Tourists will soon be able to buy medical marijuana in Washington, DC. The measure is predicted to boost tourism and encourage people to travel to the capital city.
The bill was signed by mayor Muriel Bowser, and will allow tourists to self-certify as medical patients for the duration of their stay. This will make it possible for them to purchase marijuana without the need for a doctor’s recommendation.
The bill was unanimously approved and increases the amount of medical marijuana a patient can possess from four to eight ounces. It also makes it easier for residents of neighboring states to get medical marijuana in DC for whatever reason.
In July, Bowser signed into law the Medical Marijuana Self-Certification Emergency Amendment Act of 2022, which allows residents to self-certify as medical marijuana patients and buy cannabis from licensed retailers. This new bill extends those rights to tourists.
Non-DC residents (domestic & intl. visitors) are now eligible for a temp medical cannabis patient registration. Registrations are valid for 30-days, can be used immediately upon completion of application.
— DCGov_ABRA (@DCGov_ABRA) October 21, 2022
Marijuana Moment spoke to Dr. Chanda Macias, the founder of the National Holistic Healing Center, a dispensary in DC, who praised the new law.
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“This will lead to increased patient access to plant-based medicine and will introduce new patients to the flourishing local medical marijuana landscape. These most recent actions are proof that Washington, DC is leading the way as it relates to expanding patient access to all,” she said.
DC has some of the most confusing marijuana laws in the country. While it’s legal to grow and possess marijuana, it remains illegal to sell it. Still, while frowned upon, “gifting” remains an option, which means that people can purchase marijuana through a loophole in the law, allowing sellers to gift them marijuana while selling an item.
Making matters more confusing is the fact that marijuana is illegal on the federal level, meaning that people possessing it in areas like government buildings, national parks, and more, could face penalties. These areas make up large parts of DC, making it possible for people to break the law without knowing they’re doing so.
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Following Biden’s decision to pardon marijuana offenses, as the law stands, he is the only person who could grant pardons to residents of Washington, DC Other states in the country have the ability to deal with this process independently, making the pardons more seamless.