This month, federal lawmakers are set to give their final approval to significant modifications to Washington DC’s medical marijuana regulations, which were evaluated on a small scale to gauge Congress’ stance on marijuana under the leadership of new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
We expect the expansion of Washington, D.C.’s cannabis industry to come into effect on March 8, in the absence of any intervention by Congress prior. With the proposed cannabis regulations, D.C. is poised to expand their medical marijuana qualification to all residents!
This means that D.C. residents will soon be able to to self-certify for medical marijuana without any specific requirements, making DC’s market very similar to recreational markets in other states, and acting as workaround due to the district not having the legal authority to make recreational cannabis legal.
Washington, D.C. is a major cultural, political, and economic center, with a population of over 700,000 people and are expanding the laws without changing the Federal law.
Instead of creating a regulated market and pushing for Federal legalization, this is just another loophole by the regulators to find a way to satisfy constituents without Federal legalization of cannabis. While it may open up more opportunities for patients to access medical marijuana, it is an example of hypocrisy of our legal system. If this passes, it will prove that even Congress does not believe in the draconian federal laws in place that outlaw cannabis.
What is the Difference in D.C. Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana is legal in Washington, D.C. for patients with qualifying medical conditions.
Patients must have a recommendation from a licensed medical professional and obtain a medical marijuana card from the District of Columbia Department of Health.
The Medical Cannabis Amendment Act was signed into law by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has opened the door to significant expansion of the current legal cannabis industry, by:
- Eliminating a cap on the number of dispensaries allowed in the district.
- Temporarily doing away with a plant-count limit for licensed cultivators.
- Legalizing delivery services.
- Allowing dispensaries to offer tastings in a consumption-lounge setting.
Legislation will go to Congress for a 30-day review under the district’s Home Rule Act. NORML reports that the expansion of DC’s cannabis industry will come into effect on March 8, in the absence of any intervention by Congress.
Proper regulations should be put into place and approved in the same manner as other regions if the Fed are unable to legalize the market nationwide.