Medical Cannabis Laws in Washington, D.C.
- 1998 – Initiative 5 Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998
- Although marijuana is legal under District law, the possession of marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Marijuana prohibition is enforced on federal lands, including national parks and military property. The federal government controls about 29% of the District’s total land area, about 18 square miles (47 km2), including the National Mall, West Potomac Park, Rock Creek Park, and Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling
- Though the initiative passed with 69% of the vote in November 1998, its implementation was delayed by Congress’s passage of the Barr Amendment, which prohibited DC from using its funds in support of the program.
- 2009 – The Barr Amendment delayed the start of the medical marijuana program until it was effectively overturned in 2009, with the first DC customer legally purchasing medical cannabis at a dispensary in the District in 2013.
- 2010 – In May 2010, the Council of the District of Columbia passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana. The Congress did not overrule the measure within the 30-legislative-day period, and as a result medical cannabis became legal on January 1, 2011.
- 2011 – Medical cannabis is properly legalized in Washington.D.C.
- However, no dispensaries were open until 1st August, 2013 and no cards were issued before that date.
Telehealth for Cannabis in Washington, D.C.
Telehealth is legal for medical cannabis consultations in Washington, D.C.. You can see a compassionate and friendly medical marijuana healthcare provider online with Leafwell today.
Adult Use Marijuana / Cannabis Laws in Washington, D.C.
- 2014 – Washington D.C. Marijuana Legalization Initiative 71
- Initiative 71 permitted the use of up to two ounces of marijuana and the possession and cultivation of up to three marijuana plants.
- Congress did not allow a citizen initiative to mandate the expenditure of city funds. This prevented Initiative 71 from addressing the regulation and legalization of marijuana sales, since a regulatory system would require substantial city expenditure.
- Initiative 71 was partially overturned. Non-medical cannabis sale is still illegal in Washington, D.C., as is public consumption. Any aged under 21 is prohibited from possessing marijuana.
Washington, D.C.’s laws can be quite confusing, so here’s the essentials you need to keep in mind:
- Non-medical users cannot purchase or sell cannabis – only possess and grow. “Gifting” cannabis is also illegal.
- Only those with a valid medical marijuana card may legally purchase cannabis from a medical marijuana dispensary in Washington, D.C.
- There are no specific medical conditions that qualify for medical cannabis in Washington, D.C. – this is up to your certifying physician or healthcare provider.
- Once certified for medical marijuana in Washington, D.C., you will need to apply online to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration for your medical cannabis card. Without this, you cannot purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary in Washington, D.C.
- All cannabis sold in D.C must be grown in D.C
Benefits of having a Medical Marijuana Card Washington, D.C.
- Accessibility to medical marijuana dispensaries – no adult use sales are legally allowed as of yet.
- Washington, D.C. has medical marijuana reciprocity with other states but only if that state’s program is fully functional (i.e. with their own medical marijuana program up and running)
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis Patients in Washington, D.C.
There are no specific qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Washington, D.C. The decision as to whether a patient qualifies is based on their consultation with a qualified healthcare provider.
Medical Marijuana for Minors in Washington, D.C.
In order to qualify for medical marijuana for yourself, you must be aged 18 or over. Those who are under 18 will need to have a caregiver. The caregiver must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Only be a caregiver for a single patient – patients can only select one caregiver
- Undergo a criminal background check – those who have previous convictions for a violent offense may not be able to qualify as a caregiver
- Complete a D.C. caregiver application form and get a medical marijuana identification card
A child suffering from a debilitating, life-long and/or life-threatening condition such as autism, cancer or epilepsy may qualify for medical marijuana in Washington, D.C.
Children who are in need of medical marijuana are allowed to consume on school grounds.
Cannabis Possession Limits in Washington, D.C.
- For medical card holders = 2 oz., with a 4 oz. purchase limit
- For adult users = 2 oz.
Cannabis Cultivation Laws in Washington, D.C.
Up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants per person – both for adult use and medical marijuana patients.
Medical Cannabis Qualification and Gun Laws
At this moment in time, Washington, D.C. medical marijuana patients cannot legally own a firearm.
Medical Marijuana and Employment Laws
In 2015, the District of Columbia Council recently passed legislation to ban an employer from testing for marijuana until a conditional job offer has been made – unless otherwise required by law.
However, an employer may carry out a drug test for those who are employed. The law also allows employers to implement and enforce a workplace drug policy that includes marijuana restrictions. There is no specific legislation that protects medical marijuana patients. In such instances, it is at the employer’s discretion whether or not they wish to carry on with employing a medical marijuana patient.