Delaware Medical Marijuana Card Laws
June 17, 2016

Delaware Medical Marijuana Card
In order to be afforded legal protection of the Delaware Medical Marijuana law, qualified medical marijuana patients must register with the state patient registry and possess a valid identification card by submitting a marijuana card application to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

On July 01, 2011, an affirmative defense went into effect, offering limited protection to qualified Delaware medical marijuana patients with a written certification from their physician, stating that they may “benefit from the therapeutic use of medical marijuana”, where the patient has a specified debilitating medical condition. The affirmative defense does not prevent an arrest or a prosecution, but it can be raised and proven in court to prevent a conviction. If all of the conditions are met, the prosecution is supposed to be dismissed.

The defense only applies if:

  • The patient is in possession of no more than six ounces of marijuana and no plants.
  • The patient possessed marijuana solely to treat or alleviate the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition.
  • The patient’s physician has stated that, “in the physician’s professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the individual’s medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from marijuana to treat or alleviate the individual’s serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the individual’s serious or debilitating medical condition” — *Find a certified 
  • The patient was not doing any of the activities prohibited in §4904A of the law, such as driving under the influence of marijuana; possessing marijuana on school grounds, on a school bus, in a jail, or in a state-funded health care or treatment facility; or smoking marijuana in a public place or in any form of transportation.
  • First, you need a signed Physician’s Statement from a physician, currently licensed to practice medicine in Delaware — *Find a certified medical marijuana physician in Delaware
  • To qualify, a patient needs to be diagnosed by a physician as having one of the following debilitating medical conditions that is specifically identified in the law:
    • Cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C (decompensated cirrhosis), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease; or
    • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one 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 three months or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects;
      • severe nausea;
      • seizures;
      • severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
    • Glaucoma, when the written certification is signed by a properly licensed ophthalmologist
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), when the written certification is signed by a properly licensed psychiatrist
    • Or, any other medical condition or its treatment, as added by the Department.

    Patients 18 years or younger — qualified by a pediatric neurologist, pediatric gastroenterologist, pediatric oncologist or pediatric palliative care specialist — must be diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions:

    • Intractable epilepsy
    • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition where they have failed treatment involving one or more of the following symptoms
      • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
      • Intractable nausea
      • Severe, painful and persistent muscle spasms
  • Submit a copy of the medical marijuana recommendation, along with $100 application fee, to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services — for those patients on fixed income, a sliding scale fee is available. The DHSS will issue the patient with an identification card, to be used for verification purposes of law enforcement and, aquiring medical marijuana from a state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary or caregiver.

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
Division of Public Health
Phone: 302-744-4749
Fax: 302-739-3071
Website: Delaware Medical Marijuana Program