Washington D.C. Marijuana Distribution Laws

What Is Possession With Intent To Distribute Marijuana in Washington D.C.?

Marijuana possession with intent to distribute refers to a charge against an offender for possessing the controlled substance with plans to transfer or sell it to another person. It is not the same as simple marijuana possession. This difference between simple marijuana possession and possession with intent to distribute is proof. In a marijuana possession with intent to distribute case, the court must show proof that the defendant intended to distribute or transfer marijuana. Note that proof that the defendant received or expected to receive anything of value is not required to establish marijuana possession with intent to distribute.

Can You Enter a Dispensary at 18 in the District of Columbia?

You cannot enter a cannabis dispensary to purchase weed if you are not at least 21 in DC. The district requires cannabis dispensaries to verify that buyers are aged 21 or older before selling recreational cannabis to purchasers. However, to purchase medical marijuana, you only need to be 18 or older.

Can You Enter a Dispensary Without a Card in the District of Columbia?

You must show a valid government-issued identification card showing that you are 21 or older (adult-use marijuana) or 18 or older (medical marijuana) before you may enter a dispensary to purchase marijuana in DC.

What Are the Penalties for Possession With Intent To Distribute First Offense in the District of Columbia?

Per Section 48-904.01 of the Code of the District of Columbia, it is illegal for anyone to intentionally or knowingly possess marijuana with the intent to distribute the substance to another person. If you are convicted of marijuana possession with intent to distribute, you may be imprisoned for up to 5 years, fined $50,000, or both. For a first-time conviction, an offender with no prior drug-related offense convictions caught with up to 0.5 pounds of marijuana may be imprisoned for no more than 6 months, fined $1,000, or both. The court may also, without entering a judgment of guilt, defer further proceedings and place the first-time offender on probation for up to 12 months.

DC laws also prohibit the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of certain establishments. These establishments include public housing facilities, elementary schools, high schools, colleges, daycare centers, public swimming pools, playgrounds, video arcades, youth centers, and libraries. Marijuana possession with the intent to distribute in these facilities carries a double sentence. The penalties are also increased if the defender is convicted of marijuana possession with intent to distribute to a minor. For a first-time offender, enlisting a minor to distribute marijuana by an individual aged 21 or older is punishable by 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

Federally, marijuana remains a restricted drug and its possession with intent to distribute attracts stiff penalties. According to Section 841 of the United States Constitution, penalties for the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute are as follows:

  • Less than 50kg: Up to 5 years imprisonment
  • 50-99 kg: Up to 20 years imprisonment
  • 100-999 kg: 5-40 years imprisonment
  • 1,000 kg or more: 10 years to life imprisonment

Is It Legal To Sell Weed in the District of Columbia?

No. It is illegal to sell weed in the District of Columbia without a license. Only licensed individuals or entities may sell weed in the district. Weed exchange for remuneration or any item of value will be considered selling marijuana in DC. Note that DC permits the transfer of up to one ounce of marijuana from one adult aged 21 or older to another adult, provided no payments or exchange of goods or services are involved.

How To Sell to Dispensaries in the District of Columbia?

Currently, you can only sell weed to medical marijuana dispensaries in DC. To sell weed to medical marijuana dispensaries, you must obtain a cultivation center license from the Alcoholic Beverage and Regulation Administration (ABRA). The cultivation license permits the license to cultivate cannabis and package, process, and prepare cannabis plants for sale.

  • In order to obtain a cultivation center license in DC, you must:
  • Be aged 21 or older
  • Have good character
  • Not have been convicted of a felony for a crime of violence, fraud, tax evasion, gun offense, or credit card fraud within the past three years before applying for the license
  • Not be a licensed physician who makes medical marijuana patient recommendations
  • Complete an application to ABRA for the license

How To Get a Distribution License in the District of Columbia

The District of Columbia does not currently issue a cannabis distribution license. In order to obtain a cannabis license, you must apply to the Alcoholic Beverage and Regulation Administration (ABRA). For more information on obtaining cannabis licenses in DC, visit the Licensing Services page of the ABRA website.