How Does Receiving a “Gift-With-Purchase” Get Me Weed in D.C.?

The cannabis laws in Washington D.C. at first glance are somewhat confusing. Similarly to other states that have legalized marijuana, D.C.’s laws apply to only local district laws, and unfortunately not federal regulations, meaning cannabis is still illegal in the eyes of the federal government. 

When recreational marijuana was legalized, D.C.’s laws also included a strange clause; selling cannabis is still prohibited. To cover what laws wouldn’t, a “gifting” culture was born between local enthusiasts. With this loophole, local and vacationing recreational users could purchase an assortment of random products from vendors or pop-up cannabis-oriented retailers and in return, would receive a “free” amount of marijuana as a gift.

Since there are currently only medical dispensaries and no recreational stores in Washington D.C., many residents have decided to fill the demand for recreational sales themselves. In most cases, this includes setting up a booth with other enthusiasts and selling everything from old childhood toys, to clothing and even things as small as a sticker. Befitting to the nation’s capital, there has even been political merchandise available as well. 

Another method residents have created are delivery services. These delivery services are much more convenient than stopping by a venue whenever you want to pick up some “free” weed while applying the same concept as the physical vendors for purchasing. As a delivery service, the most common items for sale that provide cannabis gifts are food. 

Baked goods, like cookies, are the most common type available, but with the current laws, practically anything that is legal to sell peer-to-peer is fair game. There are countless resources to find the locations and dates of vendors, and the contact info for a fairly large selection of delivery services. Additionally, the gifting culture in D.C. is generally open and not a secretive group, so you may even get recommendations and leads on where to go through others!

Although locals have the recreational scene in Washington D.C. thriving, there are still a few downsides to individually promoted cannabis. For example, it is recommended to find a reputable gifting service, since nearly all vendors are self-serving. In this case, this means that the lack of established recreational sales laws has come with a possible lack of standard product testing, making it nearly impossible to determine exactly what is in your cannabis before you consume it. 

Another disadvantage is strain mix-ups, where you may request a sativa, but may accidentally get an indica instead. To prevent these issues, look for reputable vendors and services, and always keep in mind that if it seems too good of a deal to be true, there’s a higher chance that it is. 

Thankfully the cases of these are small, and the recreational market has been reliable and thriving for years so far. As a general rule, looking for where to find the gifts you want is the hardest part of the cannabis search, so your first course of action is to learn more about gifting services and events near you and enjoy your free gifts!


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