Delaware: Governor Signs Measure Amending Cannabis Penalties for Minors

Governor John Carney (D) signed legislation into law on September 17, 2021 amending marijuana possession penalties for those under the age of 21.

House Bill 241 allows law enforcement to refer a juvenile to counseling, treatment, or other appropriate intervention services in lieu of a monetary fine. It amends a 2019 law that reduced first-time marijuana possession offenses by juveniles from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil violation, punishable by a $100 fine.

The bill also removes a provision requiring monetary marijuana penalties to double if unpaid after 90 days.

HB 241 took immediate effect. The measure was overwhelmingly approved by the legislature in June.

Gov. Carney also signed separate legislation into law in June that facilitates patients’ access to medical cannabis products by expanding the pool of health care practitioners eligible to provide authorizations.

Lawmakers also considered House Bill 150 this legislative session, which would legalize and regulate marijuana sales for adults. The measure failed to receive a vote on the House floor where it would need a supermajority of votes to pass. Further consideration on the bill is expected in 2022.