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Washington DC Marijuana Licensing >

What is the Demand for Marijuana in the Washington D.C.?

Sales of recreational marijuana in the Washington D.C. are currently not legalized, but there are DC-licensed dispensaries that distribute only medical marijuana to registered medical patients and caregivers. There are no official data ascertaining the exact demand for recreational marijuana, especially because sales are not allowed. However, based on the Statista's Survey on Marijuana use among US adults by state 2018-2019 conducted in DC, an estimate of 27.42% of the respondents (around 70,000) aged 18 years and older consume marijuana. Consumers of marijuana in DC mostly privately cultivate them or get them through gifting services. These gifting services offer marijuana as complimentary gifts, accompanying the purchase of items like rolling papers, ashtrays, artworks, and t-shirts. Residents of DC also get marijuana by attending "pop-up" events that are advertised on social media platforms by different vendors. Typically, the vendors keep the postings secret, which makes interested persons send direct messages to the hosts to find out the actual location of the events. All these make it even more difficult to measure the demand for marijuana in the Washington D.C.

However, with the legalization of the sale of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older in DC, it will become easier to ascertain the demand for marijuana in the District and also regulate its use. The tax revenue generated from marijuana sales will also boost the economy of the state.

How is Marijuana Taxed in the Washington D.C.?

As of June 2021, the tax system for marijuana in the Washington D.C. is yet to be structured. The Comprehensive Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Act of 2021 proposes a 13% cannabis excise tax on gross receipts from charges and sales for retail marijuana or marijuana products tax. 30% of the tax revenue generated will be allocated to support individual social equity program applicants. The Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2021 also proposes a 17% sales tax, which will be used to promote business start-ups. It will create a new license category for microbusiness and third-party social equity delivery services. Funds generated from the sales of cannabis would also be used to finance organizations in wards 7 and 8, including women and minority-owned small businesses like restaurants, small grocery stores, and public school after-school programs.

What is the Office of the Chief Financial Officer?

Although there is no tax system for marijuana in the Washington D.C., the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) is the agency that manages taxation in the Washington D.C.. It was created to function under the Financial Control Board by the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995 and approved on April 17, 1995. The Chief Financial Officer manages the OCFO. The OCFO also oversees the finances of the District, which includes:

  • Tax and revenue administration
  • The treasury, comptroller and budget offices
  • Economic/fiscal analysis and revenue estimation functions
  • Agency financial operations
  • The DC Lottery

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer carries out the following responsibilities:

  • It operates and maintains an organized financial management system to budget, control, collect, and properly account for more than $7 billion in yearly operating and capital funds.
  • It oversees and directly supervises the financial and budgetary functions of the District government.
  • The OCFO manages and enforces the District's tax laws, collects revenue for the city, and records deeds and other written instruments affecting a title, right, or interest in real or personal property in the District.
  • It develops, implements and monitors the District's accounting systems and policies and produces the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the city.
  • It prepares the city's annual budget, represents the District in the federal appropriations process, and monitors budget performance during the fiscal year.
  • The OCFO borrows on behalf of the District, collects receipts, payments, and transactions for the District, and invests the city's funds.
  • It forecasts revenue for the District government, performs tax expenditure analysis, develops fiscal impact statements for proposed legislation, and advises the Financial Control Board on economic development matters.

The contact details of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer is as follows:

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue,

Northwest, Suite 203,

Washington, DC 20004

Phone: (202) 727-2476

Fax: (202) 727-1643

TTY: 711

Email: ocfo@dc.gov

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