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Jenny Bloom

October 7, 2019

Cannabis has been decriminalized to some extent in the State of Delaware. In general, this means the state does not give first-time possession offenders prison time or a criminal record for small quantities held for personal use.

The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act allows physicians to authorize the use of medical cannabis to treat symptoms of qualifying conditions. This state also makes provisions for minors under the age of 18 to be treated with cannabis-related products as well.

Possessing Marijuana in Delaware

In 2015, Delaware slightly legalized cannabis through amendments. This allows those who possess less than 1 ounce of marijuana to receive civil penalties, rather than criminal ones. The various possession penalties in the state for possession for personal use are as follows:

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• Under 1 ounce (28 grams) = Civil Penalty: Fine up to $100

• Between 28 to 175 grams = Misdemeanor: Fine up to $575 and up to 3 months

• Between 175 to 1,500 grams = Felony: Up to 3 years in prison with fine at discretion of the court

• Between 1,500 to 3,000 = Felony: Felony: Up to 5 years in prison with fine at discretion of the court

• Between 3,000 to 4,000 grams = Felony: Up to 8 years in prison with fine at discretion of the court

• Between 4,000 to 5,000 grams = Felony: Up to 15 years in prison with fine at discretion of the court

• Over 5,000 grams = Felony: Up to 3 years in prison with mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years, to up to 25 years in prison

Super Weights

Possessing marijuana in quantities that Delaware calls super weights is a felony. The penalties for super weights possession are as follows:

• 15,000 grams or less (under 33 pounds) = 4 to 10 years in prison

• Between 15,000 to 37,5000 grams (33 to 83 pounds) = 6 to 12 years in prison

• Between 37,500 to 75,000 grams (83 to 165 pounds) = 8 to 15 years in prison

Medical Marijuana Patient Limits

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The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act strictly dictates how much cannabis a qualifying patient may possess. In this state, medical cannabis patients may only possess up to 6 ounces at one time.

Qualifying adolescent patients under the age of 18 may not possess the cannabis plant itself. They are only allowed to possess the following:

• Cannabis oils with no more than 7% THC with no less than 15% CBD

• Cannabis oils with no more than 7% THC with exactly 15% CBD

Selling Marijuana in Delaware

The State of Delaware wraps marijuana distribution, manufacturing, and sales under one blanket. These are felony crimes with the following penalties:

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• Under 1,500 grams = Up to 8 years in prison, with fines imposed at the court’s discretion

• Between 1,500 to 4,000 grams = Up to 8 years in prison, with fines imposed at the court’s discretion

• Over 4,000 grams = Mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years, and up to 25 years in prison, with fines imposed at the court’s discretion

Drug Paraphernalia

The following penalties will be imposed in Delaware for possession of drug paraphernalia, which is a felony crime:

• Deliver or possess with intent to deliver = Up to 2 years in jail

• Deliver to someone under 18 years old = Up to 3 years in jail

Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in Delaware

It is illegal to grow your own cannabis for personal use (see Possession of Marijuana in Delaware above for penalty information). The State of Delaware does not allow medical marijuana patients to grow their own medication.

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Using Marijuana in Delaware

In Delaware, “marijuana” is a general term used to describe the cannabis plant, as well as every manufacture, compound, derivative, sale, preparation or mixture of it, it’s resin or seeds. The statute does not distinguish between concentrates or hashish and marijuana penalties.

Using Paraphernalia

Possessing drug paraphernalia in the State of Delaware is illegal. The penalties for using paraphernalia are as follows:

• Use or possess for personal use quantities of cannabis = Civil penalty: Fine up to $100

• Use or possess with intent to use paraphernalia = Misdemeanor: Fine up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail

Medical Marijuana

The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act allows those within the state’s program to use cannabis to help treat debilitating, chronic qualifying conditions. It must be purchased from a licensed

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A current list of these conditions is as follows:

• Alzheimer’s disease

• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Cachexia

Cancer

• Chronic pain

HIV/AIDS

• Intractable epilepsy*

• Nausea

• Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

• Seizures

• Severe and persistent muscle spasms

Qualifying Patients Under 18

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Delaware allows minors under the age of 18 to use marijuana, as long as they are qualifying patients. In these cases, the patient must get a physician’s recommendation from a pediatric gastroenterologist, pediatric neurologist, pediatric palliative care specialist or a pediatric oncologist.

Even as qualifying patients of Delaware’s medical cannabis program, minors are not allowed to possess or use the actual marijuana plant. Instead, they can only possess and consume cannabis oils as follows:

• Oils containing less than 7% THC and exactly 15% CBD

• Oils containing less than 7% THC and with at least 15% CBD

In the State of Delaware, medical marijuana users must purchase cannabis from a state-licensed dispensary. Currently, there is only one medical cannabis distribution center operating in the state. It’s located in Wilmington, DE, and it referred to as a compassion center. There have been requests made by the Department of Health and Social Services for up to two more centers.

Breaking the Marijuana Laws in Delaware

Aggravating factors lead to increased prison time sentencing in Delaware. Here are some examples of aggravating factors related to cannabis offenses:

• Crime committed in a protected place of worship, park or school zone

• Offense committed while in a vehicle

First-time marijuana law offenders in Delaware may receive probation in place of fines or prison sentences. If probation is granted, it will include state-sponsored:

• Drug treatment

• Drug testing

• Community service

• Driver’s license suspension

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Once probation has been successfully completed, the charges against the offender will be dropped. The conviction will no longer appear on the offender’s criminal record. However, committing another drug crime will cause the adjudication to be counted as a criminal conviction.

Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]

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