Status: In Washington DC, all individuals ages 21 years and older may posess and use marijuana. Qualified patients may posess, use, and access medical marijuana. State-licensed organizations may grow, process, and dispense marijuana for medical purposes only.
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Number of Washington DC Licenses Available
Washington D.C. Medical Marijuana Cultivation License Guidelines
A cultivation license is required to grow and process marijuana for medical purposes.
Cultivation centers may distribute medical marijuana to registered dispensaries for medical purposes. Marijuana may be distributed in any form deemed safe which allows patients to eat, inhale, or otherwise use medical marijuana. Medical marijuana shall be subject to testing for quality assurance and safety purposes.
The District of Columbia currently is not accepting applications for cultivation licenses.
Washington D.C. Medical Marijuana Dispensary License Guidelines
A dispensary license is required for the legal sale of medical marijuana to qualified patients.
Dispensaries centers may dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients in any form deemed safe which allows patients to eat, inhale, or otherwise use medical marijuana for medical purposes. Medical marijuana shall be subject to testing for quality assurance and safety purposes.
The District of Columbia currently is not accepting applications for dispensary licenses.
The History of Washington DC Marijuana
In 1998, Initiative 59 was approved by voters, legalizing medical marijuana for qualified patients in Washington D.C. The medical marijuana program’s implementation was delayed until 2009, and the first legal sale of medical marijuana didn’t take place until 2013.
On November 4, 2014, Washington DC legalized recreational marijuana when voters approved Initiative 71. Although the recreational use and possession of marijuana for individuals 21 years and older is legal in D.C., the law does not allow for the licensing of retail marijuana establishments or a system to regulate and tax marijuana products. Only medical marijuana establishments have been licensed to grow, manufacture, or sell marijuana products legally.
As of March 2017, five cultivation centers and three dispensaries were awarded licenses to grow and sell marijuana and are currently operational. The Department of Health regulates the marijuana program and will announce if or when they deem necessary to reopen the application process to add to the existing facilities.
Mayor Muriel Bowser has launched a campaign called Safe Cannabis DC to promote a petition for the Safe Cannabis Sales Act 2019. The Act builds on Initiative 71 by seeking to establish legal sales of recreational marijuana across Washington, D.C. and to introduce an effective tax regime. It would require residents to be at least 21 years old to purchase cannabis, and they would be allowed up to an ounce per day of flower or 5g of concentrate, with limits also placed on edibles and liquids.