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In Delaware, the Office of Medical Marijuana (OMM) is responsible for overseeing the licensing of cannabis businesses and managing the medical marijuana card program for patients. The OMM evaluates and approves licensing applications from prospective cannabis business owners, in addition to managing the program for medical marijuana patients.

The process of opening a cannabis dispensary in Delaware can be intricate and involves adhering to state regulations, obtaining relevant licenses and permits, and developing a sound business plan. With cannabis laws continuously evolving throughout the United States, numerous entrepreneurs aspire to venture into this swiftly expanding industry.

In Delaware, there are three types of dispensary licenses available for cannabis businesses:

1. Compassion Center: This license is issued to dispensaries allowed to cultivate, process, and sell medical marijuana to registered patients in Delaware.
2. Standalone Dispensary: This license is issued to dispensaries that only sell medical marijuana to registered patients in the state but are not allowed to cultivate or process it.
3. Testing Facility: This license is issued to laboratories that test cannabis products for safety and potency, as required by state regulations.

Opening a dispensary in Delaware can be quite expensive, as applicants are obliged to pay a bi-annual, non-refundable license application fee of $5,000. If certified, they must also pay a bi-annual license fee of $40,000. The total cost of opening a dispensary in Delaware is estimated to range from $500,000 to $1 million or more, contingent on various business-specific factors.

To take advantage of this new and promising market, contact a PayRio representative today to learn about our payment processing solutions for your Delaware cannabusiness.


Delaware has a limited history with cannabis legalization. In 2011, the state passed a medical cannabis law, which allowed for the use of cannabis for certain medical conditions with a doctor’s recommendation. However, the implementation of the program was delayed by regulatory challenges and legal disputes, leading to a slow rollout of medical cannabis sales. The first medical marijuana clinic in Delaware opened in Wilmington in June 2015.

Between 2017 and today, there were several attempts to legalize recreational marijuana. These bills failed to recieve the required number of votes in the Delaware legislature. During May 2022, the Delaware General Assembly passed a bill legalizing cannabis for recreational use, however, the bill was vetoed by the state’s governor, John Carney, on May 24th of the same year.

As of April 2023, Delaware has become the 22nd state to legalize recreational marijuana, following the lead of its neighboring states who have recently taken similar steps. Delaware’s cannabis policy has been shaped by its proximity to neighboring states that have also legalized cannabis, such as New Jersey and Maryland.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.