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Where and How to Buy Marijuana in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is home to our nation’s capital, countless historical sites, and just under 690,000 people. It’s also home to some very confusing and unique cannabis laws.

Whether you live in D.C. or are visiting, you may be on the lookout for cannabis to enjoy. But how do you get it? And is cannabis even legal there? We’ll break down the current cannabis laws in Washington, D.C., and tell you how you can get your hands on your favorite strain.

A Look at Initiative 71

Initiative 71 was approved in 2014 but did not go into effect until the following year. This law is the one that legalized the use of recreational cannabis in the district. Per the law:

-Adults 21 and older can possess and use cannabis recreationally.

-Of-age adults can possess up to two ounces of cannabis in public.

-You can share (or give) up to one ounce of cannabis with another of-age adult.

-You can grow up to six cannabis plants, but only three can be flowering at the same time.

Though possessing cannabis is legal for people of the right age (within restrictions), there are some important things to note that you cannot do.

For example, you cannot smoke or use your cannabis in public or drive while under the influence of cannabis. Because Washington, D.C., isn’t a state and is home to a lot of federal property, you cannot smoke in those places either. That means no enjoying your cannabis while hanging out on the National Mall. But you can enjoy your cannabis in private.

There is one other important rule that makes the district’s cannabis laws so confusing. Though possessing and using cannabis is allowed, you cannot buy cannabis.  

So, if buying cannabis is not allowed, how do people get it?

How to Get Your Hands on Cannabis

How to Get Your Hands on Cannabis

Because buying and selling cannabis is illegal, you will not see dispensaries lining the streets as you may in other places where recreational cannabis is legal. Instead, businesses have taken unique approaches to get their products to people.

Instead of dispensaries, you’ll notice that businesses instead offer marijuana-gifting services. This means a company will sell another product like hats, clothing, or accessories, then provide you with the cannabis product of your choice as a free thank-you gift.

You may also find places that accept donations instead of gifting so the transaction falls into the category of sharing cannabis with others.

Earlier this year, another cannabis law was introduced to ease these restrictions and make it easier for local dispensaries to sell their products and operate more freely. As of right now, it has not yet been approved.

Where to Get Your Cannabis

There are three common ways people can get cannabis in Washington, D.C. Please note: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused stores to change the way they give customers cannabis. Here is where you can go to get cannabis in D.C.:

Your home. Thanks to cannabis delivery services in Washington, D.C., you don’t have to go anywhere to get your cannabis. You can browse dispensary options and place an order online. Then, a budtender will deliver your purchase and your free cannabis gift.

A meet-up. These involve contacting a store, either online, by phone, or by text, and placing an order. You will also arrange a place to meet up with an employee who will then bring the product. Keep in mind that you cannot schedule your meet-up on federal property.

Storefronts. Business owners will use their store for other businesses. But as you enter, you’ll first be able to select the cannabis products you want as your free gift. Typical storefront businesses include smoke shops and CBD stores.

How Weed Delivery in Washington, D.C., Works

If you decide delivery is the best way for you to get your cannabis, doing so is easy. Here’s how it works:

1. Browse the dispensary options on our website. You can narrow your search by radius and product.

2. Once you’ve narrowed down your dispensary options, look to see if they have a minimum order requirement, what the delivery fee is, and if they deliver to your neighborhood.

3. Place your order online, making sure to put in the correct delivery address.

4. Note your total and add in a tip (tipping is not required but recommended).

5. Once you know how much your cannabis will cost, get cash out of the ATM. Most dispensaries do not accept card payments and only accept cash. So, you’ll want to have enough on hand.

6. Wait for your delivery. Depending on how busy the store is, it can take an hour or two for your delivery to arrive. Be patient, and it will get there.

How Weed Delivery in D.C. Works

Medical Marijuana Cards

The use of cannabis for medical reasons is allowed in Washington, D.C. If you have a medical marijuana card, you can take it to one of the seven licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. This is the only way residents can directly purchase cannabis from a dispensary (for now).

Where and How to Buy Cannabis: A Summary

Washington, D.C., cannabis laws are unique. While possessing cannabis and its paraphernalia is legal (within certain restrictions), selling it and buying it is not. This can make it a little complicated to get the weed you enjoy using.

Though owning up to six cannabis plants is legal, only three can be flowering at a time. This allows some people to grow their cannabis and eliminate the challenge of buying it. But for those who are not known for their green thumbs or don’t want to put in the work of growing their own, retailers have gotten creative in their quest to get their products to customers.

You can use an online dispensary listing to purchase another item, like a shirt or hat, then be gifted with a cannabis product of your choice. This means you aren’t technically buying it, and the company is technically gifting it to you.

Keep an eye out for law changes in the area; new propositions have been introduced but not yet approved.

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