Delaware Cannabis Program Updates

Delaware Cannabis Program Updates

JUNE 22ND, 2024

Since the 2023 approval of HB 1 and HB 2, effectively legalizing and regulating adult-use cannabis in Delaware, the state has made steady progress toward the launch of an adult-use cannabis program.


Here is the latest update on recreational cannabis in Delaware:

Recent Delaware Cannabis Program Updates


Cannabis operators, stakeholders, and the general public had until June 3, 2024 to speak out about proposed business rules and regulations for next year’s rollout.


Since then, the Delaware Office of the Marijuana Commissioner (OMC) announced the launch of a Social Equity Eligibility Validation Application and Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIA) Map. To streamline the Social Equity Licensing process, those who intend to apply for a social equity must first submit a Social Equity Eligibility Validation form before July 15th, 2024.


The OMC says these tools are essential parts of the Social Equity Licensing program. The initial validation is free and designed to ensure that potential applicants know their eligibility status before the license application opens on September 1, 2024.


The state also approved a bill to launch adult-use sales early through existing medical dispensaries through a dual license option.


HB 408 passed in a 29-11 vote, effectively approving the creation of “conversion licenses” to allow medical cannabis businesses to apply to also serve recreational customers. Conversion license applications are expected to open by August 1, 2024, with the application window closing on November 1.

Those denied conversion licenses due to local bans may apply for a regular license in a different approved location. Existing medical license holders who want to apply for a dual-use license must prove that they can continue to meet demand for medical patients, support the social equity program, and enter into a labor peace agreement.

Additionally, an amendment from the bill sponsor was approved by the chamber, effectively increasing the conversion licensing fee from $100,000 to $200,000 and designating the license expiration date to 24 months instead of 48 months.

Delaware Cannabis Program Overview

The state recognizes four types of cannabis businesses: cultivation, manufacturing, retail and testing. Each business type has three different license options: open (standard) license, social equity license, or microbusiness license.


Below is the plan for license issuance:


The state will issue 20 big standard/open licenses: 10 big social equity licenses, 20 smaller microbusiness licenses, and 10 smaller social equity licenses.


The state will issue 30 licenses: 10 open/standard licenses, 10 social equity licenses, and 10 microbusiness manufacturing licenses.


The state will issue 30 licenses: 15 open/standard licenses and 15 social equity licenses.


The state will issue 5 licenses: 3 open/standard licenses and 2 social equity licenses.


For more specifics, check out our recent overview of the Delaware cannabis license structure.

Do you qualify as a social equity applicant? Interested in a partnership? Learn more by clicking here!

Are you interested in obtaining a cannabis business license in Delaware? Call us to speak with an industry expert at 602-290-9424.

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