Hemp Producers In Delaware Must Register Growing Sites Annually

DELAWARE:  The Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) is reminding hemp producers to register their growing sites using the annual Growing Site Registration form to register available online before February 1.

Also, any individual who intends to grow, cultivate or distribute hemp, including transplants, seedlings, or clones, must apply to be a Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program Producer, with renewal required every three years. As described in the Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program Participant Guide online at https://de.gov/hemp, there are also requirements for processors and handlers.

Under the Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program, the Delaware Department of Agriculture is responsible for regulating hemp production. The Department does not have oversight of the selling of hemp products or the businesses marketing these products, including any CBD product.

In 2020, Delaware had 13 registered producers with 75 acres registered for outdoor production and 34,000 square feet of indoor production space.

As producers begin the process of applying for the first time or renewing their growing sites for 2021, DDA issued the following reminders:

  • When purchasing seed, all seed is still subject to the Federal Seed Act and Delaware Seed Law, which regulate seed tags and labeling.
  • Producers can designate one person as an Authorized Representative with authority to be present at sample collection and correspond with the Department. This person must be indicated on the Producer Application and must submit a Criminal History Report.
  • The Department requires only one Criminal History Report if applying for more than one license type. Criminal History Reports are to be submitted at the time of application or renewal and must be dated no more than four months prior.

The 2021 Delaware Domestic Hemp Production Program is fee-based as outlined in the Participant Guide and applications found online at https://de.gov/hemp. Producers, processors, and handlers who have questions about Delaware’s Domestic Hemp Production Program should email DDA_HempProgram@delaware.gov.

Delaware Attorney General Calls For Expanding Use Of Civil Penalties For Marijuana Violations

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DELAWARE: Delaware prosecutors will no longer be encouraged to pursue criminal charges against those who possess marijuana for personal use, according to guidelines issued last week by the state’s new Attorney General, Kathleen Jennings.

In a February 15th memorandum, Jennings called for sweeping changes to help prioritize resources toward the prosecution of violent criminal offenders and away from non-violent defendants. These changes include encouraging prosecutors and “police agencies to expand the use of civil citations [for] marijuana possession in lieu of criminal arrest.”

News radio station WHYY reports that the decriminalization policy will apply to possession cases involving up to 175 grams of cannabis.

Under state law, the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis is a civil violation. By contrast, offenses involving the possession of marijuana in greater amounts (between one ounce and six ounces) are classified as criminal misdemeanors — punishable by up to three months in jail and a criminal record.

The Attorney General’s actions to cease criminally prosecuting minor marijuana possession offenses are similar to steps recently taken by municipal law enforcement officials in other states, including BaltimoreSt. Louis, and Philadelphia.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500, or visit Delaware NORML.

Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect In Delaware

DELAWARE: Delaware has officially decriminalized possession by adults of small amounts of marijuana.

A decriminalization law signed in June by Gov. Jack Markell took effect early Friday morning.

The law makes possession by an adult of a “personal use” quantity of marijuana, defined as an ounce or less, a civil offense punishable by a fine of $100. Simple possession remains a criminal offense for anyone under 18. For those between the ages of 18 and 21, a first offense will result in a civil penalty, but any subsequent offense would be a misdemeanor.

Delaware’s First Medical Cannabis Clinic Opens

DELAWARE:  Delaware‘s first medical marijuana dispensary opened Friday to a line of patients extending out the clinic’s front door and a hundred feet along its parking lot.

The First State Compassion Center at 37 Germay Drive near Wilmington cultivates and sells cannabis for patients registered with the state Department of Health and Social Services.

Bill Coleman, a food sales representative from Harrington, drove more than 60 miles to purchase cannabis at the center Friday morning. Coleman said he previously would buy pot on the street for his chronic pain.

 

Delaware House OKs Marijuana Decriminalization

DELAWARE: Delaware House lawmakers on Tuesday approved legislation that would treat simple marijuana possession and personal use by adults like a traffic violation, replacing criminal penalties with civil fines.

The bill passed the House by a 24-14 vote, and now heads to the Senate.  Gov. Jack Markell supports decriminalization. No House Republicans voted in favor of the legislation on Tuesday.

Some opponents said decriminalization would embolden drug dealers operating in a black market. Others say it could prevent police from initiating important searches on suspicion of simple marijuana possession.

Delaware Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana Regulations

DELAWARE:  The state House has approved a bill updating regulations regarding Delaware’s medical marijuana program.

The legislation passed unanimously with no debate Tuesday. It now goes to the governor, and defines the membership of a nine-member oversight committee that will evaluate and make recommendations regarding implementation of the program.

Under the bill, which passed the Senate earlier this year, two members of the committee will be medical professionals with experience in medical marijuana issues, and three will be individuals who have qualified to use medical marijuana.

Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Introduced

DELAWARE:  Delawareans caught with an ounce or less of marijuana would face just civil fines, not a criminal record, under decriminalization legislation introduced Thursday by a Wilmington lawmaker in the state House of Representatives.

Rep. Helene Keeley, the south Wilmington Democrat, said state residents should not have trouble getting a job, or finding financial aid for college, simply because they were busted with a small amount of pot.

The legislation, House Bill 39, would treat simple possession of the drug, and private use, like a traffic ticket. Selling the drug, and also possessing marijuana with an intent to sell, would remain criminal offenses.

“There’s definitely a generational shift going on here,” Keeley said in a Thursday interview.

Problems Ahead For Marijuana Reform

DELAWARE:  Any way you look at it, marijuana will be big in news in 2015. After all, 2014 was a good year for proponents of legalization with victories at the ballot box in several states and in Congress. The year was so good for marijuana that Delaware will finally open a long-awaited medical marijuana dispensary. In addition, the Delaware General Assembly is expected to at least decriminalize marijuana possession in the state. Possession of marijuana may finally be almost a non-criminal act in 2015.

However, 2014 ended with an ominous legal action that could not only set back the legalization movement, but could create feuds between the states that could spread to other topics and put a greater emphasis on the difference between red and blue states.

Nebraska and Oklahoma have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to force the federal government to enforce U.S. laws. The sale and possession of marijuana is still illegal in the United States no matter what Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon say. Nebraska and Oklahoma allege that Colorado’s 2012 legalization of marijuana sales has created a cross-border drug problem for them. Colorado, the lawsuit claims, is allowing Nebraska and Oklahoma residents buy marijuana in bulk there and then resell it in the neighboring states. Under the U.S. Constitution, states can go directly to the Supreme Court to settle arguments against with each other. So, if the court takes the case, we may see the Supreme Court having a say in whether you can smoke pot or not.

Delaware Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Continues

DELAWARE:  A Delaware judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against a lobbyist and former aide to U.S. Sen. Tom Carper who was chosen to operate Delaware’s first medical marijuana dispensary.

Vice Chancellor John Noble on Friday refused to dismiss a complaint against First State Compassion Center and Mark Lally.

Former Lewes city councilman A. Judson Bennett claims in the lawsuit that Lally breached an agreement to help Bennett seek a medical marijuana license and instead began working for a rival group.

State officials last month finalized a contract with First State to operate Delaware’s medical marijuana dispensary. First State is linked to Massachusetts-based Sigal Consulting, which specializes in developing medical marijuana operations.

 

Delaware Judge Mulls Medical Marijuana Suit

DELAWARE:  A Delaware judge is mulling whether to dismiss a lawsuit against a lobbyist who once worked for U.S. Sen. Tom Carper in a dispute over who should be allowed to operate Delaware’s first medical marijuana dispensary.

The judge heard arguments Monday on Mark Lally’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit but did not indicate when he would rule.

State officials, meanwhile, are continuing to negotiate a contract with Lally, president of First State Compassion Center, after he submitted the top bid for the medical marijuana operation.