Washington, D.C. legislators last week passed a bill to expand the sale of medical marijuana, giving the city’s popular but unlicensed marijuana gift shops avenues into the regulated market. The bill, which was approved by the DC District Council on Dec. 20, comes after Congress included an existing ban on regulated adult-use cannabis sales in the nation’s capital as part of spending bills approved last week. It was done.
invoice Significantly expand Washington, DC’s medical marijuana program, increase dispensary limits, and increase the number of licensed grow facilities. The law also creates licenses for new types of cannabis businesses, such as marijuana delivery services, online sales, educational programs such as cooking classes, and cannabis consumption areas in pharmacies. Half of the new license is for social equity applicants defined as her D.C. resident who is associated with a low-income person, someone who has spent time in prison, or has been incarcerated for cannabis- or drug-related offenses. Reserved.
Bill goes to Weed Gifting Shops in DC
The law is intended to address Washington, D.C.’s vast unregulated cannabis market, where medical marijuana was legalized by local lawmakers in 2010. Under this measure, an adult can own up to two ounces of marijuana, be allowed to grow cannabis in their home, and gift up to one ounce of cannabis to another adult. The council that governs the city has refused to spend money to regulate the sale of recreational marijuana.
This situation has resulted in dozens of companies using the I-71 gift provisions to openly distribute cannabis from their over-the-counter businesses. In a common scheme, companies sell harmless goods such as apparel and art, and ostensibly give buyers free gifts of marijuana. Phil Mendelsohn, president of the District of Columbia Council, estimates that the nation’s capital’s unregulated marijuana market is worth as much as $600 million annually.
“Unlicensed and unregulated companies always have an advantage. They don’t have to pay taxes, they don’t have to guarantee quality.” Mendelsohn said In an interview with DCist/WAMU. “Congress supports and agitates it by prohibiting us from regulating it. This is a real public safety issue,” he said.
Patients can self-certify medical marijuana use
A law passed last week made emergency measures passed earlier this year permanent, allowing adults to prove their eligibility to use medical marijuana, replacing previous provisions that required proof by a licensed physician. has been deprecated. At the time, Mendelsohn and some members attempted to ban the gift industry, but faced opposition from a group of business owners. Legalizing and allowing stores to be regulated would not be possible under the legislative ban, and allowing gift-giving businesses as an avenue into the medical marijuana market would be a popular option for a majority of district legislatures. became.
“It will enable the district to become healthier on the cannabis side,” said Terrence White, chairman of the group known as the i-71 Commission and owner of the gift shop. Said of washington post“It would allow us to do it ‘right’, as I say.” “
A bill passed by Congress last week gives existing businesses 90 days to apply for a medical marijuana retailer license and prevents enforcement on gift shops for at least 315 days after the law takes effect. David Grosso, a former trustee and current lobbyist for the Cannabis Trade Association, a group representing licensed medical marijuana operators, said the bill was a positive development for the industry.
“We certainly want to see a level playing field across the board. [Initiative 71] People have been operating illegally. So we hope that this initiative will get them into the legitimate market and treat them on an equal footing with us,” Grosso said. It means the fees we have to pay, the inspections we have to endure, all the restrictions on location, and everything like the current legal market has had to deal with.
Norbert Pickett, owner of Cannabliss, one of seven licensed dispensaries in the U.S. capital, said the law would expand the medical marijuana market in Washington, D.C. and provide patients with new options. I agreed that it was.
“This will give patients more access to safe, tested cannabis,” he said. “Integrating unregulated and legal markets. For me, it is a win.”
Mackenzie Mann, project manager for the Generational Equity Movement, a gift industry trade group, said the bill from the district council is a dramatic change for the cannabis landscape in Washington, D.C.
“It’s surreal,” Mann said. “A year ago they were trying to shut us down.”