Washington, D.C. has opened its medical cannabis program to cardholders from other states in what Mayor Muriel Bowser called “patient-centric” emergency rulemaking.
The new reciprocity program is not dependent on whether other states accept patient cards from the District. Under the plan, D.C. dispensaries will accept cards from Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Vermont; Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and West Virginia are still under review.
“It ensures medical marijuana patients from other states can obtain their needed medicine. It will also promote public safety by allowing visitors to obtain their medicine at one of the District’s six – soon to be seven – authorized dispensaries rather than forcing them to go without or patronizing the illegal market.” – Bowser, in a press release
The program already accepts medical cannabis cards from Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington.
It’s the latest move by Bowser to expand the District‘s cannabis footprint. In May, she proposed the Cannabis Sales Act which would allow regulations for a taxed-and-regulated cannabis industry. Voters approved legalization in 2015 but federal law largely dictates policy in D.C. and officials have not implemented any recreational sales programs.
Under Bowser’s plan, D.C. residents must comprise 60 percent of an adult-use cannabis business and 60 percent of the employees need to be from the District. The measure would impose a 17 percent tax on recreational cannabis products which Bowser said would be used to fund public housing. That proposal is currently being reviewed by the D.C. Council.
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