Bill to tax and regulate D.C. marijuana sales introduced!
Last update: January 31, 2019
Councilman David Grosso has introduced a bill to tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older in the District of Columbia! His bill includes automatic expungement to wipe out life-altering criminal records for past marijuana convictions. Mayor Muriel Bowser has also been vocal about her support for taxing and regulating marijuana in D.C.
In November 2014, D.C. voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 71, which legalized the possession and cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana by adults 21 and older.
Due to the fact that D.C. cannot control its own budget, Congress has been able to block the District from taxing and regulating the sale of marijuana. The lack of any lawful place to purchase non-medical cannabis has led to a proliferation of “grey market” operators and a significant increase in arrests for the distribution of marijuana, which have returned to pre-legalization levels. It also means D.C. is losing out on millions of dollars in tax revenue and hundreds of good jobs. But, with its recent change in leadership, Congress may finally allow D.C to set its own marijuana policy.
D.C. Council considers more improvements to medical marijuana program
Councilman David Grosso has introduced a bill, the Medical Marijuana Patient Health and Accessibility Act of 2019, that would provide patients with same-day access to medical dispensaries. The bill would also allow delivery services and remove limits on the number of plants a cultivation center can grow.
Back in 2016, the Council approved B21-0210, which provided that once implementing regulations and a District-wide electronic tracking system for patients’ purchases were put into place patients who are registered with other states’ medical marijuana programs would be able to shop at D.C.’s dispensaries. Currently, the D.C Department of Health has authorized certified patients from some states to make purchases at D.C. dispensaries, but not all. Patient certifications are accepted from the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington.
Other recent improvements include requiring independent laboratory testing of medical marijuana; allowing other medical professionals, in addition to M.D.s, to recommend cannabis; and increasing the amount of medical cannabis a patient can purchase over a 30-day period from two ounces to four. In addition, a misdemeanor drug conviction or a conviction for possession with intent to distribute marijuana will no longer be a bar to participation in the medical marijuana industry, and minority-owned businesses will have an advantage in the licensing process for new dispensaries.
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