Disclaimer: The information below is fully based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state.
Over the past few years, cannabidiol, a nonintoxicating cannabinoid found in both marijuana plants and industrial hemp, has surged in popularity. Many people, including individuals in Delaware, have explored the cannabinoid’s potential to help with conditions that can include arthritis, back pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression and chronic stress.
CBD is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana after THC and research continues into its potential benefits. But, because of its association with marijuana, many people are concerned with whether it is legal to buy or use CBD. Until recently, many laws could be contradictory or unclear. However, new federal legislation has clarified CBD’s legal status. Wondering “is CBD legal in Delaware?” This is the latest on what we’ve learned.
Is CBD oil legal in Delaware?
Yes, CBD is legal within the state of Delaware. Hemp-based CBD products that contain less than the federally mandated .3% THC can be purchased throughout the state. There is no age limit to purchase hemp-based CBD. There are also no quantity limits for possession.
Individuals who have medical ID cards can also buy marijuana-based CBD products in Delaware. These products can include both high THC and low THC CBD products.
There is now also a special medical designation for people who suffer from anxiety and wish to use CBD for treatment. Marijuana-based CBD is available to people with approved anxiety disorders and can be purchased at dispensaries within the state.
In the state of Delaware, hemp is considered an agricultural commodity and classified as a grain. Registered produces, processors and handlers ca work with hemp products in the state.
What are the current CBD laws in Delaware?
Currently, CBD is legal in Delaware. Hemp-based CBD is regulated under state law as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill. Marijuana-based CBD can be acquired by certain individuals with covered medical conditions who register for medical marijuana cards.
Delaware’s medical marijuana program started with the passage of the Medical Marijuana Law, Title 16, Ch 49A. Governor Jack Markell signed the legislation into law in May 2011. Under the law, patients who are aged 18 or over and suffer from certain debilitating or serious conditions can possess up to six ounces of cannabis. Qualifying conditions under the law include conditions that cause intractable nausea, severe pain or seizures, Alzheimer’s disease, post traumatic stress disorder, cancer and other illnesses. The first medical marijuana clinic opened up in the state in June 2015. However, compassionate care clinics have been slow to open in the state, and may individuals still have to drive great distances to access medical marijuana. As a result, many individuals report either driving to other states to acquire medical marijuana or relying on street sources.
Governor Markell further liberalized marijuana laws in the state in June 2015, when he signed legislation into law that would decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana. Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana by adults over the age of 21 is now a civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine. The law still labeled it a misdemeanor for minors under the age of 21 to possess marijuana. However, in 2019, the bill was expanded so that possession of marijuana by minors was also decriminalized.
When marijuana was made illegal federally in 1937, the law did not distinguish between high-THC cannabis and low-THC industrial hemp. As a result, the cultivation of both were outlawed. However, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 separated hemp from marijuana and reclassified the plant as an agricultural commodity on a federal level. The act also removed hemp’s Schedule 1 designation and created a legal distinction between marijuana and hemp. This is because hemp naturally contains less than .3% intoxicating THC. However, it still contains significant quantities of CBD. The Farming Act allowed for states to each regulate their own industrial hemp programs and determine how hemp cultivation, processing and sales will work in the state.
Hemp cultivation first was legalized in Delaware under a pilot program as part of House Bill 385 in 2014. Under this law, informed by the 2014 Farm Bill, industrial hemp was permitted to be cultivated and processed for research purposes. For the purposes of the law, hemp was defined as cannabinoids, seeds, extracts and derivatives that contained no more than .3% THC on a dry weight basis.
The law was expanded in 2018 when Senate Bill 266 was passed several months before the federal 2018 Farm Bill. This bill allowed Delaware’s Department of Agriculture to regulate hemp and adopt and change laws to align with federal laws. This law made it possible for Delaware to allow the cultivation of hemp once federal law caught up.
Delaware now allows licensed individuals and companies to grow, process, handle and sell hemp products in the state, including CBD. Growers must have a sample of their hemp crop tested within 15 days of harvest to ensure that it contains the allowed limits of THC. Processors who make hemp products and handlers who store or deliver hemp to processors must also register with the state. There is currently no permit required to sell hemp products in retail locations.
Hemp-based CBD can be sold legally throughout the state in a number of forms. It must be properly labeled to show that it contains CBD. CBD products cannot make any health or nutritional claims.
The one exception to legal hemp-based CBD products is edible products. Under federal law, hemp and CBD cannot be added to food or beverage. Delaware’s laws currently conform with federal law and the sale of edible such as CBD brownies or smoothies is prohibited.
In July, 2020, state Governor John Carney signed new legislation into law allowing registered patients to purchase marijuana-derived CBD products for the treatment of anxiety. Under the law, to qualify as “low-THC” cannabis-derived CBD must contain at least 15% CBD and less than 7% THC.
Can I purchase CBD in Delaware?
Yes, you can purchase CBD in Delaware. There are no age restrictions on who can buy hemp-based CBD products in the state. CBD products are available at specialized retail outlets, natural food stores, drug stores and convenience stores in Delaware.
Additionally, you can legally purchase hemp-based CBD products online in Delaware and have them shipped to you. Many people opt to buy CBD online because they are able to access more vendors and find a wider array of products. Buying online also allows people more control over the testing of the CBD products that they purchase and sometimes the ability to get better prices than they might find locally.
Marijuana-based CBD products are available at dispensaries to those who have covered conditions and who have registered for medical marijuana cards. People who suffer from anxiety can get a specialized medical marijuana card that allows them to buy marijuana-based high-CBD, low-THC products.