Recreational Marijuana Legalized in Delaware

Author: Emily Scace, XpertHR Legal Editor

April 27, 2023

Delaware has become the 22nd state to legalize recreational marijuana, following the passage of a pair of bills that Gov. John Carney opposed but ultimately opted not to veto. Effective immediately, adults 21 and older may possess small quantities of marijuana for personal recreational use.

Like many of the other states that have legalized recreational cannabis, Delaware's House Bill 2 does not alter employers' ability to conduct drug testing, implement drug-free workplace policies or impose disciplinary consequences for employees' use of recreational marijuana.

Employers may also prohibit or regulate the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation or growing of marijuana on their premises.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Delaware since 2011, and the legalization bills do not amend any rights or privileges associated with medical use.

Although the medical marijuana law does not require an employer to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace or to allow an employee to be under the influence of marijuana on the job, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on:

  • Their status as a registered medical marijuana patient or caregiver; or
  • A registered medical marijuana patient's positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the person used, possessed or was impaired by marijuana at work or during work hours.