Trying to get marijuana in Washington, DC can be a bit tricky. While both medical and recreational marijuana are perfectly legal in DC, each consumer can get their marijuana in very different ways. It can be intimidating trying to find a safe place to get your medicinal or recreational marijuana, so here is the law regarding the selling and purchasing of marijuana in Washington, DC.
Initiative 71, which was passed in 2014, outlines exactly what the laws are for recreational marijuana use.
- A DC resident may possess two ounces or less of marijuana. While this may seem pretty straight forward, it can get a bit dicey with where you can possess the marijuana. While marijuana is perfectly legal in DC, the federal law does not recognize the fact that marijuana is legal in DC. Yes, you may carry around with you two ounces or less of marijuana, but if you happen upon any federal government property, then there will be an issue. If you are caught with more than the legal two ounces, there will be a fine of around a thousand dollars and up to six months incarceration. While DC does have plenty of residential property and places to go, there are plenty of federal buildings and federal-secured buildings as well. So, while you can legally and recreationally have two ounces, this is only in the residential parts of Washington, DC.
- A DC resident may grow mariuana plants within their primary residence. There are stipulations as to how many marijuana plants and what types you can grow. You are allowed to grow six plants; however, only three of them are allowed to be mature marijuana plants. A mature marijuana plant means that it has flowers and has grown to its full budding potential. Some also define a mature marijuana plant as a plant that is over 12”. Either way, while you are allowed to grow six marijana plants at one time, only three can be “profitable” for your recreational use. The best way to grow your marijuana plants would be to plant three, and once they are close to maturing, plant the other three so there is no risk of having six fully matured marijuana plants. If you have more than three mature plants, the fine is up to a thousand dollars and a maximum of six months incarceration. If the offense occurs for the second time, the fine is five thousand dollars and up to two years incarceration. Multiple offenses will result in a fifty thousand dollar fine and up to five years incarceration. In addition to only growing six plants, they may not be grown within a thousand feet of a public or private day care center, elementary school, secondary school, junior college, college, university, public swimming pool, playground, video arcade, youth center, public library, or in or around public housing; any offense will result in a double penalty.
- A DC resident may transfer one ounce or less of marijuana to another person as long as the recipient is 21 years of age or older and no money, goods or services are exchanged. This is where the purchasing of legal marijuana can get dicey. There are not really specific places where you can go to purchase recreational marijuana because that is still illegal. The only way to get marijauna in DC is to grow it yourself and harvest it for recreational use or find stores that will “gift” you your recreational marijuana. Many smoke shops throughout DC can provide you with recreational marijuana so long as you make a purchase. You know the policy in most places that the restroom is for customers only so you buy a pack of gum to use the restroom? Recreational marijuana is portrayed much the same way in DC. You can enter a smoke shop and purchase a hat and receive your free one ounce of marijuana goody bag. There are also popup events, many of which are donation-based. You make a donation to the pop up event and receive your “free” one-ounce bag of marijuana. If you are caught selling any amount of marijuana or “gifting” over one ounce, the first offence is a one thousand dollar fine and up to six months incarceration. The second offense is a five thousand dollar fine and up to two years incarceration, and a repeat offender is a fifty thousand dollar fine and up to five years incarceration.
Medicinal marijuana has many of the same rules and stipulations of recreational, but the one huge difference is that you can purchase medicinal marijuana from a dispensary. There is no need for the donations or purchasing of hats and t-shirts in order to purchase your marijuana from a medicinal dispensary. As long as you have your medicinal marijuana card, you are free to enter the dispensary and make any purchase. The law is still the same for only possessing up to two ounces and growing no more than six plants with three or less matured.
There is no public smoking allowed of marijuana for medicinal or recreational use in Washington, DC.
Any use of marijuana in public results in a citation and more than one-time offenders can have a fine of up to a thousand dollars and six months incarceration.
If you have any further questions about the laws around buying marijuana in Washington DC, we at Herbal Alternatives would love to help. We are a medicinal marijuana dispensary and want to ensure that you understand the law to avoid any possible fines or incarceration. Contact us today and find out your rights to medicinal or recreational marijuana or any of the products we offer.
*Although we are quite experienced in the cannabis industry, we are not attorneys. None of the information in this article should be considered legal advice.*