District of Columbia Legal Information Washington DC Legal Information
The voters of Washington, D.C. first approved medical cannabis in 1998 with the passage of Initiative 59 (I-59), but the law was blocked by Congressional action through a budget rider that was attached to the District's budget every year until December 2009. Once Congress dropped its opposition, the D.C. Council passed B18-0622: Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 2010 as a replacement for I-59. Registered patients can possess up to two ounces of usable cannabis or its equivalent in other forms (ie. edibles, tinctures, topicals, etc.). Registered cultivation centers supply medical cannabis dispensaries. Patients whose income is less than 200% of the federal poverty level are entitled to purchase medicine at a reduced rate.
In July 2014, the DC Council passed emergency legislation to lift the physician restrictions on determining qualifying conditions and to increase cultivation center plant limit from 95 to 500 plants. In 2015, they increased the plant limit to 1,000 plants.
In November 2016, the D.C. Council passed a bill, B21-210 that requires DOH to license independent laboratories for product testing, removed drug conviction restrictions on individuals allowed to work in dispensaries and cultivation centers and requires the DOH to create a District-wide tracking system that will then allow patients to visit any dispensary and will allow reciprocity to patients registered in other states. There are currently 5 dispensaries serving patients in DC.
In This Section
View and print the District of Columbia MMJ Report Card from our latest report: Medical Marijuana Access in the U.S. A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws.
The voters of Washington, D.C. first approved medical cannabis in 1998 with the passage of Initiative 59 (I-59), which received 69% of the vote and earned majority support in every voting precinct in the District.
How to become a registered medical cannabis (marijuana) patient or designated caregiver in the District of Columbia.
Medical professionals recommending medical cannabis must be a licensed physician in good standing to practice medicine or osteopathy in the District of Columbia. A physician may recommend the use of medical marijuana to a qualifying patient if the physician is in a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the qualifying patient, has completed a full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, including an in-person physical examination, performed not more than ninety (90) days prior to making the recommendation, and has resumed the responsibility for the ongoing care and treatment of the patient.
Every state has varying laws and regulations for caregivers, cultivators and medical cannabis providers. This section includes an overview of state requirements and links to necessary forms and applications.