Delaware Medical Marijuana

Delaware Medical Marijuana Facts

Delaware Medical Marijuana Statistics and Facts


The most recent state to do so, Delaware joined the ranks of medical marijuana states in May of 2011 when Governor Markell signed Senate Bill 17 into law. The bill was able to pass the state Senate and House with wide margins. Officially the law went into effect on July 1st, 2011, however only some of its provisions are active as the state works to properly set up the program. In fact, as of right now the only active provision is an available affirmative defense for patients with a doctor’s recommendation. The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is expected to begin issuing Delaware medical marijuana cards by July 2012 and license the first 3 of a possible 6 official dispensaries by January 2013.

Delaware Medical Marijuana Facts 2011:

  • One uncommon fact about medical marijuana in Delaware is that patients and their caregivers will not be allowed to grow their own cannabis plants. Instead they will have to rely on the state licensed distribution centers.
  • Patients will be allowed to posses 6 ounces of marijuana and will be protected from arrest and prosecution.
  • Registration with the state will be mandatory.
  • An uncommon qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Delaware will be “Decompensated Cirrhosis.”
  • The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act closely matches the model medical marijuana bill developed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
  • The Compassion centers that the law envisions will be closely monitored by the government and will in fact be forbidden from advertising their services or sharing office space with any physicians. They will be allowed to dispense a maximum of 3 ounces of marijuana per patient every 14 days.

Delaware Marijuana Use Facts:

  • While there are no medical marijuana statistics for Delaware yet, facts about marijuana use in general show that Delaware was the 12th state with the highest marijuana arrest rate as recently as 2007 and there were roughly 80,000 cannabis users in the state that same year.
  • The maximum sentence for possession of 1 Ounce of marijuana in Delaware is 6 months in jail and a $1,150 fine.
  • It has been estimated that marijuana prohibition costs the Delaware justice system more than $50 million a year.
  • As with national trends, marijuana-related arrests in Delaware disproportionally targeted African-Americans.
  • Marijuana use facts for Delaware show that more than half of users in 2007 were over the age of 26. The group with the greatest frequency of users was found to be the 18-25 year-olds, 32% of whom have used cannabis.
  • Of Delaware’s 3 counties, New Castle County accounted for half of marijuana arrests in the state in 2007, however both Sussex and Kent counties had significantly higher marijuana arrest rates.