Congress allows Washington DC medical cannabis reforms to become law

March 24, 2023 · MJ Biz Daily

Medical cannabis is expected to be much more easily and widely available in Washington DC after a set of reforms that include lifting a cap on dispensaries and allowing patients to “self-certify” became law this week.

Congress had until March 22 to interfere with the Medical Cannabis Amendment Act signed into by Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser in January, but the federal lawmakers took no action, according to NORML.

In addition to allowing residents to “self-certify” as medical-cannabis patients, which some observers say amounts to a de facto adult-use market, the new law:

  • Eliminates a cap on the number of dispensaries allowed in the district.
  • Temporarily lifts plant limit for licensed cultivators.
  • Allows for delivery services and consumption lounges.
  • Extends limited tax relief to operators.

“Despite being under the thumb of Congressional lawmakers, members of the DC City government continue to prioritize policies that both advance and protect the freedoms of responsible cannabis consumers,” Paul Armentano, NORML’s deputy director, said in a statement.

Separately, the DC City Council passed an expungement law that’s supposed to clear records of certain low-level convictions by Jan. 1, 2025.

Voters in the nation’s capital legalized adult-use cannabis in 2014, but the only legal access to marijuana is via MMJ dispensaries.

Past efforts to regulate adult-use retail have been blocked by Congress, which has veto power over local laws under the district’s Home Rule Act.

In the interim, illicit cannabis sales have flourished.

Meanwhile, D.C. dispensaries and cultivation centers reported $4.7 million in monthly sales in February 2023. (Full Story)

In categories:Federal Policy Politics
Next Post

Oregon Company Defends Federal Lawsuit Challenging The State’s Ban On Cannabis Exports

An Oregon marijuana business challenging the state’s ban on interstate cannabis commerce asked a federal judge last week to allow the case to be heard in court, arguing that the company has a “right to operate its business—federally legal or…
Read
Previous Post

Bipartisan Senators File Bill To Ease Restrictions On Industrial Hemp Farmers

A bipartisan pair of U.S. senators have filed a bill to reduce regulations on farmers that grow industrial hemp for non-extraction purposes. Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced the Industrial Hemp Act on Thursday—the latest piece of…
Read
Random Post

Cannabis Reforms Worldwide: A Global Overview Of Recent Changes

South Africa to Introduce New Cannabis Laws – What You Need to Know The South African Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services has opened the proposed amendments to the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill for public comments. Interested stakeholders…
Read
Random Post

True or False? - There Are Now More Dispensaries Than McDonald's in America, Yet Cannabis is Still Federally Illegal?

The majority of Americans now live in places where marijuana use for recreational purposes is legal, reflecting a significant shift in public opinion toward the drug over the previous 10 years. It took just twelve years for this to change…
Read
Random Post

The Best Weed Dispensaries in SF for a Guaranteed Good Time

As you may have heard, there won’t be an official 420 celebration of cannabis and cannabis culture in Golden Gate Park this year. But that surely won’t stop you from celebrating your own way. And because cannabis has been available…
Read
Random Post

Is Cannabis Legalization Stalling Out Across America? - Rec Weed Fails in Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Oklahoma

As the winds of change blow across the United States, many states have lifted their bans on recreational cannabis. However, not every state has embraced the green wave with open arms. Despite the growing popularity of cannabis and its proven medical…
Read