Adults residing in Washington, D.C., will have the ability to self-certify they want marijuana for medical functions with out presenting a physician’s advice.
Underneath emergency laws handed Tuesday, district residents older than 21 will probably be permitted to register for affected person playing cards to entry medical marijuana with out a physician’s approval, giving them entry to any of the seven dispensaries situated within the district. The transfer follows related laws enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia earlier this yr that permitted residents older than 65 to self-certify. The transfer is the town’s newest effort to help its dispensaries from the so-called “grey market.”
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Use and possession of leisure marijuana are already authorized in Washington, however promoting and buying the drug is restricted by Congress, which has oversight over the district’s legal guidelines. Because of this, a number of companies all through the district have operated by way of an unregulated “gifting” system — that means retailers provide marijuana to clients without cost in the event that they buy one thing else.
This gifting system, typically known as the “grey market” by native lawmakers, has pushed enterprise away from city-regulated medical marijuana dispensaries, that are topic to taxes, as a result of the distributors can provide decrease costs.
“As a result of decrease obstacles to entry within the grey market, a major variety of medical marijuana sufferers have shifted from buying their medical marijuana from authorized medical dispensaries to the illicit grey market, creating a major threat to the long-term viability of the district’s authorized medical marijuana business,” mentioned councilmembers Kenyan McDuffie and Mary Cheh. “If this pattern continues, it’s potential that grey market gross sales may wipe out the district’s authorized marijuana dispensaries. Given the … advantages that regulated and secure authorized dispensaries present to medical marijuana customers within the district, it’s critical that the business survive till the district can arise a regulated leisure market and transition towards full regulation of leisure marijuana merchandise.”
Metropolis lawmakers will start in search of measures to additional crack down on companies that “reward” marijuana, with Council Chairman Phil Mendelson arguing that district-run dispensaries are key to establishing a authorized leisure market if one is ever permitted in Washington.
“It’s not an equal enjoying discipline and can by no means be so long as there are unlawful hashish gifting retailers,” he mentioned. “So long as there are these companies, the authorized business gained’t be there to step in [when legalization happens].”
The emergency invoice will head to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s desk for her signature, and it’ll take impact instantly if she indicators. The mayor has voiced help for the laws.