The nation’s capital has a vibrant and unique legal cannabis market full of “ganjapreneurs.” The local cannabis ecosystem is filled with challenges for consumers, vendors, businesses and city government employees.
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Under dc cannabis decriminalization law, adults 21 and older may possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to three mature and three immature plants at home. Adults can also gift up to one ounce of marijuana. Unlike recreational marijuana in other states, however, DC still does not allow people to consume marijuana in public or in federal land (including Rock Creek Park and the National Mall), and it remains illegal to transport weed outside the District.
Medical marijuana in the District is legal for possession, cultivation, transportation and gifting. People can purchase cannabis from dispensaries after registering on a verified portal with a doctor, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner. The District has six registered dispensaries that sell a variety of cannabis products, including flowers and concentrates, as well as marijuana-related accessories and edibles.
It is imperative that the independent body that will lead the regulation and administration of equitable cannabis policy include representation from disproportionately harmed communities, particularly Black and Brown neighborhoods. The Council, Mayor and DC community should each appoint at least one member with expertise in cannabis, racial equity, social justice, law or public health to ensure the body has an effective range of perspectives. Additionally, DC should create legal spaces for social consumption to ensure that residents who rent or live in federally subsidized housing and do not have private places to consume marijuana can do so freely.