Cannabis dispensaries in Delaware are regulated by the state and authorized to approve doctor-recommended medical cannabis. Despite the tight state control over this market, which currently has just three dispensaries, a recent recreational legalization bill was defeated only by a narrow margin. In addition, WHYY reports that legal cannabis could bring the state an estimated $22 million in annual revenue. This means it’s time to start planning if you want to eventually open a dispensary in Delaware.
The Current Climate
According to cannabis laws in Delaware, patients with a medical cannabis ID card can purchase up to three grams of cannabis every 14 days from one of three licensed “Compassion Centers” that grow and process the products they sell. Since medical cannabis laws passed in the state in 2011, two license application phases have been held.
In addition to allowed medical use, the possession of less than one ounce of cannabis is no longer a criminal offense in Delaware. It carries a $100 fine as a civil offense. However, using the substance while driving or in public is a misdemeanor offense.
In June 2018, the recreational medical cannabis bill sponsored by Representative Helene Keeley lost in the House by just four votes. The revised version of the bill presented addressed safety and regulation concerns, packaging and labeling requirements, and a plan to devote 10% of proceeds to drug education and related programs.
Obtaining a Delaware Dispensary License
No medical cannabis licenses are currently available in Delaware. The state has not announced dates for a forthcoming dispensary license application period. Applications were most recently accepted in 2016.
Previous applications have required a $5,000 fee along with a $40,000 recertification fee every two years for approved cannabis dispensaries in Delaware. Qualifying dispensaries must operate as non-profit organizations and must not be within 1,000 feet of a public or private school.
In the past, required application components for Delaware dispensaries have included:
- Cultivation plan
- Environmental plan
- Business and operations plan
- Financial plan
- Inventory control plan
- Patient education and recordkeeping plan
- Product safety plan
- Fire safety plan
- Staffing plan
With cannabis laws in Delaware expected to relax over the next few years, prospective dispensary owners who want to set up shop in the state should prepare now for the next announced application period. American Cannabis Company can provide the specialized industry knowledge you need to hit the ground running. Get in touch with one of our consultants today to start the conversation about how to open a dispensary in Delaware.