Draft regulations for compassion centers issued
The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services issued proposed regulations for a single medical marijuana compassion center that could only cultivate 150 plants – far too few to meet patients’ needs. MPP submitted comments urging the department to revise the regulations to ensure a workable program. We encourage all Delawareans to read the proposed regulations and submit your own comments. Feel free to use as much of our document as you wish. Please note that comments may be made public and are due by Thursday, October 31.
The draft regulations unnecessarily restrict the compassion center program to a single pilot center that can possess no more than 150 plants and 1,500 ounces of medical marijuana. Gov. Jack Markell announced this approach at a time when the federal government indicated it was concerned about large-scale grows. However, since then, the Department of Justice directed federal prosecutors to stop considering “the size or commercial nature of a marijuana operation alone” as a reason to take legal action against it.
Meanwhile, the DHHS continues to accept applications for medical marijuana ID cards, which will be required for patients seeking to obtain their medicine from a compassion center. If you are interested in obtaining your medical marijuana ID card, please visit the medical marijuana program's website or call them at (302) 744-4749 to receive application forms. If you have further questions about the medical marijuana program, please see our summary of the law.
MPP's Noah Mamber and Karen O'Keefe in Dover with Sen. Margaret Rose Henry and several of the state's most committed patients to watch Gov. Markell sign SB 17.
Are you a patient?
Although medical marijuana legislation has already been enacted in Delaware, patient advocacy is crucial to encouraging the governor to implement the dispensary portion of the law. If you are supportive and are a patient with a serious medical condition who might benefit from medical marijuana, a loved one of such a patient, a medical professional, a member of law enforcement or the clergy, or a lawyer or PhD who might be interested in speaking out, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can be of special help. Be sure to include your address and nine-digit ZIP code.
You can also share the stories of other Delaware patients.
Learn more about Delaware’s marijuana laws
Delaware has harsh marijuana laws, and it has the twelfth-highest marijuana arrest rate in the U.S. First-offense possession of even a single joint is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,150 fine, which is the fourth-harshest penalty in the nation for personal use possession. According to the ACLU, this punishment is disproportionately felt by African-Americans, who are three times as likely to be arrested in Delaware for marijuana possession than their white neighbors. Please take a moment to send a letter to your legislators asking them to reduce the penalty for possession of marijuana to a civil fine or asking them to end marijuana prohibition entirely.
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