DOVER, Del. – Delaware lawmakers are considering two pending bills that would expand access to CBD products and cannabis for medical marijuana patients in the state.
Senate Bill 170 would add anxiety to the state’s list of qualifying medical conditions and allow doctors to recommend CBD products for treatment. It was passed by the Delaware Senate on Tuesday, with two dissenting votes, and now goes to the state House of Representatives for a vote.
DelawareOnline.com quoted the main sponsor of SB 170 and Senate Majority Whip Bryan Townsend (D-Newark), “[We] wanted to make sure it was done in a way that is backed up by the medical science. The CBD-rich product focus is backed up more by the data. The effect of THC on individuals suffering from anxiety is yet to be clearly established as a positive thing.”
Currently, Delaware’s list of qualifying conditions for cannabis-based treatment includes cancer, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), epilepsy, autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior, and agitation of Alzheimer’s disease. Also on the list–wasting syndrome, intractable nausea, seizures, severe muscle spasms, and debilitating pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures.
House Bill 243 proposes to allow medical marijuana patients to grow a total of twelve plants, six mature and six immature, for personal use. Plants would be required to be housed in an enclosed, locked area, operated by the patient or designated caregiver.
HB 243’s primary sponsor Rep. Michael Smith (R-Pike Creek Valley) told Delaware Online he did not expect the bill to move forward before the summer legislative break, scheduled to start after today’s session is concluded.
Former Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat and governor from 2009 to 2017, signed medical cannabis legalization into law in Delaware, in 2011. Since then, Delaware has been slowly setting up regulatory standards and practices for the medical cannabis industry, and medical marijuana dispensaries have been slow to establish in the state’s three counties.
Markell decriminalized minor cannabis offenses in 2015.