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.

Delaware Governor Signs Marijuana Expungement Bill Into Law

DELAWARE: Democrat Gov. John Carney has signed legislation into law vacating past, low-level marijuana convictions.

Senate Bill 197, which took immediate effect, “provides mandatory expungement eligibility to individuals who were convicted of the possession [of one ounce or less], use or consumption of marijuana prior to Delaware’s decriminalization of these offenses.”

State lawmakers in 2015 enacted legislation reducing the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis from a criminal act to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine only – no arrest, and no criminal record.

To be eligible for expungement under the new law, the defendant must have no other criminal convictions on their record.

In recent years, lawmakers in several states – including MassachusettsMarylandOregon, and Rhode Island – have enacted similar expungement laws following the passage of either marijuana decriminalization or legalization. In California, legislation providing for mandatory expungement of past marijuana convictions is awaiting the Governor’s signature. An estimated 220,000 cases would be eligible for erasure or a reduction under the proposed California law.

According to a nationwide poll released in June, 73 percent of Americans support the enactment of legislation “to automatically seal the records of individuals convicted of crimes related to the possession of marijuana.”


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

Marijuana Legalization Could Come To These 12 States This Year

By Eric Weisbrot

Despite strong efforts to maintain the criminalization of marijuana use in the United States, many individuals and lawmakers have taken a step in the direction of legalization over the last several years. Currently, there are 29 states that allow for medical marijuana use, under particular limitations, and a smaller percentage that give residents the ability to use marijuana on a recreational basis under state law. The federal government has been slow to end prohibition of the drug, but recent research shows growing support for legalization on a state level for many reasons.

One of the strongest components of marijuana legalization support revolves around the well-documented success of states that have eliminated prohibition for residents. The states that allow for recreational use of marijuana have systems in place to ensure the tax revenue and economic growth is regulated, mostly through the use of bonding and licensing requirements for dispensaries, growers, and distributors. Based on the positive outcomes legalized states have generated, there are 12 more states considering legalizing marijuana use on some level in 2018.

Michigan: In the state of Michigan, there is a current initiative to gather the 250,000 signatures needed to include a marijuana legalization bill on the ballot in the 2018 election cycle. If approved, the bill would allow for recreational use of the drug for those over the age of 21 who are also residents of the state.

Delaware: In late 2017, a legislative task force was formed in order to analyze the impact marijuana use has on state residents from a recreational standpoint. A bill was shot down in 2017, but the hope is that an opportunity remains in 2018 after the findings of the task force are made public.

New Jersey: With a Democratic-led legislature, New Jersey is poised to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in 2018. A skyrocketing criminal justice cost along with proven racial injustices in the state are the prime motivators behind passing such legislation this year.

Vermont: A bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana was approved in Vermont in May 2017, but it was vetoed by the governor at the time. A commission tasked with studying the issues surrounding recreational marijuana use, including health concerns and driving impairment statistics, was created at that time. Based on the results of the commission’s work, legislation is set to pass in Vermont in 2018 allowing adults over the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivation of two mature plants.

Oklahoma: During either the June or November elections, Oklahoma is set to add a bill to the ballot for medical marijuana use legalization for state residents.

Ohio: Lawmakers in Ohio failed to get a bill passed to legalize recreational marijuana use in the last three years, but a ballot proposal is intended to be included during the midterm election cycle this year.

Connecticut: Thanks to local efforts from lawmakers in Harford, Connecticut legislature is set to include a statewide ballot vote for recreational marijuana legalization in November 2018.

Rhode Island: After forming a legislative commission in 2017, Rhode Island may be one of the next states to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2018. The commission sought to research the impacts of the drug on its community, based on neighboring studies in Massachusetts and Maine.

Kentucky: A bill for the legalization of medical marijuana may be on the docket in 2018 for residents of Kentucky. Although there is little support from the current governor, advocates for the drug’s medical use may beat the odds during the midterm election cycle.

Utah: Medical marijuana may be legalized in Utah, following in the footsteps of several other states nearby. The ballot for the midterm elections should include a bill for Utah voters to weigh in on in 2018.

South Dakota: South Dakota may also be close to legalizing medical marijuana, as signatures are currently being gathered for a ballot initiative slated for 2018 election inclusion.

Missouri: Similar to South Dakota, signatures are currently being collected for a medical marijuana bill in Missouri which would allow voters to make the decision in this election cycle.


Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.  

Delaware General Assembly Creates Task Force To Explore Regulating And Taxing Marijuana For Adult Use

DELAWARE: The General Assembly recently passed a concurrent resolution to create a task force that will study regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use in Delaware.

The Adult Use Cannabis Task Force “shall study adoption of a model for regulation and taxation of adult-use cannabis in Delaware, including local authority and control, consumer safety and substance abuse prevention, packaging and labeling requirements, impaired driving and other criminal law concerns, and taxation, revenue, and banking issues.” It will hold its first meeting no later than September 7, 2017, and it must report its findings and recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly by January 31, 2018.

“The General Assembly is ready to take a serious look at regulating and taxing marijuana for adult use,” said Maggie Ellinger-Locke, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “This is an opportunity for a variety of stakeholders to come together and examine every aspect of this issue. We hope it will pave the way for the General Assembly to adopt a more thoughtful approach to cannabis next session. Lawmakers can see the direction the country is moving on this issue and they know most Delaware voters support making marijuana legal for adults.”

The 23-member task force will be co-chaired by Sen. Margaret Rose Henry and Rep. Helene Keeley, Democrats who sponsored legislation this year to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol for adults 21 and older. It will also include:

•    a state senator and a state representative from the minority caucus, appointed by the Senate president and House speaker, respectively;
•    the Secretary of the Department of Finance;
•    the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;
•    the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security;
•    the Director of the Division of Public Health;
•    the Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health;
•    the State bank commissioner;
•    the Attorney General;
•    the Chief Defender, Office of Defense Services;
•    the Mayor of the City of Wilmington;
•    the Chair of the Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee;
•    a marijuana policy reform advocate and a medical marijuana industry representative, both appointed by the Governor;
•    a physician with experience recommending treatment with medical marijuana, appointed by the Medical Society of Delaware
•    the President of the Delaware League of Local Governments;
•    the Chair of the Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council;
•    the Chair of the Employer Advocacy Committee of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce;
•    a representative of AAA Mid-Atlantic; and
•    a pharmacist, appointed by the President of the Delaware Pharmacist Society.

More than 60% of Delaware voters support making marijuana legal, according to a September 2016 poll by the University of Delaware Center for Political Communication.

Delaware Executes Cannabis Tracking Contract With BioTrackTHC

DELAWARE: The State of Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), the government agency responsible for regulating the medical use of cannabis in Delaware, has executed the state’s cannabis seed-to-sale tracking and patient registry contract with BioTrackTHC.

Delaware’s stated goals for the Medical Marijuana Program include, “protect the people of Delaware by minimizing the risk of theft and diversion of marijuana to unregistered individuals,” and, “regulate the production and sale of medical grade marijuana to registered individuals.”  In pursuit of those goals, DHSS in 2016, issued a Request for Proposals for the Delaware Enterprise Consolidated Cannabis Control System, their designation for an integrated statewide seed-to-sale cannabis tracking and patient registry system.

“Our sincerest thanks to DHSS for choosing Team BioTrack,” said Patrick Vo, CEO of BioTrackTHC.  “DHSS has been wonderful to work with throughout the contracting process, and we look forward to partnering with them to provide the tools and data they need to continue overseeing the industry and protecting their patients.”

The implementation of an integrated seed-to-sale tracking and patient registry system will enable the state to keep close tabs on the activity of the Medical Marijuana Program.  Designated state officials will be able to view compassion center data—including plants counts and usable inventory, lab results, transportation, and point-of-sale data—to perform periodic audits and ensure compliance.  Additionally, the patient registry portion of the system will improve patient accessibility to the Program by automating the patient application process and decreasing application processing times.

BioTrackTHC currently has live seed-to-sale government traceability systems in WashingtonNew MexicoIllinoisHawaiiNew York; and the city of Arcata, California.

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.

Marijuana Legalization In Delaware: New Medical Dispensaries Set To Open In 2016

DELAWARE: On Dec. 2, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services began to accept proposals for nonprofit companies to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in several counties in the state, Delaware Public Media reported. The deadline is March 30 so that two centers can open by fall 2016, the Cape Gazette reported.

The revitalized program has aims to expand accessibility to medical marijuana throughout the state since its legalization in 2011 and decriminalization in June. Gov. Jack Markell had put it on hold because of pressure with the federal law that kept it illegal, according to Delaware Public Media.

It took about four years for the first pilot dispensary to open. Called the First State Compassion Center, residents lined up around the parking lot on its opening day in June, according to Delaware Online. However, there is a legal limit of 2,000 ounces kept in dispensary’s inventory, the Cape Gazette reported.

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.

 

Markell Signs Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

DELAWARE: Voting along party lines, Senate lawmakers gave final legislative approval on Thursday to a measure that decriminalizes the possession and private use of up to an ounce of marijuana, and Gov. Jack Markell almost immediately signed the legislation into law.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Helene Keeley, D-Wilmington, allows Delawareans to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and use the drug privately without facing criminal sanctions.

Criminal penalties for simple possession will be replaced with a civil $100 fine. The law takes effect six months after Markell’s signature.

An amendment discussed in committee on Wednesday, to reduce the amount of marijuana in the legislation to a half ounce, did not make it to the floor for debate. The decriminalization measure, which cleared the House earlier this month, passed despite significant opposition from police groups and from Republicans.