Medical Marijuana Program in DC 

The main reason that DC is taking steps towards adopting a medical marijuana program is because the people who live in DC wanted to see it legalized for medicinal use. Voters in the District of Columbia wanted a legal and safe medical marijuana program in the district.

The first voter initiative passing the medical cannabis law in the District of Columbia was called Initiative 59 or I-59, for short. That voter initiative passed with broad support from the residents of the District of Columbia. An experienced medical marijuana lawyer in DC can detail these initiatives further.

Medical Marijuana Program Legislation

The medical marijuana law was never put into practice, however, due to the unique laws that govern our nation’s capital. The District of Columbia is different from states in that Congress has the authority over the laws of the District of Columbia. Congress blocked Initiative 59 from being passed into law and that block continued until December of 2009. In 2010, recognizing the will of the people, the DC Council introduced new legislation to replace Initiative 59.

That legislation was named the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 2010. This law is governed by the District of Columbia’s Municipal Regulations or “DCMR.” These regulations are about 120 pages long and quite complex. Despite the length of time it took the District of Columbia to finally pass this law, a medical marijuana program and the lengthy and complex regulations that accompanied the law, the will of the people has finally been fulfilled and the District now has a fully functioning and regulated medical marijuana program.

Testing of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana in the District of Columbia is tested to make sure it does not contain any additives or other harmful substances. The DC Council requires the Department of Health to license independent laboratories that test the medical marijuana that is grown and distributed and sold to medical marijuana patients in DC medical marijuana programs.

Dispensaries Open in the District of Columbia

There are currently five dispensaries serving medical marijuana patients in the District of Columbia.

When the legislation was originally passed, creating the District of Columbia’s medical marijuana program, there were restrictions put in place that barred individuals with prior drug convictions from working at medical marijuana dispensaries and other businesses in the medical cannabis industry.

However, since the original legislation was passed, the council has eased those restrictions through amendments. And now, individuals who have prior drug convictions may be eligible for employment at dispensaries and other cannabis businesses in the District of Columbia depending on the nature and details of the prior conviction.

Medical Marijuana for Purchase

A medical marijuana patient or a medical marijuana caregiver to a patient may purchase up to two ounces of medical marijuana during any given 30-day period. That two-ounce limit applies to all different forms of marijuana including dry marijuana, edible marijuana, tincture marijuana, marijuana in the form of oil, marijuana in the form of concentrate, or any other form that marijuana may take.

Talking to a Lawyer

Experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel can help cannabis businesses in making employment determinations regarding individuals who have prior drug convictions on their record. Likewise, individuals who are seeking employment at dispensaries and other cannabis businesses throughout the District of Columbia could benefit from the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel in this area. If you need more guidance on medical marijuana programs in DC, a lawyer can help.