Washington DC Medical Marijuana Card

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Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Washington DC?

Yes. Medical marijuana is legal in the District of Columbia under the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Act of 2010. This Act allows DC residents to purchase, possess, and use cannabis to treat diagnosed qualifying medical conditions or their related side effects. The 2010 Act also established the DC medical cannabis program. On October 1, 2020, the DC medical cannabis program was transferred from the DC Department of Health to the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABRA). Medical marijuana in DC is available as concentrates, flowers, edibles, transdermal products, seeds, and seedlings forms.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington DC in 2024


An individual between 18 and 20 years old must see a healthcare professional in person and obtain a recommendation for medical cannabis. Note that patients may only get medical cannabis recommendations via telemedicine for medical marijuana card renewals, not for initial applications


A person who is at least 21 years old may self-certify their application rather than obtaining a healthcare practitioner's recommendation number in their application


After self-certification or obtaining a healthcare recommendation for medical cannabis, an adult patient aged 18 years or older can apply for a Washington DC medical marijuana card online using the Adult Patient Application Portal


Alternatively, they can submit the completed form to the the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) by mail, in person, or via email

  • If the patient is a minor under 18 years, their parent or legal guardian must submit a completed Minor Application Form and Medical Cannabis Caregiver Application Form to the ABCA by email, mail, or in person
  • Once the application is approved, the ABCA will send the applicant’s digital registration
  • The applicant can request a physical Washington DC medical marijuana card on the application portal by selecting "Card Request" as the application type

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Washington DC

Medical marijuana is available to bona fide DC residents who have obtained medical cannabis recommendations from DC-licensed physicians and have been diagnosed to suffer from any of the qualifying medical conditions or undergoing qualifying medical treatments in 2024. These conditions include:

  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Glaucoma
  • Cancer
  • Conditions characterized by persistent and severe muscle spasms, including multiple sclerosis
  • Any other condition determined by DC that is chronic, debilitating, and interfering with the basic functions of life for which the use of medical marijuana is beneficial
  • Any condition that cannot be effectively treated by any ordinary surgical or medical measure or for which there is scientific proof that the use of medical marijuana is likely to be significantly less addictive
  • Any condition requiring medical treatment for which chemotherapy, azidothymidine or protease inhibitors, or radiotherapy use is required

Non-residents from eligible jurisdictions may also purchase medical marijuana by presenting their physical or digital government-issued medical marijuana cards or registrations at medical cannabis dispensaries in DC.

Can I Apply For A Medical Marijuana Card In Washington DC Online?

Yes, DC accepts medical marijuana card applications from qualifying patients aged 18 years or older. The online option is unavailable for caregivers' applications and patients younger than 18 years. Also, obtaining healthcare practitioners' recommendations for medical cannabis via telehealth services is not permitted for first-time patients in Washington DC. They must see their doctors in person to get certified for medical cannabis for initial applications.

How Do I Register With The Washington DC Medical Cannabis Program?

Washington DC medical cannabis law permits patients aged 21 years or older to self-certify themselves for medical cannabis before registering in the District's Medical Cannabis Program. Qualifying patients between 18 and 20 years old must obtain doctors' recommendations. To register with the Washington Medical Cannabis Program, patients and caregivers can apply online or complete paper applications, whichever is applicable.

Do I Need To Be A Washington DC Resident To Get A Medical Marijuana Card?

Washington DC residents and non-residents can apply for the District's medical marijuana cards. However, a non-DC resident who is a cannabis patient may only get a 30-day temporary medical marijuana registration card while visiting.

What Is The Cost Of A Washington DC Medical Marijuana Card?

The fee for a medical marijuana card in the District of Columbia is $100. The District charges $90 for a replacement card. Persons who qualify for reduced fees must pay $25 for standard cards and $20 for replacement cards. Those seeking reduced fees must present proofs to support their indigent claims. Such proofs include DC or federal tax filing returns for the most recent tax year or earning statements received in the last 30 days.

The renewal fee for a medical marijuana card in DC is $100, or $25 if you are eligible for reduced costs. Payment for a medical marijuana card application fee may be made by check or money order made payable to the DC Treasurer. Payments may also be made by MasterCard, Visa, Discover, or American Express. The ABCA does not accept cash payments.

What Do You Need When Visiting A Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Washington DC?

To purchase medical marijuana from approved medical cannabis dispensaries in the District of Columbia, you must provide your medical marijuana card and a photo identification card. Out-of-state medical marijuana cardholders visiting DC medical marijuana dispensaries for the first time must also provide their state-issued photo IDs, medical marijuana cards, and the physician recommendations certifying them for medical marijuana use.

Who Can Prescribe Medical Marijuana In Washington DC?

The District of Columbia requires DC residents, including minors, to obtain medical cannabis recommendations from state-licensed healthcare practitioners before completing applications for medical marijuana cards. These physicians will review the patients' medical records and may carry out additional tests to verify that medical marijuana use is required to treat the conditions suffered by such persons.

The District of Columbia permits physicians, physician assistants, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARPNs), dentists, and naturopathic physicians to issue medical cannabis recommendations to qualifying patients. Among other conditions required for healthcare practitioners to be eligible to issue medical cannabis recommendations, the District requires that they be in good standing to practice medicine or osteopathy in DC and have bona fide relationships with their qualifying patients. The healthcare practitioners registered to issue medical cannabis certifications in DC are listed on a roster published on the ABCA website. The ABCA makes biennial updates to the roster.

Can A Minor Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Washington DC?

Yes. A DC resident under the age of 18 may obtain medical marijuana through the assistance of a caregiver. Prior to getting a medical marijuana card that qualifies the minor to use medical marijuana, the minor must be diagnosed and obtain a medical cannabis recommendation from a qualified healthcare practitioner certifying them to use medical marijuana in the District of Columbia.

Can You Get A Medical Marijuana Card At 18 In Washington DC?

Yes. When they turn 18, participants in the DC medical marijuana program can apply for medical marijuana cards as adults. This means that they will no longer need to designate caregivers in their applications. However, they would still need to provide their healthcare recommendation numbers in their applications to demonstrate that their healthcare providers have certified them for medical cannabis use. Washington DC requires this from minor applicants as well as those between the ages of 18 and 20. Adult applicants aged 21 and older can self-certify and do not need to provide recommendation numbers on their applications.

How To Renew Your Washington DC Medical Marijuana Card

Medical marijuana cards in the District of Columbia are valid for one year. You will be required to pay the applicable renewal fee when renewing your card. In addition, you are required to undergo an annual evaluation with your authorizing healthcare practitioner in order to keep your medical marijuana card valid and active. It is recommended that you schedule the annual assessment with the practitioner on time to have sufficient time left for the renewal, as it may take some time before the ABCA approves your renewal application.

Depending on which option is the most convenient, you may renew your medical marijuana card online via the ABCA website, through the mail, or in person. The renewal process is the same as the initial application process for obtaining a medical marijuana card.

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana In Washington DC?

According to the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Initiative of 2014 (Initiative 71), DC residents aged 21 or older may grow up to six marijuana plants at home, three of which may be mature. If multiple adults live in a household, no more than 12 marijuana plants may be cultivated, 6 of which may be mature. Initiative 71 prohibits exchanging money, goods, or services for homegrown marijuana. Anyone found in possession of more than 2 ounces of marijuana may be arrested.

In DC, marijuana cultivation must be conducted in enclosed areas inaccessible to minors and cannot be seen from public spaces without the use of optical aids. Marijuana growers are also required to take appropriate measures to mitigate the odor of the marijuana plants cultivated. Marijuana growing may only be conducted on the grower's private property. If growing on a rented property, the cultivator must check with the landlord or property manager to ensure that the owner has placed no restrictions on growing marijuana. The cultivation limits for qualified patients are the same for designated caregivers under the DC medical marijuana program.

Washington DC: Benefits Of Having A Medical Marijuana Card In A Recreational Marijuana-Legal State

The sale of recreational marijuana is prohibited in Washington DC, even though Initiative 71 legalized small amounts of cannabis for adult use in the District. Unlike recreational marijuana consumers, DC medical marijuana cardholders can legally purchase medical cannabis products at licensed dispensaries in the District.

Does Washington DC Allow Medical Marijuana Patients To Designate Caregivers?

Yes. The District of Columbia provides for the use of caregivers under the medical cannabis program. The District defines a caregiver as anyone whom a qualifying medical cannabis patient has designated as the individual authorized to possess, obtain from a medical cannabis dispensary, and dispense medical cannabis on their behalf as well as assist in its administration. In order to be eligible to be designated as a medical cannabis caregiver in the District of Columbia, the individual must:

  • Be aged 18 or older
  • Agree to be registered as a qualified patient's caregiver
  • Serve only one qualifying patient at a time
  • Not be employed to administer medical marijuana at a dispensary or cultivation center

The District of Columbia does not assign caregivers to qualified patients. It is the responsibility of qualified patients to find persons who will agree to serve as their caregivers. A qualified patient can assign no more than one caregiver at any time. Medical cannabis caregivers in DC are required to apply for caregiver cards.

Washington DC Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

Washington DC extends medical cannabis reciprocity to patients with valid medical marijuana cards or registrations issued by medical cannabis programs in the following states/territories:

  • Alaska
  • Maine
  • North Dakota
  • Arizona
  • Maryland
  • Ohio
  • Arkansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Oklahoma
  • California
  • Michigan
  • Oregon
  • Colorado
  • Minnesota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Connecticut
  • Mississippi
  • Puerto Rico
  • Delaware
  • Missouri
  • Rhode Island
  • Florida
  • Montana
  • South Dakota
  • Georgia
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Hawaii
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • Virginia
  • Iowa
  • New Mexico
  • Washington
  • New York
  • West Virginia

International and domestic visitors who are at least 21 years old are also permitted to apply for Non-DC resident medical cannabis patient registration, which is valid for 30 days.

Are My Medical Marijuana Records Private?

Yes, medical cannabis records are private in Washington DC. Generally, medical records, including medical marijuana records, are protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). However, the HIPAA Privacy Rule allows the disclosure of protected health information, like patients' medical marijuana records, for some national priority purposes outside the healthcare context. These include disclosure to law enforcement agencies and employers.

Does Insurance Cover Medical Marijuana In Washington DC?

No. Health insurance companies do not reimburse or pay for patients’ medical cannabis expenses in Washington DC.

What Is The Medical Card Limit In Washington DC?

Washington DC medical marijuana cardholders can purchase up to 8 ounces of medical marijuana in any 30-day period and may possess up to 2 ounces at any time.

Can You Go To A Dispensary Without A Medical Card In Washington DC?

No. A medical cannabis card is needed to visit any licensed marijuana dispensary in Washington DC.

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Washington DC Medical Marijuana Card