Delaware Introduces A Merit-Based Cannabis Licensing Process

The First State Strays From Neighboring Cannabis Programs

In May of 2024, Delaware is slated to use a merit-based application process to issue 60 cultivation licenses, 30 processor licenses and 30 retail licenses. With neighboring states being further along in the licensing process, many potential applicants are leaning on sources from those states to prepare for the Delaware process. But, be cautious, this will be a totally different process than we’ve seen in other mid-Atlantic states. 


New Legal Cannabis State, New  License Application Process

While each state scrambled to get the perfect application process, it’s clear that each state strived to make their own, different application process. New Jersey implemented a rolling application process with no set limit to the total number of licenses. While receiving a conditional license in New Jersey is as simple as filling in the correct information, converting to an operating license is a process, not a contest.  To date, New Jersey has issued over 1,700 conditional licenses, but let’s be realistic, New Jersey has set up a process where everybody gets a trophy but that doesn’t mean they’ll ever get up and running.

We’re expecting New York to be similar. New York has an application portal that asks a series of yes/no questions and requires certain documents to confirm answers. New York does not require any written narratives, business experience of team, operating details, or proof of funds in the initial application. We expect this to come later, before licensees officially get up and running.

By contrast, Maryland is using a “qualified” lottery where any applicant that meets the base criteria gets put into a random drawing for available licenses. While there will be a limited number of licenses available, they will be awarded at random.

Delaware’s Application Process Will Be No Easy Feat

There is a huge difference between applying in a non-competitive state like New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and most other adult use states, and applying in a competitive process. Delaware will be a highly competitive, merit-based process with far more applications submitted than available licenses.  In other competitive states we have seen a 10 to 1 ratio between submissions and available licenses. If Delaware follows suit, you will need to score in the top 10% to secure a license. The difference between participating in an open application process and competing in a competitive process is as different as attending an NFL football game and playing in one. To be completive takes an in-depth understanding of the rules, planning, strategy, and execution.  Anybody who hasn’t done it in a competitive process is playing in their rookie game.

The Right Resources: Key To Delaware Cannabis Licensure

Assembling the resources for a competitive application is a complex task.  Delaware will likely require a significant amount of information about your team, your property, and your operating plans. These plans will need to adhere specifically to Delaware’s regulations and sometimes local regulations.  To write these plans takes an in-depth understanding of all the regulations combined with extensive industry knowledge of how to execute successfully within the specific regulatory framework.  Beyond the knowledge it takes strategy and execution.  What is going to set you apart from all the others with good plans?


Combat the Competition With Canna Advisors

Having worked successfully with cannabis clients for over a decade, spanning 38 states, Canna Advisors is the leading cannabis industry expert when it comes to securing competitive cannabis business licenses.  No other cannabis consulting firm can match Canna Advisors longevity, and track record of success.

If you are thinking about, or already preparing, to apply in Delaware, send us a message.  We can provide insight into the process based on real world experience of what it takes to be successful. You only get one shot at winning.  Make it count.

Related Posts


Boulder, CO



Keep In Touch

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.