We compiled a list of resources around the city to help you navigate the cannabis community. We have frequently asked questions, legal recommendations and quick links to the DC sites. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions or comments
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When Washington D.C.’s voter approved initiative, Initiative 71, passed in November 2014, it became legal for individuals to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use. There are specific nuances to D.C.’s laws, however, that make getting weed a bit more complicated.
While Initiative 71 allows you to possess small amounts of cannabis legally, it remains illegal to “sell” weed in the District. Adults over the age of 21 are legally allowed, however, to “gift” another person (who is also 21 and up) up to two ounces of flower or equivalent edibles or concentrates.
The creative “workaround” to DC’s prohibition on the sale of cannabis is, naturally, to sell something else and give the buyer a “gift” of cannabis. These purchases are often stickers, baseball cards, comic books, T-shirts, motivational speeches, raffle tickets, and other items of value that come with a “free gift” of flower, edibles or concentrates.
As mentioned in the FAQ above, because it isn’t technically legal to “sell” cannabis in DC. There are a few dispensaries in the district, but they serve those who have been prescribed marijuana for medical conditions. Dispensaries often have higher prices than the recreational market, so it isn’t uncommon for medical marijuana patients to use delivery services or events to get their products.
Instead, non-medical marijuana consumers can purchase other products and receive their “gifts” through events around the city or through delivery services.
At DCWeedEvents.com, we constantly feature the most up-to-date upcoming events so you’ll know where to go to find the products you’re looking for. We also feature the best delivery services to let you know who has the best weed in town and how you can reach them.
Our goal is to connect you to the best weed events and delivery services that D.C. has to offer.
Our team are all D.C. natives who have been a part of this community since before Initiative 71 ever passed. We’re passionate about cannabis and our tight-knit community here in D.C. We launched this site to help locals and tourists alike stay in-the-know on where to get weed, as well as to meet and connect with other like-minded individuals in our great city.
Yes. Under Initiative 71, adults who are 21 years old and older can grow their own marijuana at home. Residents are legally allowed to cultivate up to six plants, but only three at a time can be mature. It is only legal to grow plants at a private residence.
Both seeds and immature plants can be “gifted” to another adult. The same rules apply in this circumstance…people could purchase another item and receive a gift of the immature plant or seeds in return. It’s important to be aware of these rules if you’re a resident of Washington D.C. who is looking to grow their own cannabis at home.
Although it is legal to possess small amounts of marijuana, there are still some ways you could get in trouble here in D.C. For one, the law limits individuals to only two ounces, so if you have more than that, you could still be arrested and charged with possession.
Also, because it is illegal to sell marijuana, you could be arrested if you are caught selling it. The ecosystem for selling marijuana in D.C. in this gray area has led to some issues with the police (read this interesting CNBC article to learn more), but in general, it is working well for those who are a part of our vibrant cannabis culture here in the District.
Unfortunately, no. While D.C. is one of only a few states that has legalized the possession of marijuana, there are still restrictions in place on where you can consume it. You are legally allowed to use marijuana in your home or on private property. You can’t use it in any public space (like parks, for example), or else you will be in violation of the law.
Also, because marijuana is illegal at the federal level, you can’t possess or consume it on any federal lands. Much of the District is conside
Washington DC has medical cannabis dispensaries throughout the city, which have been around since 2010. These dispensaries are operated by licensed vendors to sell medical cannabis to those with a medical card who are legally permitted to purchase cannabis for medical purposes. Since the cannabis industry is clouded with stigma and controversy, the banking industry makes it difficult for cannabis vendors to establish certain lending and payment systems.
Cannabis is still illegal under federal law, and as such, banks and credit unions are often hesitant to get involved in cannabis businesses. The federal government oversees banks in the country, so it’s easy to see how this would create a sticky situation. This scenario has created economic challenges for both banks and cannabis businesses. Major credit card networks don’t permit cannabis vendors to use their credit cards for the purpose of collecting payments on cannabis products. It really all comes down to cannabis’ status on a federal level. Until it becomes legal on a federal level, cash will likely be the predominant way that cannabis will be paid for. As such, cannabis is typically purchased using cash, though some dispensaries in the DC area may accept credit cards.
Medical cannabis dispensaries in DC may offer a few different products, including buds, vapes, topicals, edibles, and tinctures. The type of product that you choose will depend on what you are seeking medical cannabis for. For instance, localized pain as a result of arthritis or acute injury may be dealt with by using topical cannabis products that can be rubbed in directly at the site of discomfort. Vapes, tinctures, and edibles may also be used for chronic pain, but can also be used to treat anxiety, stress, inflammation, seizures, and other ailments.
Further, certain types of cannabis products may take longer to take effect than others, with effects that may also last longer, too. For instance, vaping cannabis products can take effect faster because of the cannabinoids’ higher bioavailability, which means they do not have to be digested before they enter the bloodstream. Hence, they take effect faster. Edibles, on the other hand, must be digested first before they enter the blood and take effect. As such, the cannabinoids in the cannabis product may take longer before any effects are felt. However, the effects may last even longer. It’s advised to seek the advice of an experienced physician as well as the recommendations of the professionals who work behind the counters at dispensaries.
In order to shop at a medical cannabis dispensary in DC, you must be a registered medical patient. That means you will only be able to shop if you have been granted a medical card. Dispensaries in the capital may also sell to those with a medical card from 16 other states as well. Dispensaries typically have security that will check for ID prior to allowing patrons to enter in order to ensure that all those entering the facility are of legal age and have the necessary identification to show that they are legally permitted to purchase and possess medical cannabis.
Staff at these dispensaries are knowledgeable in the products offered and can help you determine which product is best for you. They will point you to various medical cannabis products that are each designed to help alleviate symptoms associated with various ailments. While some dispensaries may accept credit cards, most tend to deal with cash transactions. Further, you will not be allowed to consume your cannabis on site, but instead must wait until you are on a private property before consuming your cannabis product. That means you cannot consume the product on the sidewalk outside the dispensary or in your car as you drive home. The product must be consumed either in your own home or the private home of someone else.
Cannabis is legal to be used both for recreational and medical purposes in Washington DC. But the way in which it’s obtained matters.
There are three main types of cannabis; indica, sativa, or hybrid. Indica strains are sedative in nature, and ideal for winding down after a long day, or for evening use when dozing off isn’t an issue. Indica plants are also shorter and broader than sativas, and will take a longer period of time to grow and harvest.
Sativa-dominant plants grow to be tall, lanky and have thinner shaped leaves. Sativas also have a shorter growing time from seed to harvest, but won’t produce as much cannabis per plant as an indica strain would. Sativa strains are best used during the daytime as they embody more of a “head high” and help boost mood and creativity. A good rule to distinguish a sativa strain from an indica (and to not get the two mixed up) is to remember an old rhyme that indicas will put you “in da couch”, meaning indicas will always be more of a body high, and sativas are most energetic in nature.
However, most cannabis strains you see today are more than likely to be a hybrid either indica-leaning or sativa-leaning due to genetic variation — depending on your personal needs, you may find yourself preferring one type over the other.
If it’s your first time-consuming marijuana, the best way to do so is by only using small, or less potent amounts of the herb at first, to allow you to better evaluate the effects on your tolerance and unique body chemistry. Additionally, depending on the product, the effects of cannabis products in the body can be delayed from thirty minutes to a few hours.
One example of this phenomenon can be seen with edibles. Edible consumption can be overdone if you are impatient with the slower onset of the cannabinoids since they must be digested through the stomach and metabolized in the liver before finally entering the bloodstream. If you are restless in waiting for your medication to take action or accidentally take too big of a dose, there is a chance for you to feel nauseated and sick. This is never fun to go through, but is not life-threatening and can be alleviated by resting until it wears off.
Overall, the best rule for any cannabis product is to go “low and slow”. Lower doses are always best when first trying a new product, and if necessary, you should increase your dosage slowly to your desired effects.
THC and CBD are the most common and prolific cannabinoids found in marijuana, but there are actually hundreds of cannabinoids present in the plant! Most of these exist in very small quantities, but a few notable mentions present in various stages of a cannabis plant’s life cycle are CBG and CBN.
Also known as cannabigerol and cannabinol respectively, these compounds are non-intoxicating, and are typically found in the plant at levels of less than 1%. CBG is known as a precursor to both THC and CBD, and will become broken down into either of these compounds by specific enzymes in the plant.
Before it is decomposed, CBG has been found to be beneficial for various medical ailments as well, including decreasing inflammation, slowing the growth of cancer cells, and even as an appetite stimulant. On the other side of the cannabinoids, spectrum is CBN, which is found in older cannabis as THC begins to break down.
This compound has also been found to decrease inflammation, is antibacterial in nature, and even has neuroprotective properties, as it has recently been discovered to help slow the onset of ALS in model mice, which implies the potential medical benefit for people in the future.
The answer is no, a recreational purchase of cannabis is prohibited in D.C., but the law does leave room for a large grey area. Though recreational purchases are prohibited, one can possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis if over the age of 21.
Under Initiative 71, recreational cannabis cannot be purchased, but it can be ‘gifted’. Meaning, though, you cannot buy cannabis itself, you can make a purchase of another item or service and receive a free cannabis product as a ‘gift’ or ‘donation’ from the vendor. So, cannabis can still be easily attained in Washington DC, but it just cannot be purchased. This is due to the fact that cannabis is still federally illegal, making it just a little bit trickier to legally acquire — there is no legal way to buy cannabis in Washington D.C., consumption is only allowed if one is ‘gifted’ cannabis.
Keep in mind, medical cannabis purchases are completely legal in Washington D.C., so if someone is worried about the gray areas of the law, a medical cannabis card will allow one to purchase the plant stress-free. According to Mayor Bowser, medical cannabis cards from any other state are accepted in Washington D.C. for the purchasing of some herb.
Initiative 71 is a law that was passed on February 26, 2015 in Washington D.C. This law states that it is legal for adults 21 years of age or older to:
Possess up to two ounces of cannabis at one time.
Grow up to 6 cannabis plants of their own in their primary residence — but keep in mind only 3 of these plants can be mature (produce flower) at once.
Gifting up to one ounce of cannabis to another person, who is over the age of 21, as long as no money or goods have been exchanged.
Consume cannabis on private property only.
The cannabis plant is still illegal to consume any form of cannabis while out in a public place, so if consumed in public you put yourself at the risk of 60 days in jail and/or 500 dollars in fines. Consumption must be kept to a private residence. It is also illegal to consume cannabis and operate any sort of motor vehicle (be it boat, car, motorcycle). Doing otherwise and you will subject yourself to the impaired driving laws of Washington D.C.
According to Initiative 71, if you are over the age of 21, you do not need a medical cannabis card to be able to purchase some herb in Washington D.C. But if you are under the age of 21, you will need a medical card to acquire cannabis. The process is relatively easy, Metropolitan Wellness Center outlines step by step how to attain a medical card for purchasing cannabis. First finding medical cannabis approved doctor and getting a recommendation to do so. From here, you just simply submit your application to the department of health, pay the necessary fees and then wait patiently for the card to arrive via mail. To acquire a medical cannabis card in Washington DC, you will be subject to a 100 dollar fee to the Department of health along with any fees coming from the application itself.
For all those who qualify for being low income can have that $100 fee lowered to $25. As for a final blow, unfortunately, if you are not a resident of the D.C. area you cannot get a medical card, but keep in mind that those who have legally attained medical cards from other states are accepted.
This all depends on who is taking it and by what method. If you are a first-time consumer of cannabis, you should “start low and go slow” whether smoking, vaping or especially if taking an edible. If smoking for the first time, simply try taking a few puffs from a joint and wait 10 minutes to see how it feels. If you’re enjoying the experience, try smoking a little more. The high is almost immediate from smoked marijuana, which should take up to 10 minutes to fully settle in. Therefore, if it’s your first time, the best way to go is in intervals of 10 minutes or so with a joint, a few puffs at a time. When marijuana is treated with respect and explored carefully, the first time consumers will enjoy the high that is just right for them.
Edibles, on the other hand, should be treated very carefully, as the experience can be very intense even for experienced consumers of cannabis. Ensure your edibles are obtained from a trusted source, such as a clinic or dispensary. It is very important to apply the start low and go slow method when exploring edibles, whatever your experience level. The high from edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes up to 2 hours to fully settle in, as the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana (THC) is processed through the liver when taken orally. It will take a little bit longer to feel the effects but the high will last much longer and be 5 times more potent than it will when smoked. Consult a dosage chart before exploring edibles, be patient, and you’ll be good to go.
Most dispensaries will have a wide selection of cannabis products including accessories, such as pipes, water bongs, vaporizers, and products for cleaning accessories. However, you don’t need to go into a clinic to find marijuana accessories. You can simply step into your nearest smoke shop to check out some supplies for getting high—unless you’re in one of the 37 states where it is still illegal to purchase marijuana accessories. If you’re not, however, most smoke shops will simply hang a sign in front go their bong and pipe selection that says, “for tobacco use only” which is simply for legal protection of the shop owner and should definitely be ignored by the consumer.
Weed purchased at a dispensary will cost a little more than it will if obtained illegally on the street. The price gap varies from state to state, but statistics show that marijuana from a dispensary will cost anywhere from $5-$40 more than if purchased on the street. There are many variables of course; how much you’re buying, the quality and type of marijuana product, and so on. The greatest price difference you’re likely to see is in purchasing edibles, which will definitely be pricier from a dispensary. However, in any case, you’re always better off obtaining your weed from a trusted source, such as a dispensary or clinic, even if it’s a little more expensive. It’s much more difficult to determine the quality and quantity of marijuana you’re buying if purchased illegally, whereas a dispensary will offer upfront information about the products your buying and back them with their reputation. Many dispensaries selling cannabis products will also offer free gifts with a purchase, such as a free joint, which offsets the price difference. Some places will let you sample their weed as well—always a plus!
The long and short answer to this question, unfortunately, is absolutely not. This is a felonious crime in most states in the US and is just as serious a crime if one should try to transport marijuana on a plane out of the country.
The laws in states within the US permitting the recreational use of pot have been created in a way that only allows consumers to use the drug if they are present within a legal state. If you have traveled to a state with legal weed, you can purchase and consume cannabis if you are over 21-years of age. Anything that gets left over upon your departure would need to be disposed of or gifted to another person staying within state lines.
When it comes to medical-grade marijuana, the same rings true. Even with a prescription, you cannot transport weed across state lines or outside the country. It is also a felony drug transportation crime. But some states will honor your medical marijuana card from out of state if you plan to purchase your weed within their state and only use your purchase while you are staying there. But it is also up to the discretion of each dispensary
Although weed is now recreationally legal in a fair amount of states in the US, you can still get yourself into some trouble if you are not wary of the usage laws that remain in place. For instance, public consumption is a no-no. Anywhere that you can reasonably expect people to observe you will be a negative as far as cannabis consumption goes. This goes for schools, parks, government buildings, in your vehicle, on a bus or train, or especially near kids. Public consumption of any kind is not allowed.
States like Illinois have advised consumers against even using cannabis on their front porches, but will not charge users in their backyards or inside their homes or on their balconies with a ticket. Essentially, the only place that you can legally consume your purchase will be within your home, backyard, or on your balcony. Some fines can rank upwards of $500, so it’s best to be safe and use in the comfort of your own home. Driving while high or using cannabis is also not such a great idea. States and municipalities will be forced to issue DUI’s to those who are caught high behind the wheel. So, there is never anything wrong with designating a driver who is sober to keep things safe.
Dabbing and methods of consuming concentrated THC oils like wax, shatter, budder, and butane hash oil have been around for over a decade. But with the huge influx of recreational weed becoming legal, this form of consumption has evolved quickly.
A dab is a concentrated form of THC that typically comes in the shape of an amber-colored substance that looks similar to fossilized tree sap. The product is then heated to melt the compound, usually by using a hot nail, and is then placed in a device called a dab rig for consumption. A dab rig is very similar to the glass-blown pieces we see for smoking the marijuana flower. But modifications have been made to accommodate the form the dab takes, being a waxy, sticky substance. Once the dab is heated properly, the vapors can then be inhaled through the dab rig for enjoyment.
A dab is a highly concentrated form of THC or CBD, depending on what purpose you are seeking through consumption. Dabs that are concentrated with THC provide the psychoactive effects of the marijuana flower while also providing an opportunity to isolate the other beneficial parts of the plant such as other cannabinoids and terpenes. With CBD extractions, consumers will still get the health benefits that the cannabis plant offers without the high.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS
BUSINESS TRANSACTIONAL LAWYERS
Kinner & McGowan
D.C. Medical Cannabis Program
- Cultivation Center
- Medical Cannabis Testing Laboratories
- Public Access to Dispensary Guidance – 2020-001
- Medical Cannabis – Employee Application
- Medical Cannabis Letter of Intent Form
- Medical Cannabis – Renewal Facility Registration
- Medical Cannabis – Change of Location Application
- Medical Cannabis – Acknowledgement and Attestation
- Medical Cannabis – Biannual Reports Updates July 2021