Delaware Adult-Use Cannabis Business Opportunities

Delaware Adult-Use Cannabis Bills Have Passed

Cannabis License Application Planning Starts Now


After the the Delaware legislature approved two bills, HB 1 and HB2, to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis, Governor John Carney allowed the bills to make it into law without his signature. After stalling out in the 2022 session, the bills passed the Senate with 16-4 and 15-5 votes and recent polls show that 61% of Delaware residents support legalization of adult-use. With strong support and interest from residents, Delaware stands to become a strong adult-use market as it becomes the 22nd state with recreational cannabis approval.


Start Developing Your Cannabis Business Plan


While some details are yet to be worked out, we do know enough specifics from the current level of regulations to get a jump start on foundational elements for adult-use license applications. Business planning and financial modeling is an important early step in being prepared for applying for a license. From working with clients in 39 states, our team of license application experts is uniquely positioned to point you in the right direct while others wait. This will be a scored, competitive licensing process, so start now to get a jump on the competition.

Contact our cannabis license consultants now to start developing your business and planning for a license win.

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How to Apply for a Cannabis License in Delaware

Cannabis Licenses and regulation would be the responsibility of the Delaware Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement through a new Office of Marijuana Control Commissioner.

Regulators can approve and issue up to 30 new retail cannabis licenses for the first 16 months of implementing Delaware's adult-use program.

HB2 includes a $5,000 application fee for adult-use licenses and includes scoring criteria.


Priority License Application Scoring


Applicants who show that they would provide the following employee benefits and considerations would be prioritized in the license scoring process:

  • A living wage
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Sick and paid leave
  • Focus on diversity in hiring



Types of Adult-Use Licenses in Delaware


In additional to conventional retail, cultivator, manufacturer and laboratory licenses, the framework provides for social equity and microbusiness licenses.

Microbusiness licenses are reserved for applicants with majority ownership by Delaware residents.

Localities would be able to prohibit marijuana businesses from operating in their area through ordinance.

What is the Cannabis License Timeline in Delaware?

This scored, competitive licensing process in Delaware will roll out in phases.

HB2 states that these key points in the timeline:

Beginning 13 months after the effective date of the related act, the Commissioner shall start accepting license applications.

Beginning 14 months after the effective date, start issuing licenses

Beginning 15 months after the effective date, issue the following number and types of licenses:

May 2024: Applications accepted for adult-use cultivation licenses

  • 20 open licenses and 10 social equity licenses for small/microbusiness ¬†cultivations (2,500 sq ft or less)
  • 20 open licenses and 10 social equity licenses for larger cultivations (more than 2,500 sq ft)

August 2024: Applications accepted for adult-use processors/manufacturers

  • 10 open licenses¬†
  • 10 social equity licenses
  • 10 micro processors

November 2024: Applications accepted for retailers/dispensaries and testing facilities

  • 15 open retailer licenses
  • 15 social equity retailers
  • 3 open testing licenses
  • 2 social equity testing licenses

Apply For A Delaware Cannabis License

Our East Coast cannabis consultants have seasoned expertise and a best-in-class record to help build your application and secure your Delaware license.


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