Want to join the medical cannabis program in Washington, DC, but you don't live there? Thanks to a new law that permits out-of-state patients to self-certify, there will be no hassle now.
The "Medical Marijuana Patient Access Extension Second Emergency Amendment Act of 2022," which further modifies DC's medical marijuana program to permit visitors and non-residents to self-certify for temporary medical recommendations, was signed this week by Mayor Muriel Bowser (D). Visitors can obtain a 30-day digital recommendation for using medical marijuana establishments with a short online application, proper ID, and a $30 fee. This includes reciprocity for patients from outside the state.
The website of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration provides access to an application for an urgent medical recommendation for adults and eligible patients who are over 21 and from outside the state. It is similar to the legislation Bowser approved in the summer allowing residents of DC aged 21 and older to self-certify, thus removing administrative obstacles to adult access to medical cannabis in the capital.
The emergency bill will be annulled in 90 days, however, in addition to the emergency bill, a longer-term measure is under consideration, and Bowser has to pass it until Oct. As part of the bill, patients can purchase up to 8 ounces of marijuana, caregivers can make recommendations for patients for two years, and the residency paperwork process is simplified for patients.
This is the most recent move by local DC officials to curtail the renowned cannabis gifting industry in the city. The council rejected the relevant bill back in April. Cannabis gifting comes from a legislative loophole passed in 2014, and the majority of these businesses operate in violation of DC medical marijuana laws.
Council members have condemned this practice, but they refuse to take steps to check the stores and the people who practice it. They have therefore chosen the alternative, which is to make medical marijuana as widely available as possible. That might alter in light of Biden's recent pledge to "look into" cannabis and its scheduled status. It's about time, considering he ran for president on that promise.