After more than three years and numerous delays, Delaware’s first pilot medical marijuana dispensary has finally been approved! On Monday, August 11, the Department of Health and Social Services finalized a two-year agreement with the aptly named First State Compassion Center. The center will be located at an industrial park on the outskirts of Wilmington, and will begin growing medical marijuana this fall.
This is great news for patients who have been patiently waiting for legal access to their medicine. But a single dispensary, limited to growing 150 plants, will not be able to serve all of Delaware’s patients. If you are a Delaware resident, please remind the governor that more compassion centers are needed to provide reasonable access to the state’s most seriously ill residents.
Medical marijuana was legalized in the First State in 2011, when Gov. Jack Markell signed S.B. 17 into law. The law required one dispensary per county. However, implementation was stalled in early 2012 when Gov. Markell received a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office threatening federal intervention. In 2013, the governor finally agreed to move forward with a single pilot center, and a limit of 150 plants per dispensary. Shortly afterwards, federal policy relaxed, meaning there is no reason not to fully implement Delaware’s compassionate medical marijuana law.