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Delaware Marijuana Laws

Senate Bill 17 (100 KB) -- Signed into law by Gov. Jack Markell (D) on May 13, 2011

Approved: By House 27-14, by Senate 17-4

Effective: July 1, 2011 Under this law, a patient is only protected from arrest if his or her physician certifies, in writing, that the patient has a specified debilitating medical condition and that the patient would receive therapeutic benefit from medical marijuana. The patient must send a copy of the written certification to the state Department of Health and Social Services, and the Department will issue an ID card after verifying the information. As long as the patient is in compliance with the law, there will be no arrest.

The law does not allow patients or caregivers to grow marijuana at home, but it does allow for the state-regulated, non-profit distribution of medical marijuana by compassion centers.

Updates: On Feb. 12, 2012, Gov. Markell released the following statement (presented in its entirety), available on delaware.gov, in response to a letter from US District Attorney Charles Oberly (2 MB): "I am very disappointed by the change in policy at the federal department of justice, as it requires us to stop implementation of the compassion centers. To do otherwise would put our state employees in legal jeopardy and I will not do that. Unfortunately, this shift in the federal position will stand in the way of people in pain receiving help. Our law sought to provide that in a manner that was both highly regulated and safe."

On Aug. 15, 2013, Gov. Markell announced in a letter to Delaware lawmakers (175 KB) his intention to relaunch the state's medical marijuana program, despite his previous decision to stop implementation. Markell wrote that the Department of Health and Social Services "will proceed to issue a request for proposal for a pilot compassion center to open in Delaware next year."

Code Section Tit. 16 §4701, et seq.; 4753A
Possession Class A misdemeanor (If applicable, can be subject to First Offenders Controlled Substances Diversion Program §4764); Knowingly making a purchase from a minor under 18: Class E felony. Purchasing from a minor under 16, 6 months no suspension, probation, parole. Seller is under 14 yrs. 1 year mandatory sentence
Sale Class E felony: 5 yrs. and $1000 to $10,000 (more severe if near school §4767-68)
Trafficking 5 lbs. or more: class B felony; 5-100 lbs.: $25,000 and minimum 2 yrs.; 100-500 lbs.: $50,000 and minimum 4 yrs.; Over 500 lbs.: $100,000 and minimum 8 yrs.

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
Division of Public Health
Phone: 302-744-4749
Fax: 302-739-3071


DE Medical Marijuana Program

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