Pursuant to Washington DC cannabis laws, businesses looking to make medical cannabis products in the District must obtain a manufacturer license from the (ABCA) Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration. A medical cannabis manufacturer license permits the licensee to operate a cannabis license in DC to:
Note that per ABCA rules, cannabis manufacturing refers to the production, preparation, conversion, or processing of cannabis, directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of natural source, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a mixture of extraction and chemical synthesis.
Licensed medical cannabis manufacturers in Washington DC are not mandated to obtain cultivation licenses. However, if they want to own cultivation centers, they may opt to apply for cultivation licenses. The manufacturer license allows licensees to process medical cannabis from cultivation centers; hence, cannabis materials needed in the manufacturing process may be obtained from DC-licensed cultivation center licensees.
The Washington DC Alcoholic Beverages and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) classified marijuana manufacturing licenses based on whether the licensee’s scope of operations is limited to cannabis manufacturing only or if permitted operations include extraction.
The ABCA issues two types of manufacturer licenses:
Type 2 manufacturing licenses are issued to businesses intending to manufacture cannabis products using hazardous materials, compressed gases, flammable and combustible liquids, cryogenic fluids, or extraction equipment requiring an operational permit from the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
No. The District does not require cannabis businesses to obtain a separate license from the cannabis manufacturing license to manufacture edibles.
To apply for a medical cannabis manufacturer license in DC, you must fulfill specific eligibility requirements. You must:
Also, applicants are required to meet the following application criteria:
Zoning Determination: You must provide a zoning determination letter from the Department of Buildings (DOB) Zoning Administrator that shows the premises where the manufacturer license is sought is zoned for manufacturing. Before the manufacturer license is issued, the applicant must also provide a certificate of occupancy issued by the DOB for the building where the licensed premises will be located
Zoning Compliance: You must provide substantiating documentation attesting that the proposed physical address designated for use as a manufacturer is situated beyond the bounds of a residential district or any zone within a 300-foot radius of a school or a recreation center. Alternatively, demonstrate that the nearest property demarcation or principal entry point of the school or recreation center bears a designation of commercial or industrial zoning status as confirmed by the official records of the Zoning Commission
This submission necessitates the inclusion of either an attested surveyor's report or a detailed Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map. This documentation, when requested from ABCA, should explicitly indicate the proximity of the manufacturer to the closest public or private preschool, primary school, secondary school, or recreation center. To request a GIS map, email ABCA.firstname.lastname@example.org, ensuring the inclusion of the subject line: "GIS Map Request for Medical Cannabis Facility Application."
Application Form: Complete a DC Medical Cannabis Business License Application
Acknowledgment and Attestation Form: You must provide a signed and notarized Medical Cannabis Facility Applicant Acknowledgement and Attestation Form
Social Equity Application: If you are a social equity applicant, you must provide documentation showing that you qualify as a social equity applicant. Therefore, you must meet two or more of the requirements outlined in D.C. Official Code § 7-1671.01(20C) and satisfy the requirements of D.C. Official Code § 7-1671.06(g)(1). You must also provide both the notarized Medical Cannabis Facility Applicant Social Equity Declaration Form and a Social Equity Applicant Attestation Statement
Medical Cannabis CBE: If you are a certified business enterprise, you must provide documentation that you are registered as a medical cannabis CBD by the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD)
Required Documentation: You must submit all the required documents listed on the Medical Cannabis Business License Application Checklist
Lease or Occupancy Agreement: You must provide a current written lease, intent to lease, agreement to purchase, or agreement to occupy all or a part of the building for the applicant's use issued by the Department of Buildings (DOB) for the structure in which the licensed premises will be located
Security Plan: You must provide a security plan detailing the following:
Applications are required to be legibly typed, preferably in a 12-point font. The application must be filed in its entirety in hard copy or electronically. If submitting electronically, the submission must combine all the required items in 1 PDF document. To submit an application electronically, make your submission to ABCA.email@example.com. To submit your application by mail or in person, submit to:
2000 14th Street NW
Suite 400 South
Washington, DC 20009
Note that applicants applying as a medical cannabis certified business enterprise must submit to ABCA the required Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD)-issued certification documentation with their submitted application.
Also, according to the ABCA regulations, if you fail to address all required documents and plans, the application will be considered non-responsive and not accepted by ABCA. Manufacturer license applications accepted by ABCA are required to undergo a 45-calendar day public comment period. For more information on obtaining a medical cannabis manufacturer license, review the application instructions guide. Applications for medical cannabis manufacturer licenses are only accepted during open application periods.
The annual fee for a standard Type 1 manufacturer’s license is $4,000.00. The annual fee for a standard Type 2 manufacturer’s license is $8,000.00. The annual fee for a social equity Type 1 manufacturer's license is $1,000.00, and for a Type 2 manufacturer's license is $2,000.00 for the first three years. Manufacturer applicants must also pay their annual fee for the first year within 60 calendar days of ABC Board approval but before license issuance.
Note that applicants must pay a non-refundable application fee as part of their application submission. The application fee for a standard manufacturer license applicant is $4,000.00. The application fee for a social equity manufacturer applicant is $1,000.00. Application fees are payable using a check, money order, cashier's check, or credit card.
Applicants submitting their applications in person are the applicant type permitted to use credit cards in making their payments. They will be required to present their credit cards to an ABCA representative upon submission. The ABCA also permits applicants to request a payment link to complete their payments electronically. To request a payment link, email ABCA.CannabisLicensing@dc.gov. Note that starter checks, cash, and payment by phone are not accepted. Also, applicants paying via cashier's checks must make the checks payable to the "DC Treasurer."
The applicant is responsible for all costs in the application preparation and submission. ABCA is not responsible for any costs incurred by an applicant in preparing or submitting an application.
Yes. However, according to ABCA regulations, medical cannabis manufacturing licensees are not allowed to hold a courier or testing laboratory license.