Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday signed a invoice into regulation that may ease entry for medical hashish sufferers within the nation’s capital.
Generally known as the Medical Marijuana Self-Certification Emergency Modification Act of 2022, the measure will permit sufferers who’re within the medical hashish program to “self-certify” their qualifying situation for the remedy.
Meaning, efficient instantly, these sufferers will not must obtain a advice from a physician so as to obtain a medical hashish card.
Bowser hailed the brand new ordinance as a victory each for sufferers and medical hashish suppliers.
“Now we have made it a precedence through the years to construct a extra patient-centric medical marijuana program and this laws builds on these efforts,” Bowser stated in a statement on Wednesday. “We all know that by bringing extra medical marijuana sufferers into the authorized market in a well timed method and doing extra to degree the taking part in discipline for licensed medical marijuana suppliers, we are able to defend residents, help native companies, and supply readability to the group.”
“I applaud the Council for transferring ahead this revolutionary resolution to a posh challenge, and I sit up for working with the Council and ABRA on everlasting, extra complete medical marijuana laws sooner or later,” she continued.
The ordinance was passed late last month by the Washington, D.C. Metropolis Council.
Supporters of the measure stated it was important for medical hashish dispensaries in Washington, D.C. which have taken successful to their backside line because of the prevalence of illicit pot retailers within the metropolis.
“As a result of decrease obstacles to entry within the grey market, a major variety of medical marijuana sufferers have shifted from buying their medical marijuana from authorized medical dispensaries to the illicit grey market, creating a major danger to the long-term viability of the District’s authorized medical marijuana business,” Councilmembers Kenyan McDuffie and Mary Cheh, the 2 sponsors of the ordinance, stated in an announcement final month. “If this pattern continues, it’s potential that grey market gross sales might wipe out the District’s authorized marijuana dispensaries.”
A lot of these unregulated hashish retailers in Washington, D.C. make use of the apply of “gifting,” by which a buyer pays for a product akin to a t-shirt and in flip receives a “present” of hashish.
In April, the D.C. Metropolis Council voted down a proposal that may have imposed hefty fines on these illicit pot shops.
Underneath the proposal, these unregulated retailers would have been hit with fines as much as $30,000. It additionally would have permitted adults aged 21 and older in D.C. to acquire medical hashish with no physician’s go to.
Looming over this dilemma is a Congress-imposed ban on leisure gross sales in Washington, D.C.
Voters within the district authorised an initiative in 2014 that legalized leisure hashish, however Congress, which oversees D.C. legal guidelines, has included a provision in each appropriations invoice since then that prohibits the commercialization of leisure pot within the metropolis.
It was a blow to hashish advocates within the nation’s capital, and to Bowser, who expressed hope final fall when Senate Democrats unveiled a spending invoice that didn’t embrace the availability.
“The Senate appropriations invoice is a important step in recognizing that in a democracy, D.C. residents must be ruled by D.C. values,” Bower’s workplace stated in an announcement on the time. “As we proceed on the trail to D.C. statehood, I need to thank Senate Appropriations Committee Chair, Senator Patrick Leahy, our good pal and Subcommittee Chair, Senator Chris Van Hollen, and, after all, our champion on the Hill, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, for recognizing and advancing the need of D.C. voters. We urge Congress to move a last spending invoice that equally removes all anti-Dwelling Rule riders, permitting D.C. to spend our native funds as we see match.”