Cannabis legalization in Washington D.C.
The District of Columbia has consistently been ahead of the curve in terms of cannabis law reforms. The District voted to legalize medical cannabis in 1998—then, in early 2014, the Council of the District of Columbia decriminalized cannabis possession. Later that year, D.C. voters passed cannabis legalization with nearly 65% support. But since the reforms took effect, part of the District’s adult-use law has been stymied by a Congressional rider which prevented the local government from allocating tax dollars toward a licensed and regulated cannabis market.
In 2021, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said the District was “ready” to regulate its adult-use cannabis industry if Congress lifts its ban.
Cannabis possession rules
- Adults aged 21+ can possess up to two ounces of cannabis, gift up to one ounce of cannabis, and home-grow up to six plants (three mature, three immature).
- Retail sales are not legally permitted in the District but in the years since legalization, a widespread gray market has developed around the cannabis gifting clause.
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