[How Washington DC is Boosting the Medical Marijuana Industry]

nicole plunkett FEY04j dXJM unsplash
nicole plunkett FEY04j dXJM unsplash

In many ways, Washington DC is pushing the ‘boundaries’ of what it means to walk through the deep ‘weeds’ (no pun intended) of legalizing marijuana. 

Of course, the district has been an interesting case study in how different states have traversed different paths for legalizing and regulating the sale of marijuana. 

However, it’s still not clear exactly how all of these laws are going to work, or what they’ll mean for consumers. 

So in this post, you’re going to learn how Washington DC is, in its own way, actually boosting medical marijuana in its own way. 

And you may find it fascinating!

Let’s dive into it. 

1. You Can Now Get An Official Medical Marijuana Card In Washington DC

Medical marijuana was made legal in DC back in 1998. 

And now, you can get an official Medical Marijuana card in Washington DC. 

You can do this by contacting a DC medical marijuana doctor, and going through all of the necessary motions that will eventually lead to you being able to buy weed legally on a medical basis. 

This was made legal according to the Medical Marijuana Program in Washington DC, which basically allows legal medical cannabis patients to get a marijuana recommendation from a certified physician. 

These patients can apply for a state-issued ID card in Washington DC, which is pretty cool. 

But what about recreational marijuana?

Well, as it turns out, Washington DC is also pursuing that as well—albeit a bit more slowly and cautiously. 

2. Recreational Marijuana Is ‘Closer Than Ever’ in the District of Columbia

According to recent news sources, a movement on capitol hill is bringing district residents “much closer to being able to legally buy recreational marijuana.”

DC voters actually passed recreational marijuana as a bill 7 years ago—but since then, it’s been blocked by congress. And while there are still a few roadblocks, it’s possible that it is now fully ready to be realized. 

As it turns out, the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana in Washington DC has really been held up by something called the Harris Rider. 

This rider (which is a piece of legislation) actually prevents the district from legalizing recreational cannabis (and blocks the district from making rules pertaining to the commerce of marijuana). 

But as Forbes puts it in a recent article, titled Washington, D.C. May See Recreational Marijuana Sales Under New Budget Bill, this long 7-year stalemate may soon be over. 

Here’s a quote from the article that describes some of the details of the situation:

“However, the Senate Appropriations Committee omitted Harris Rider from the appropriations bill for the 2022 fiscal year, which was released by the legislative panel on Monday. Appropriations legislation passed by the House of Representatives this summer also left it out, although President Biden’s budget proposal released in May retained the restriction on legal recreational pot in D.C.”

It goes on to say this:

“If the omission of the Harris Rider survives the legislative process and is not added to the final version of this year’s appropriations bill, local leaders would be free to move ahead with legalizing recreational marijuana and regulating adult-use cannabis commerce. Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has introduced legislation to legalize recreational cannabis as well as a separate proposal to expand the current medical marijuana infrastructure.”

What Does This Mean?

Washington DC has faced some pretty steep roadblocks on the road to legalizing recreational marijuana, even though they’ve really been forward-thinking in the legalization of medical marijuana

So in this regard, Washington DC has done a lot to boost medical marijuana, in part by taking action so early (back in 1998) to legalize it. 

Back then, that was pretty unheard of. 

But as you can see, recreational marijuana is, hopefully, following behind–even if the process has been a bit ‘less than expedient.’ 


Hopefully, this post has helped you to understand some of the subtle ways in which Washington DC has helped to boost medical marijuana in our country, while also struggling to get behind the recreational part of it. 

It’s all very interesting—but as with all things cannabis-related, this tedious little ‘mess’ seems to be getting worked out, slowly and surely. 

By the end of 2022, it seems highly likely that recreational marijuana will be a booming business, with laws pertaining to related commerce and taxation ready to fall into place quickly. 



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