District of Columbia Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS WASHINGTON D.C.'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational use in D.C but currently only has a limited market serving medical patients. Because of D.C’s unique structure, prohibiting it from having control over the budget, Congress has been able to prevent the District from regulating and taxing recreational cannabis. As of January 24th 2020 the program has 6,217 registered patients who are able to shop in a Washington DC dispensary for their cannabis needs.
The uncommon restrictions on D.C’s budget control have created what is known as today as a “weed gift economy”. Since under initiative 71, up to one ounce of cannabis can be gifted to another adults but not sold, retailers have begun to sell relatively low-value products such as t-shirts and stickers at prices like $50 that then come with a “free gift” of cannabis valued at $50 despite regulations and taxation not being developed yet.
WHAT ARE WASHINGTON D.C.'S CANNABIS LAWS?
D.C has legalized cannabis for both medical and recreational sales. However, implementing a recreational market has remained unsuccessful due to Congress’s opposing efforts. Maryland Representative Andy Harris continued to propose a rider to an appropriations bill, which prevented D.C from using locally raised funds to develop regulations and create a tax structure for cannabis.
Under Initiative 71, residents of Washington D.C may possess up to two ounces of cannabis, grow up to six plants, three of which may be mature, and transfer up to one ounce of cannabis to another individual.
WHAT IS WASHINGTON D.C.'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
Applications for new D.C medical cannabis licenses are not available at this time. With the possibility of Initiative 71 being implemented in the future, it is never too early to begin the developing stages of your cannabis business. Point7 has the experience and knowledge to guide you through the entire journey to a cannabis business from starting with the pre-application efforts through the post-licensure operations.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN WASHINGTON D.C.?
Medical cannabis was legalized during the 20th century when Initiative 59 otherwise known as Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998 was approved by voters. Unfortunately, Congressman Bob Barr who wanted complete federal prohibition on medical cannabis, successfully blocked initiative 59 implementation with the “Barr Amendment” added to the 1999 Omnibus Spending bill. Lawsuits and additional amendments added by Barr continued in D.C blocking future attempts of legalization until 2009 when the United States Senate and House of Representatives voted to remove the ban prohibiting initiatives supporting medical cannabis.
On March 4, 2014 the Council of D.C passed the decriminalization of possession of cannabis. Decriminalization was followed by recreational legalization in November 2014 when Initiative 71 was approved by voters.
DOES WASHINGTON D.C. HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE WASHINGTON D.C. CANNABIS MARKET?
Despite ongoing roadblocks presented by members of Congress, D.C has legalized cannabis for recreational use and with that brings a future opportunity of owning and operating a cannabis business in the Country's capital. There are many steps to prepare for the application process prior to one existing. Point7 has developed products and service packages to make any application and post licensure operation seamless and compliant. Contact Point7 to discover how we can begin your cannabis business journey.