Delaware legalized cannabis dispensaries: Here’s what happens next

Published on April 24, 2023 · Last updated April 28, 2023

Hats off to Delaware, America’s second-smallest state that could! 

Adults 21 and up can carry an ounce of weed legally in the home state of President Biden; with legal sales on the way in 2024.

So, Leafly Nation, let’s take a minute to dig into H.B.1 and H.B.2. Want to know when stores will open? How much cannabis adults can legally possess? How much you’ll pay in taxes? Read on, we’ve got you covered.

Is weed legal in Delaware?

Yes. On Friday, April 21, Delaware’s Governor said he will allow H.B.1 and H.B.2 to take effect. H.B.1 legalized marijuana possession, while H.B. 2 laid the legal foundations of the adult-use market.

The adult-use bills follow the legalization of medical marijuana in Delaware in 2011, and a possession decriminalization bill in 2015.

Cannabis is legal to possess and share among adults 21 and over.

How much weed is legal in Delaware?

H.B.1 legalizes the possession of up to:

  • one ounce of flower
  • 12 grams of concentrate
  • or 750 milligrams of THC in edible form.

H.B.2, however, limits hash to a maximum of five grams.

What does cannabis look like? A visual guide to cannabis quantities & measurements

Can I share legal cannabis in Delaware?

Yes. H.B. 1 permits the “sharing” of marijuana in the absence of licensed stores, but not “gifting.” 

When will adult-use cannabis become available for purchase in Delaware?

Licensed stores won’t open their doors to adults for at least 16 months: August 25, 2024. The Delaware Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement (DATE) will regulate the market, via a to-be-established Office of Marijuana Control. The rules say delivery cannabis couriers are also legal.

What forms of cannabis can Delaware adults purchase?

In addition to marijuana flower, H.B.2 lists “concentrates, edibles, ointments, and tinctures” as permissible products.

Will Delaware tax cannabis sales?

Yes, Delaware will levy a 15% sales tax on recreational cannabis, while medical marijuana will remain untaxed.

Can you grow weed legally in Delaware?

Delaware legalization does not permit personal cannabis gardens at this time.

How to set up an indoor weed homegrow for under $500

Does the bill include equity provisions?

Yes, H.B.2 calls for equity licenses for business owners from drug war impact zones, or past drug offenders and their relatives.

Can Delaware cities and counties opt-out of sales?

Yes, localities can vote to opt-out of cannabis sales.

Leafly Report: ‘Opt-out’ towns are encouraging illegal marijuana sales

No. Public consumption (or consuming marijuana in a moving vehicle) will remain a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $200 or a maximum of five days in jail.

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How did Delaware legalize cannabis?

In 2022, Delaware lawmakers passed a bill to legalize cannabis possession and gifting. Lawmakers also passed a separate bill to create an adult-use market. Governor John Carney (D) vetoed the second bill.

One year later, however, pro-reform lawmakers—led again by Rep. Al Osienski (D)— revived and passed both bills. This time around, Delaware Gov. Carney acknowledged that public consensus wasn’t on his side.

“My views on this issue have not changed,” Carney said in a statement on Friday. “I came to this decision because I believe we’ve spent far too much time focused on this issue, when Delawareans face more serious and pressing concerns every day. It’s time to move on,” the governor added.

Carney didn’t sign either of the two legalization bills, however—he just let them become law. In the absence of his signature, the two bills go into effect ten days after lawmakers send them to him. That means that H.B.1 took effect the day after 4/20 on Friday, April 21, and H.B.2 will take effect Tuesday, April 25.

With the passage of these two bills, Delaware has joined neighboring legalization states New Jersey, and Maryland, with just Pennsylvania remaining as a hold-out in the region. Sign up for Leafly’s newsletter and download the app to stay tuned to what’s next.

Welcome, Delaware—the 22nd legalization state. Let weed freedoms ring.

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Max Savage Levenson
Max Savage Levenson
Max Savage Levenson likely has the lowest cannabis tolerance of any writer on the cannabis beat. He also writes about music for Pitchfork, Bandcamp and other bespectacled folk. He co-hosts The Hash podcast. His dream interview is Tyler the Creator.
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