D.C. Gears Up for Adult-Use Cannabis Sales


<![CDATA[Washington, D.C., is best known as a Congressional battleground, the stage for legislative developments that impact the country.But beyond the new iron fences around the Capitol, the District itself is a vibrant city full of culture and ethnic history. And thanks to centuries-old laws that give Congress broad oversight over the capital, it’s home to the most unique cannabis industry structure in the nation: Despite it being legal to possess and even grow at home, it’s been against the law to sell cannabis in D.C. since legalization took effect six years ago.Yet industry activists and stakeholders believe change is imminent, now that the White House has a new occupant and the Senate is controlled by Democrats. The D.C. government appears to agree: According to officials, preparation is already underway for local licensing and regulation of adult-use cannabis sales. Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary spoke to experts in the D.C. cannabis scene about how the new industry should be regulated and the most probable path to establishing adult-use sales in the District.What’s the current status of cannabis in D.C.?D.C. legalized cannabis with its Initiative 71, which passed in 2014 and went into effect in February 2015. The new law allowed adult residents to possess up to two ounces of cannabis, grow up to six plants at home and consume on private property. Residents are also allowed to “gift” someone up to an ounce, but sales of any amount are prohibited thanks to the infamous “Harris Rider,” a provision blocking D.C. cannabis sales which for years was added onto the federal budget by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD). The prohibition on sales has created an industry of discrete “pop-up” marketplaces, often staged at a private residence or other location revealed only to attendees. Though these underground “dispensaries” are often heavily-guarded, they are also frequent…

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