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Last Updated: June 8, 2023

Securing Cannabis in Washington DC

Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis enthusiast or an occasional user, we all can concur that not knowing where to secure cannabis in Washington DC can be quite frustrating. From stringent cannabis regulations that prevent recreational use to the scarcity of top-notch products, one might assume that acquiring cannabis in DC is a criminal act. But is it?

Cannabis Plant

Obtaining cannabis in the nation’s capital can be intimidating, and without the right information, you might find yourself in legal trouble. You certainly wouldn’t want to face legal consequences just because you enjoyed a joint in the wrong location, right? After going through this guide, you’ll be well-versed in everything you need to know about purchasing cannabis in DC – the legal way.

Is Purchasing Cannabis Possible in Washington DC?

So, is it possible to purchase cannabis in Washington DC? The brief answer is yes; it’s entirely feasible to buy cannabis in DC. (Sort of).

But before we delve into the popular spots and joints (pun unintended) for cannabis enthusiasts, let’s first comprehend some of the regulations that oversee marijuana usage. DC has a plethora of peculiar laws that can land you in trouble.

For instance, did you know that consuming cannabis in your vehicle is an offense in Washington, DC? Indeed! There are several other rules like this that could get you in trouble. But fret not; we’ll cover them later.

Pink and Green Petaled Flower

Is Cannabis Legal in Washington DC?

The response to this question is somewhat complex. In 2014, DC residents voted to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes; in 2015, this bill was approved. It was known as Initiative 71. One thing to note is that although the Initiative 71 bill was approved, the sale of recreational cannabis was still not legalized.

So yes, cannabis is technically legal for both recreational and medical uses in Washington DC.

So how do people secure cannabis in DC? In the next section, we will delve deeper into the concept of Initiative 71 to help you understand how people secure cannabis in DC.

Understanding Initiative 71

In 2015, recreational cannabis was decriminalized in Washington, DC- this occurred when the government passed Initiative 71. Initiative 71 is the legalization of minor amounts of cannabis for personal use. It is a voter-approved (an impressive 64.87% approval) ballot initiative that legalized the consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes as long as it is GIFTED and not sold. Gifted?! Yes, in DC, it’s possible for residents and tourists with no medical marijuana card to secure cannabis in DC FOR FREE.

Cannabis Leaves and Stem

This allowed multiple I-71 gift shops to open up in the DMV area and gave the opportunity for cannabis lovers with no MMC to secure cannabis in DC FOR FREE. We’ll explain the details below.

Are there recreational dispensaries in DC?

Remember when we told you we might have a problem? Sike! Select groups have found a way to bypass this law legally. So, are there dispensaries in DC? Well, sort of, but not your usual kind – like the ones in Vegas or LA.

Although cannabis was legalized for adult use, the law still prevents the establishment of cannabis retail systems or recreational cannabis dispensaries.

The law clearly states that cannabis sale is prohibited for recreational use, but it allows us to give it as a gift. DC residents found a loophole in the gifting system that allows for what is known as I-71 gift shops. These shops do not operate like regular dispensaries. They allow customers to buy cannabis, but they do not technically sell it. Instead, they “gift” it in exchange for something of equal value. These DC cannabis gifting shops do this by selling items such as shirts, art, or pencils and hooking customers up with free cannabis as a form of appreciation. With this system put in place, this is the closest thing we have to a recreational dispensary in Washington DC.

Person Making Cannabis Joint

For example, let’s say you want to buy an ounce of cannabis. You would go into an I-71 gift shop and find an item that costs $25. You would then give the store this item, and they would give you an ounce of cannabis.

I-71 gift shops have become increasingly popular in DC because they allow people to secure cannabis in DC without having to go through the hassle of getting a medical marijuana card.

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