Medical marijuana patients from across the country will now be able to purchase their medicine at D.C. dispensaries.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday that the list of states with medical marijuana programs whose residents can purchase their medicines in D.C. is growing, with four other states currently under review.
“Non-residents needing their medication while they are visiting the District will be able to patronize the District’s regulated marijuana dispensaries and obtain their medication,” Bowser said the release.
Officials noted that marijuana is still federally prohibited, therefore it still illegal to cross state lines when in possession of the substance.
“This emergency rulemaking is patient-centric,” Bowser said. “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.”
The latest states added by the action include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Vermont. Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and West Virginia are under review.
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 State are already accepted.
The ruling increases the number of states whose medical cards the District recognizes from 19 to at least 27 states. Recognition of other states’ cards is not reliant on whether those states recognize District of Columbia cards. Patients cannot compel their state to enact a system that is the substantial equivalent of Washington, DC, but they still may need cannabis to address their medical needs.
Presently, DC residents cannot buy or sell marijuana and it can only be consumed on private property. It is legal for anyone 21 years of age or older to be in possession of two ounces or less or marijuana – this law was enacted in February of 2015.
In May, Bowser proposed legislation that would allow the sale of recreational marijuana in the District.
The Safe Cannabis Sales Act outlines regulations for the sale and purchase of recreational marijuana.
The bill enhances public health and safety, provides clarity on the use of cannabis and cannabis products, and advances equity to ensure that the benefits of a cannabis regime go to DC’s most vulnerable communities through jobs and investments in housing.
It states that businesses that want to sell recreational weed need to meet a threshold of 60% ownership by D.C. residents, and 60% of employees need to be from D.C.
The act outlines a 17% tax on pot and pot products, which Bowser said will feed into funding public housing.
“We can reinvest in our communities that have been hardest hit by the criminalization of marijuana,” Bowser said when the legislation was introduced.
The bill remains under DC Council review. Learn more about the Safe Cannabis Act of 2019 here.