Biden Budget Includes Rider Blocking D.C. Cannabis Sales, Again

The Biden Administration has once again included a provision in its budget to block Washington D.C. from using funds to implement its voter-approved adult-use cannabis marketplace, continuing a nearly decade-long congressional intervention that has prevented the city from establishing a regulated cannabis industry despite local and national support for legalization.

Full story after the jump.

The Biden Administration has again included a rider in the president’s budget released this week that will prevent Washington D.C. from dedicating funds toward implementing its voter-approved adult-use cannabis marketplace.

The rider was first proposed by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) in 2014 following the District’s overwhelming approval of Initiative 71, which legalized cannabis possession and cultivation for adults. The proposal also calls for local officials to license and regulate an adult-use cannabis industry — but Congress, which has the final say on the Washington D.C. budget, agreed to the rider blocking the initiative’s sales provision and has continued to do so throughout the nearly ten years since voters passed the local cannabis legalization policy.

Democratic lawmakers have previously sought to remove the rider the but provision has always returned following bipartisan and bicameral discussion.

D.C. officials have stated they would move swiftly to enact a regulated cannabis marketplace if allowed. In the meantime, the city’s unregulated cannabis market has thrived.

In aiming to increase access to regulated cannabis products, officials recently adjusted the local medical cannabis regulations so that any D.C. resident aged 21+ can self-certify for the program and immediately shop at licensed retailers.

Adults in Washington D.C. are allowed to possess up to two ounces of cannabis flower and can grow up to six cannabis plants in their private residences.

A recent Gallup poll found that 70% of Americans support legalizing cannabis.

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