The state of Delaware was the first of the 13 original colonies to ratify the constitution, making it the first official state in the United States.
Setting constitutional precedence has led to Delaware being held in high regard when it comes to legislation, and cannabis legislation is no exception.
However, amidst federal and statutory changes in cannabis law in recent years, deciphering Delawarean decree can be difficult.
Here is a rundown on Delaware’s current cannabis laws and what you need to know to be up-to-date about CBD.
Delaware Hemp Law
In 2014, Delaware passed House Bill 385, which legalized hemp cultivation for academic and agricultural research.
Because nationwide hemp cultivation was not yet legal, Delaware’s initial hemp cultivation legalization was restricted to specific institutions for research only.
This also included legalizing hemp and CBD production, but only for those who fell under the applicable research categories.
In spite of these restrictions, Delaware made sure to have policies in place to ensure the agricultural hemp industry would become available to everyone once the federal act had passed.
In 2018, Delaware Senate Bill 266 was enacted and allowed the rules and policies outlined in Bill 385 to be altered should federal law dictate a change in hemp regulation.
Bill 266 was enacted before the 2018 Farm Bill, the groundbreaking federal legislation that removed hemp and CBD from the federal government’s controlled drug schedule.
After the federal government passed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, Delaware received United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval for their Domestic Hemp Production Program Plan, making hemp agriculture legal.
Today, Delaware hemp and CBD production are available to the people of Delaware within and outside of research purposes.
While Delaware doesn’t specifically mention CBD, it does provide a distinction between hemp products and marijuana products, only allowing for hemp-derived cannabis products that contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is the cannabinoid chemical compound that produces the psychoactive properties of marijuana.
Hemp products containing 0.3 percent of THC or less are not concentrated enough to produce euphoric effects, and the trace amounts present in hemp and hemp derivatives will not get users high.
According to federal law, hemp-derived cannabidiol may only contain 0.3 percent THC.
If cannabidiol contains more than 0.3 percent THC, it is considered a marijuana product, a rule of thumb implemented and upheld by many statutory jurisdictions.
Delaware CBD law is the same – hemp-derived CBD is legal, providing it contains no more than 0.3 percent THC.
Delaware Department of Agriculture Hemp Production Program
The Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) oversees the Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program.
Per Delaware Code Title 3, hemp is an agricultural commodity. This designation has given hemp and industrial incentive and opened the door for agricultural hemp production.
Hemp Producer Application
Delawareans looking to obtain the Domestic Hemp Production license necessary to participate in hemp cultivation and apply for growing site registration must be age 18 or older.
Applicants must complete a criminal history report provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and be fingerprinted.
The sites at which hemp plants are grown are known as grow sites.
Grow sites must also be registered and require global positioning (GPS) coordinates, two points of entry, a minimum of two identified roads in relevant proximity to the site, and the acreage or square footage of the site.
Potential hemp producers must also have an authorized representative or individual who will act as a communications liaison for the producer.
Authorized representatives must be on the prospective producer’s applications and complete a criminal background check.
The producer application and the grow site registration require fees to be paid. Here is an approximate set of costs associated with applying:
- The Domestic Hemp Production application fee is $300 and must be renewed after three years.
- An FBI criminal history report/background check has an associated cost of about $18.00 and must be completed by both the producer and authorized representative.
- The grow site registration fee is $500 and must be renewed every year. Any changes to a grow site require grow site modification registration, which is an additional $500.
Once approved, producer’s growing sites need to receive lot identifications and report plant varieties, planting dates, and planting site locations.
Hemp production is subjected to DDA sampling and testing.
The DDA will collect hemp samples up to 15 days before the hemp is harvested, and all sample collections have a $350 sample and collection fee.
Once collected, the hemp samples will be tested for THC potency and concentration to ensure the hemp is within the 0.3 THC limit.
Hemp Processor Application
A separate application must be completed for individuals seeking to receive their hemp processor permit.
This licensure is necessary for those looking to convert hemp material for means other than testing, including harvesting, drying, and packing hemp crops.
Similar to the producer application, processor registration is good for three years and costs $300.
A criminal background check is needed by those who have not or will not be submitting one for producer registration, and a facility registration fee of $1,000 must be paid.
A key participant must be identified on the application and serve as the person who has a financial stake in and oversight of processing the hemp for their designated site.
Hemp Production Handler Application
Citizens must also apply to transport, store, or handle hemp.
The same criminal background report is required, and applicants must pay a $100 fee.
Before delivery, handlers can handle any part of the hemp plant or hemp seeds.
Delaware’s Medical Marijuana Program
As of 2011, medical marijuana is legal in Delaware per Title 16 Chapter 49a of the Delaware code.
Qualifying medical patients can buy marijuana from certified medical dispensaries.
Marijuana-derived CBD is also available to medical card patients, as long as the CBD does not contain more than 7 percent THC.
Up to three ounces of marijuana can be purchased every two weeks or 14 days, providing six ounces per patient each month.
Medical marijuana cardholders are not permitted to grow their own hemp.
Delaware Decriminalized Marijuana
Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Delaware, but House Bill 39 decriminalized marijuana in 2015.
In part, this shift in sanction means that citizens in possession of one ounce of marijuana or less will be subject to civil penalty and marijuana forfeiture,
The possession will not appear on a criminal record but rather a civil violation.
Marijuana use or possession outside of this specific change is still subject to criminal law and procedure.
CBD is Legal In Delaware
Ultimately, hemp-derived CBD containing no more than 0.3 percent THC is legal in the state of Delaware, and currently, there are no possession limits.
Additionally, medical marijuana has been approved to include marijuana-derived CBD containing up to 7 percent THC for qualifying users.
Delaware, America’s small wonder state, has been paving the way for CBD legality for years, making for yet another small wonder with a big impact.