All cannabis consumers in the nation’s capital will no longer need a doctor’s recommendation to visit one of Washington DC’s seven medical marijuana dispensaries.
According to the Washington Examiner, the DC City Council approved an emergency ordinance Tuesday that removed that mandate for patients 65 and younger to purchase MMJ, effectively opening up the legal MMJ market to anyone who believes cannabis will help them with any ailment.
The change – which follows a similar law issued earlier this year for patients older than 65 – was enacted to help support the licensed MMJ companies in the district, council members said, because the semi-legal gray market of “gifting” cannabis has undercut a lot of businesses that are trying to operate by the book.
“A significant number of medical marijuana patients have shifted from purchasing their (MMJ) from legal medical dispensaries to the illicit gray market, creating a significant risk to the long-term viability of the district’s legal (MMJ) industry,” council members Kenyan McDuffie and Mary Cheh said in a statement, the Examiner reported.
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Although the District of Columbia City Council has been trying to launch a full adult-use market ever since DC voters approved full legalization in 2014, Congress has continuously torpedoed such a move.
That means possession and consumption are legal, but a sale to anyone older than 21 remains illegal, which is what gave rise to the “gifting” business.