Delaware Marijuana Laws

What you need to know as a marijuana patient

About the Delaware Medical Marijuana Program

On May 13th, 2011, Delaware signed Senate Bill 17. Soon after, on July 1st, 2011, it entered into effect, bringing the Delaware weed laws into effect with it.

This bill allowed patients with a qualifying medical condition to benefit from the use of marijuana for “medicinally therapeutic purposes.” This would be done through a written recommendation from a specialized physician.

While the Delaware Medical Marijuana Program took several years to implement, it finally saw the opening of its first medical dispensary near Wilmington, the state’s largest city on June 26th, 2015.

Following 2015’s remarkable signing, the MPP also saw major changes in both 2018 and 2019 regarding its legislation for the discharge of Delaware’s cannabis-related crimes. Senate Bill 197, signed on the 29th of August 2018, allows first possession offenders of up to an ounce of cannabis to be automatically eligible for a cleared record. Moreover, Senate Bill 37, which was signed less than a year later, on June 30th 2019, allows for first-offender cannabis misdemeanor charges to be dropped after five years, while felony charges after seven. 

Finally, 2019’s House Bill 110 also brought a ray of hope for the legalization of adult-use marijuana, entering into the Delaware senate on May 16th 2019. In current times, House Bill 110’s status is still currently in debate during Delaware’s 2021-2022 legislation assembly. 

Delaware’s road to medical marijuana legalization was well-paved by its adamant legislation. 

Program Approval Date

July 2011

Patient ID Card Validity

1 year

Application Fee

$50

Certification Renewal

Annually*

* The MMP-issued ID Card expiry date may vary. Your MMJ recommendation, along with your medical marijuana purchasing rights, are only valid for 1 year. Following that, we recommend you book a re-evaluation with us.

Being a Responsible MMJ Patient in DE

Even with Delaware’s commendable efforts towards marijuana decriminalization, your responsibility as a representative of the state’s MMP remains unchanged – you have to be aware of the DE medical marijuana law, uphold it at all times while you are undergoing your treatment, and ensure that you are not abusing any of the benefits provided by your med card.

Any Medical Marijuana patient in Delaware should know that

  • Your patient status grants you 3 ounce supply marijuana allowance over a 14-day period. There is no legal reason for you to possess any marijuana beyond that explicitly set limit. 
  • Growing your own marijuana plants is STRICTLY forbidden as per Delaware medical marijuana laws. Any and all medical cannabis you intend to use needs to be purchased from a state-approved dispensary. 

  • Regarding legal MMJ purchasing practices in Delaware – licensed DE dispensaries (also known as Compassion Centers) should be the only establishment where any cannabis-related transactions occur. Personal sales are prohibited by the court of law and you should NOT engage with them in any way, shape, or form.

  • If your treatment includes hashish-based products OR any other type of marijuana concentrates, know that the regulations for unlawful use remain the same. The state of DE treats hash and concentrates just as it treats marijuana – as a schedule I drug. 

  • Marijuana paraphernalia (such as bongs, tobacco blunts, rolling paper) is NOT necessary for any type of medical marijuana treatment. Therefore, you should avoid possessing any such item or use it in order to create your own medication.

Taking all of these considerations into mind, we have outlined the three main types of marijuana penalties that Delaware cannabis laws can hold you accountable for if you don’t follow the MMP rules.

Three types of marijuana penalties:

Possession

Distribution / Intent to Sell

Paraphernalia

Important Mentions Regarding Delaware Sentencing

Delaware weed laws are all classified under a Schedule I Drug category at federal level. However, sentencing measures have been updated regularly since the state’s foray into the world of medical marijuana. In 2015, legislation was approved with the intent to amend penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, or 28.35 grams, to be treated as a civil penalty, which would be punishable by a legal fine that would not exceed $100. 

Following that, further legislation was approved in 2019, which expanded decriminalization efforts to also account for offenses of low-level possession made by juvenile offenders. Using marijuana in public or within a moving vehicle would still be treated as a criminal offense.

The state of Delaware holds prison sentences and legal fines in the same regard across all of its marijuana-related laws and regulations

  • The court may rule in favor of first offenders and allow for probation instead of a prison sentence or a legal fine. Probation may include state-sponsored drug treatment, a form of drug testing, driver’s license suspension, and/or community service. 

  • If the offender successfully completes their probation program, then the charges against them will be dropped and no conviction will appear on their record. However, should the offender commit another drug crime, the adjudication will count as a conviction.

  • Unclassified misdemeanors can be punished with up to 30 days jail time and a legal fine of no more than $575.

  • Class B misdemeanors can be punished with up to 6 of jail time and a legal fine of no more than $1000. 

  • Class A misdemeanors can be punished with up to 1 year of jail time, and a legal fine of no more than $2300. 

  • Class G felonies can be punished with up to 2 years of jail time.

  • Class F felonies can be punished with up to 3 years of jail time.

  • Class E felonies can be punished with up to 5 years of jail time.

  • Class D felonies can be punished with up to 8 years of jail time.

  • Class C felonies can be punished with up to 15 years of jail time.

  • Class B felonies can be punished with a sentence ranging between 2 to 25 years of jail time.

  • Legal fines for penalties do not have a specified limit and are instead decided by the court of law during sentencing. Additionally, all drug crimes require an additional surcharge of 15% of the charge for the fund of rehabilitation. 

  • Finally, the offender may also be subject to a 6-month driver’s license suspension in addition to the penalties outlined above. 

  • Any assets or relevant materials related to the unlawful use, possession, sale, distribution, or manufacture of marijuana are subject to forfeiture by the forces of the law. 

Aggravating Factors

Moreover, Delaware legislation also takes into account the following aggravating factors when making considerations regarding the severity of the crime:

  • If the offender committed the violation near school grounds, a public park, a place of worship, or if the offense occurred within a vehicle. The offender may be rightfully accused of being in proximity to more than one of the outlined public spaces, but regardless of their number, they will still count only as a single aggravating factor. 

  • If the offender was an adult and the offense in question involved a minor who was at least 4 years younger than the offender. Involvement counts if they were a co-conspirator, an accomplice, or if they were the actual/intended recipient of the marijuana. 

  • If the offender, by being violent or exerting physical force, either during or immediately following their offense, intentionally resisted arrest from an officer of the law. This also applies if the offender fled from the officer via motor vehicle, thereby creating a potential risk of physical injury to other individuals.

    Possession

    Delaware Weed Laws

    Considering the considerable decriminalization efforts throughout the years, “is weed legal in Delaware?” remains a valid question for any resident who is still getting familiarized with the legislation surrounding personal-use possession.

    For reference, the approved quantity of marijuana for personal use is one ounce. Anything beyond that is punishable as follows:

    • Being found in possession of anything more than 1 ounce of marijuana, but less than 175 grams, is treated as an unclassified misdemeanor. Should one or more aggravating factors be involved, the offense will instead be treated as a class B misdemeanor.
    • Being found in possession of anywhere between 175 and 1500 grams of marijuana is treated as a class F felony. For prior convictions, one results in a class D felony, while two results in a class C felony. Should two or more aggravating factors be involved, the offense will instead be treated as a class C felony.
    • Being found in possession of anywhere between 1500 and 3000 grams of marijuana is treated as a class E felony. For prior convictions, one results in a class C felony, while two results in a class B felony. Should two or more aggravating factors be involved, the offense will instead be treated as a class B felony.
    • Being found in possession of anywhere between 3000 and 4000 grams of marijuana is treated as a class D felony. Prior convictions result in a class B felony. Should at least one aggravating factor be involved, the offense will instead be treated as a class B felony.
    • Being found in possession of anywhere between 4000 and 5000 grams of marijuana is treated as a class C felony. Should at least one aggravating factor be involved, the offense will instead be treated as a class B felony.
    • Being found in possession of more than 5000 grams, regardless of aggravating factors, is treated as a class B felony. 
    • Being found in possession of 5000 grams or more, regardless of a potential aggravating factor, is treated as a class B felony.

     

    Possession 

    Quantity

    Penalty

    Jail Time

    Legal Fine

    <1oz

    Civil Penalty

    N/A

    $100

    1oz —175g

    Misdemeanor

    30 days

    $575

    175 — 1500g

    Felony

    3 years

    Decided in court*

    1500 — 3000g

    Felony

    5 years

    Decided in court*

    3000 — 4000g

    Felony

    8 years

    Decided in court*

    4000 — 5000g

    Felony

    15 years

    Decided in court*

    >5000g

    Felony

    2 — 25 years

    Decided in court*

    Special Considerations

    Prior convictions and aggravating factors will increase the severity of the offense. 

    *Maximum legal fines for felony charges are at the discretion of the court of law. 

     

    Distribution / Intent to Sell

    Delaware Weed Laws

    For the distribution and sale of marijuana, Delaware state laws divide into three distinct quantities:

    • Any distribution, sale, and/or manufacture of less than 1500 grams of marijuana is treated as a class D felony. For prior convictions, one results in a class C felony, while two results in a class B felony. Should one or more aggravating factors be involved, the offense will instead be treated as a class C felony. 
    • Any distribution, sale, and/or manufacture of anywhere between 1500 and 4000 grams of marijuana is treated as a class C felony. Prior convictions will result in a class B felony. Should one or more aggravating factors be involved, the offense will instead be treated as a class B felony. 
    • Any distribution, sale, and/or manufacture of more than 4000 grams of marijuana is treated as a class B felony. 
      Sale and Distribution
      Quantity Penalty Jail Time Legal Fine
      <1500g Felony 8 years Decided in court*
      1500 — 4000g Felony 15 years Decided in court*
      >4000g Felony 2 — 25 years Decided in court*
      Special Considerations
      Prior convictions and aggravating factors will increase the severity of the offense. 
      *Maximum legal fines for felony charges are at the discretion of the court of law. 
       

      Paraphernalia

      Delaware Weed Laws

      Delaware patients have no need to engage with any marijuana paraphernalia for their treatment unless specifically instructed by a physician. Therefore, the penalties for possession of paraphernalia and delivery should not concern law-abiding patients, but they are important to take into consideration for your own legal awareness:

      • Possession of marijuana paraphernalia for the purposes of creating a personal-use quantity of less than 1 ounce of marijuana is treated as a civil penalty punishable with a legal fine not to exceed $100.
      • Possession of marijuana paraphernalia for the purposes of creating a personal-use quantity of more than 1 ounce of marijuana is treated as a class B misdemeanor. 
      • Delivery of marijuana paraphernalia or possession with the intent to deliver is treated as a class G felony. 
      • Delivery of paraphernalia to a minor is treated as a class E felony.
      Paraphernalia 
      Offense Penalty Jail Time Legal Fine
      Possession for personal use of <1oz Civil Penalty N/A $100
      Possession for personal use of >1oz Misdemeanor 6 months $1000
      Delivery/intent to deliver Felony 2 years Decided in court*
      Distribution to a minor Felony 3 years Decided in court*
      Special Considerations
      *Maximum legal fines for felony charges are at the discretion of the court of law. 

      FAQ

      Delaware Weed Laws

      Questions about DE Laws and Regulations

      While the penalties for each medical marijuana law are highly important to take note of, we know that state regulations do not always cover the niche cases.

      Below you can find a list of common questions regarding medical marijuana use in Delaware:

      Is weed legal in Delaware?

      For medical use, yes. Following the signing of the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act in 2011, patients approved by the OMM are allowed to purchase cannabis-based products for medical use. However, this should be occurring only through the purchase of said products from specialized dispensaries. Patients are NOT allowed to grow or cultivate marijuana at home.

      Recreational use of weed is still considered illegal at this point in time, but the discussion about Delaware’s legalization of adult-use marijuana has been open in-senate since 2020. It remains to be seen whether the outcome of HB 110 will impact the future of Delaware’s potential marijuana market.

      Can my employer see that I am a certified medical marijuana patient?

      No. Your information with the Department of Health is confidential and private. So, no one else will have access to it. Moreover, QuickMedCards is fully HIPAA compliant. As a result, all your patient data is private and secure.

        Is CBD oil legal in DE?

        Yes. Just like all of the other products listed above, CBD oil can easily be acquired from any local Delaware dispensary, and it remains one of the most popular methods of medical cannabis administration.

        Did you know that all patients who get their recommendation thru QuickMedCards get free CBD included? 

        Can I go to a dispensary without a card?

        Card-less purchases for unregistered patients are strictly prohibited by Delaware’s MMP. As such, before becoming a patient, you should know the following about owning a med card: 

         

        • Patients with a valid Delaware marijuana card can buy marijuana from any dispensary in the state.
        • In addition, patients can possess up to 6 ounces of medical marijuana.
        • Most importantly, qualifying patients can legally consume marijuana within the state.

        If you have a medical card, where can you smoke your medical marijuana?

        You should use your medicine in the seclusion of your home to enjoy full legal protection. Most importantly, you can’t smoke marijuana in any public place, or moving vehicle.

        Can I use my medical card in another state?

        Unfortunately, no. Delaware has no marijuana reciprocity agreements with other states. 

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