Delaware Marijuana Business Licenses

Medical Marijuana in Delaware

The state formally passed medical cannabis legalization in 2011, with the passing of SB 17, The Medical Marijuana Act, providing access to medical marijuana for patients with a qualifying medical condition to possess up to six (6) ounces of marijuana that they have purchased from a licensed dispensary. As of today, there are seven (7) operational Compassionate Care Centers in the state of Delaware. However, it took four (4) years since the passage of SB 17 until the first Compassionate Care Center was awarded licensure.

Recreational Use of Marijuana in Delaware

On April 21st, 2023, Delaware became the 22nd state to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult use with the passage of House Bill 1 and House Bill 2. HB 1 legalized possession of up to one (1) ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older, whereas HB 2 set forth the regulatory framework and tax for adult-use cannabis sales in Delaware. The newly established Office of Marijuana Control Commissioner, under the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement (DATE), will be responsible for regulating the market.

Type of Adult-Use Licenses & Fees

  • Open Licenses:
    • Retail Marijuana Store
      • License fee: $10,000 (Biennial)
    • Marijuana Testing Facility
      • License fee: $10,000 (Biennial)
    • Marijuana Cultivation Facility
      • License fee: determined by canopy $5,000 – $10,000 (Biennial)
      • Three (3) tiers
    • Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facility
      • License fee: $10,000 (Biennial)
  • Social Equity Applicants of “Open Licenses”
    • Application fee: $1,000
    • License fee: Reduced by 40%
  • Microbusiness
    • ONLY Social Equity and Microbusinesses will be able to apply for a Conditional License, so they can have additional time acquiring a property.
      • Application fee: $3,000
      • License fee: Reduced by 40%

Upcoming Applications for Adult-Use Marijuana Business Licenses

The Office of the Marijuana Commissioner announced the anticipated timeline for the Office to begin accepting applications for adult-use marijuana businesses starting September 1, 2024.


  • Regulation Adoption: July 2024
  • Begin Accepting Applications: September 1, 2024
  • Issue Cultivation Licenses: November 1, 2024
  • Issue Manufacturing Licenses: December 1, 2024
  • Issue Retail & Testing Facility Licenses: March 1, 2025

All license types will have caps on how many the Department may award, as well as further saving a certain number of each license type for Social Equity Applicants. A “social equity applicant” is a Delaware resident applicant who either is: 51% ownership & control by an individual(s) who have resided for a minimum of 5 years of the preceding 10 years in a disproportionately impacted area; OR 51% ownership & control by an individual(s) who were convicted of or adjudicated delinquent of any marijuana related offenses (with some exceptions) OR is married/ child of a person who was convicted of or adjudicated delinquent of a marijuana offense.

The following license caps are as follows:

  • Cultivation: 60
    • Facility less than 2,500 sf.
      • 20 microbusinesses
      • 10 social equity licenses
    • Facility more than 2,500 sf.
      • 20 open licenses
      • 10 social equity licenses
    • Product Manufacturing: 30
      • 10 open licenses
      • 10 social equity licenses
      • 10 microbusinesses
    • Retail Stores: 30
      • 15 open licenses
      • 15 social equity licenses
    • Testing Facility: 5
      • 3 open licenses
      • 2 social equity licenses

Generally, all license applications will require at a minimum: (i) comprehensive business plan, including an annual budget and pro forma financial statements; (ii) the experience, training, and expertise of the applicant and managing officers; (iii) plans for safety, security, and the prevention of diversion; and (iv) plans for operations, training, and staffing.

Now is the time to work with a Team of experts to become one of the 1st adult-use marijuana businesses in the state of Delaware! Contact us today to discuss your options.

Last Updated: May 31st, 2024

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