Starting a cannabis company in Delaware? We’ve put together a state-specific guide covering everything from available license types to fees, regulations, and what you should include in a Delaware cannabis business plan. Jump to a section by clicking below, or go straight to our sample cannabis business plan.
Since SB 17 passed in 2011, Delaware adults can possess up to 6 ounces of cannabis if they have a certification from a doctor. More than 16,000 patients have registered for medical marijuana use. Growing marijuana at home is illegal, as is recreational use. The state’s not-for-profit dispensaries are called “compassion centers,” and sales at Delaware’s compassion centers could be as high as $70 million in 2021.
Delaware issues licenses for two broad categories of medical cannabis businesses: “compassion centers” (dispensaries) and “safety compliance facilities” (testing labs).
Compassion centers: These are vertically integrated not-for-profit businesses that grow, process, and sell medicinal cannabis to patients. In Delaware, licensed compassion centers can also manufacture, transport, and deliver marijuana. Products may include items like edibles, capsules, and oils.
Safety compliance facility: Consumers and regulators alike demand consistency and quality control in cannabis products, which creates demand for marijuana testing labs. These labs use methods like liquid or gas chromatography to analyze products for CBD and THC content, pesticides, terpenes, bacteria, fungi, and heavy metals, to name a few. Safety compliance facilities in Delaware may also train others on security, cultivation, packaging, and more.
Ancillary business: If you don’t want to grow, test, or sell cannabis in Delaware, there are plenty of other ways to be part of the state’s cannabis industry. You can create a marijuana app, payment processing service, advertising agency, consulting firm, pest management product, accounting firm, automated plant watering system, security service, packaging labeling service, or legal firm--and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Local governments may forbid cannabis companies or certain locations, so check city and county regulations.
Application fees: Applying for a cannabis business license in Delaware costs $5,000.
License fees: It’s $40,000 for a medical marijuana business license in Delaware.
Tracking: You must use the state-mandated seed-to-sale inventory tracking system for cannabis, which is BioTrackTHC (more info here).
Background check: Owners, board members, and employees have to undergo a criminal background check and must not been convicted of an excluded felony offense or drug misdemeanor within the last five years. An excluded felony is a violent crime or controlled substance-related crime.
A business plan is not required to get a medical marijuana business license in Delaware, but it will certainly make the process easier. Your application already has to include details on your location, proposed bylaws, production methods, and your management team’s qualifications and expertise, some of which naturally overlap with a business plan. And if you plan on raising funding from investors, you definitely need a business plan.
Here’s what an Delaware marijuana business plan should include:
Delaware cities and towns are still in the process of determining their cannabis regulations. Google your city or municipality name and “cannabis regulations” or “marijuana laws” . If your city or municipality’s website doesn’t have information about cannabis, check recent local news coverage or contact your city clerk, city manager, or town hall.
Confused or overwhelmed yet? That’s normal. With such a highly regulated industry, and one with different rules in every state, starting a cannabis company can be very complex. Get help with your cannabis business plan from Masterplans, the industry leaders. We’ve worked with hundreds of cannabis entrepreneurs like yourself to create investor-ready documents and presentations so you can not only meet regulations but get the funding you need. Click below for your free, confidential consultation: