Medical Marijuana Program
The Division of Public Health has implemented Title 16, Ch 49A of the Delaware Code, the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act, which became effective July 1, 2012. The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act regulates the medical use of marijuana in Delaware. The State of Delaware is moving forward with implementation of its medical marijuana program joining other states, including New Jersey and Rhode Island, which have issued licenses for marijuana distribution centers, known as compassion centers in Delaware. Physicians may authorize a patient to use marijuana to treat symptoms of cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV and AIDS, Hepatitis C, Lou Gehrigís disease, Alzheimerís disease or the physical manifestations of post-traumatic stress disorder. Conditions that cause severe, debilitating pain, wasting syndrome, intractable nausea and seizures also fall under the stateís medical marijuana law.
Delaware Health and Social Services will issue a request for proposal late in 2013 to open a pilot compassion center in Delaware next year. The Department will issue a permit to the compassion center to begin growing medical marijuana on July 1, 2014. The policy change will allow medical marijuana patients in Delaware to buy the drug in a state-regulated center. To address Federal Justice Department concerns, the proposed regulations for the compassion center will include tight security requirements, including around-the-clock video monitoring, financial accounting controls, random inspections, and requiring that center employees verify that patients are registered with the state before selling them marijuana. The center will only be allowed to cultivate up to 150 marijuana plants, and keep inventory of no more than 1,500 ounces of the drug.
Medical Marijuana Questions & Answers
Q: How do I apply for a medical marijuana card?
A: A patient who wishes to apply for the medical marijuana registry card program should go to the program's website and download the application documents. The patient application is a four-page, self-explanatory form that should be completed and signed by the patient. The physician certification is a two-page form that the patientís Delaware-licensed physician should complete and sign. The release of medical information is a one-page form that is signed by the patient, allowing the Office of Medical Marijuana to contact the patientís physician for the purpose of verifying the doctor/patient relationship and the validity of the physicianís signature on the Physician Certification form.
Patients must mail all three forms, along with the application fee of $125 and a copy of the patientís Delaware state-issued driverís license or identification card, to the Division of Public Health, Office of Medical Marijuana, 417 Federal Street, Suite 205, Dover, DE 19901.
The applicant's approval or denial will be returned within 45 days of receiving a complete application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. If approved, the applicant will be invited to the Division of Public Healthís Dover office to have a picture taken and be issued their registry card.
Q: What are the qualifications for a patient to get a card?
A: The qualifications for a patient to receive a medical marijuana card include
Q: What medical conditions are covered by the program?
A: As mentioned above, cancer, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV and AIDs), decompensated cirrhosis (Hepatitis C), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrigís disease), and agitation of Alzheimer's disease or the treatment of these conditions. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can qualify as a debilitating medical condition when it manifests itself in severe physical suffering, such as severe or chronic pain or severe nausea and vomiting, or otherwise severely impairs the patientís physical ability to carry on the activities of daily living.
A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces 1 or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain, that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures for more than 3 months or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects; intractable nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
If you have questions about obtaining a physician's certification or whether you may qualify, talk to your physician or medical specialist.
Q: How much does it cost to get a medical marijuana card?
A: The base annual fee is $125 and is non-refundable.
Q: What if I canít pay the application fee?
A: There is a sliding payment scale for patients who demonstrate financial need.
Q: How long is the card valid?
A: One year from the month it was issued. As required by the law, patients must re-apply annually.
Q: Where do I get the marijuana from?
A: The State currently recognizes properly permitted compassion centers as the only legal way to obtain marijuana. The Department will issue a permit to the compassion center to begin growing medical marijuana on July 1, 2014.
Q: Is my out of state medical marijuana card accepted in Delaware?
A: No, there are no reciprocity agreements with other states.
Q: Can I have my out-of-state doctor certify me for the card program?
A: No, physicians must be currently licensed to practice in Delaware in accordance with 24 DEL.C. Chapters 17 and 19.
Q: Does the program have a list of doctors that they can refer me to that will certify me for the program?
A: No, patients must discuss health-related decisions with their primary care physician or specialist as part of any determination that medical marijuana is the best medical choice for their treatment.
Q: What are the next steps if my organization would like to apply to be the Delaware compassion center?
The request for proposals (RFP) to open a compassion center will be advertised in December 2013. Questions and answers will be posted on the stateís website in February and completed bids will be due in mid-March 2014. This RFP progression will follow the established State of Delaware contracting process. There will be a substantial cost associated with submitting an application.
The applications for opening a compassion center will be graded using ďan impartial and numerically scored competitive bidding process.Ē
In so doing, DHSS will consider the following:
Once a vendor has been selected and the contract process completed, the vendor will be responsible for submitting payment for the permit. The Department will issue a permit for growing Medical Marijuana on July 1, 2014.
The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act
State of Delaware Medical Marijuana Code
Patient Application Forms
Caregiver Application Forms