allowing people 21 and older to possess up to 1 oz (28 g) of flower marijuana, 12 g of concentrate, or various products derived from marijuana that contain up to 750 mg of THC. House Bill 1 does not allow the cultivation of marijuana for personal consumption. Possession of more than 1 oz but less than 175 g is a misdemeanor that may result in up to 3 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $575. Possession of more than 175 g is a felony with the following punishment structure:
• 175-1500 g: Maximum term of imprisonment of 3 years. Fines determined by the court.
• 1500-3000 g: Maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years. Fines determined by the court.
• 3000-4000 g: Maximum term of imprisonment of 8 years. Fines determined by the court.
• 4000-5000 g: Maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years. Fines determined by the court.
• 5000 g or more: Minimum term of 2 years of imprisonment and maximum of 25 years. Fines determined by the court.
Cultivation of marijuana is a felony, even for patients enrolled in the state’s medicinal marijuana program. The punishment is based on the total weight of the plants.
Delaware also has a medical marijuana program and patients can possess up to 6 oz of cannabis, but they cannot grow their own. THC limits have been imposed only for minors, who may only use cannabis preparations containing 7% THC or less. There are no THC limits for patients over the age of 18. Properly licensed MDs or DOs are authorized to recommend marijuana to adult patients. For minor patients, qualifying physicians must be pediatric neurologists, pediatric gastroenterologists, pediatric oncologists, or pediatric palliative care specialists.
Physicians can recommend marijuana for any debilitating condition. Some of the most common conditions include:
• Alzheimer’s disease
• ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
• Chronic pain
• Multiple sclerosis
• PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
• Persistent muscle spasms
Delaware does not have a reciprocity program to accommodate medical marijuana patients from out of state.
For more information, see the website for Delaware’s medical cannabis program: https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/medmarhome.html.