D.C. Mayor Signs Law Permitting Visitors To The Nation’s Capital To Self-Certify For Medical Marijuana

The Washington, D.C., mayor authorized the petition legislation allowing non-residents to self-certify as medical marijuana patients. While visiting the nation’s capital without requiring a doctor’s recommendation. The move that supporters say will boost tourism.

Residents of the District can already self-certify under a law passed over the summer. To effectively circumvent a congressional spending bill rider that prevents D.C. from implementing a system of regulated, adult-use cannabis sales with local tax dollars. After the reform went into effect, medical marijuana registrations skyrocketed.

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has now On Monday. Trump signed temporary emergency legislation allowing non-residents to To purchase Marijuana from licensed dispensaries. You must first obtain a 30-day registration from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).

The legislation, unanimously approved by the D.C. Council late last month, also allows patients registered in other states’ medical cannabis programs to qualify for a complete registration, just like District residents. It increases the amount a patient can have from four to eight ounces.

The emergency act went into effect with the mayor’s signature and expires 90 days later. Further, the action is measured with a 225-day duration. It has also been approved by the Council and is being reviewed by the mayor. Who has until October 25 to decide on the proposal?

In addition, D.C. lawmakers passed a resolution declaring an emergency, necessitating the reform.

While ABRA recently implemented a policy allowing for temporary 30-day patient registrations. It resulted in over 5,000 registrations since August. It states, “There is still a need to expand patient access to medical cannabis for qualified non-resident visitors. The District of Columbia who is not enrolled in another jurisdiction’s medical cannabis program.”

According to the resolution, states such as Hawaii and Oklahoma “already allow visiting patients from other jurisdictions to register. To obtain temporary patient registration cards from the jurisdiction being visited to purchase medical cannabis.”

The ABRA issued a notice of the new law going into effect on Thursday. Noting that it also applies to international visitors to the United States capital.

Out-of-state applicants at least 21 years old can self-certify by applying online and paying a non-refundable $30 fee.

Dr. Chanda Macias, founder of the National Holistic Healing Center, a medical cannabis dispensary in Washington, D.C., praised the new policy.

“The nearly 20 million domestic tourists who visit Washington, D.C. each year will now have access to medical cannabis during their stay,” she explained. “This will increase patient access to plant-based medicine while also introducing new patients to the thriving local medical marijuana landscape.” These recent actions demonstrate that Washington, D.C. is setting the standard for expanding patient access.”

While advocates have applauded, Many legislative efforts to expand cannabis access in the District are still ongoing. Call for an end to the federal blockade that has prevented D.C. from establishing a regulated market, despite voters’ approval of an initiative to legalize personal cultivation and possession in 2014.

They followed President Joe Biden’s proclamation earlier this month, pardoning Americans who had committed federal marijuana possession offenses and people who had broken U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) urged the president. To go even further by federally legalizing cannabis allowing the District to establish a commercial cannabis market and grant amnesty on its own.

The ongoing local ban was maintained in Biden’s last two budget proposals. It is “a shocking violation of D.C. home rule by a Democratic administration,” according to the Washington Post.” according to the congresswoman.

According to a recent poll, D.C. voters are overwhelmingly in favor of marijuana legalization and oppose any crackdown on the cannabis “gifting” market that has arisen in the absence of controlled sales

D.C. legislators have also recently sent letters to the House and Senate leadership Appropriations Committees, pleading with them to remove the rider prohibiting local cannabis sales from the Fiscal Year 2023 spending legislation.

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The House passed the relevant spending bill for FY 2023 in July, excluding the D.C. marijuana prohibition language. The rider is also absent from the legislation currently before the Senate from the Democratic Appropriations Committee chairman.

Bowser, Norton, and other city officials have frequently chastised Congress for singling out the District and denying it the ability to do what an increasing number of states have done without federal intervention.

Norton told Marijuana Moment over the phone in July that she is “fairly optimistic.” The rider will not include the final spending package. She claims the District of Columbia’s self-certification policy is an “effective workaround.”

The measure’s patient self-certification provision is a significant expansion of another legislation passed. Earlier this year, allowed people 65 and older to self-certify for medical cannabis without a doctor’s recommendation.

Meanwhile, in July, the mayor signed legislation prohibiting most employers from firing or punishing employees for marijuana use.

The reform is intended to build on a previous measure. It is approved by lawmakers to protect local government employees from workplace discrimination. Because of their use of medical cannabis.

While not directly related to the policy change. D.C. administrative court recently overturn the dismissal of a government employee and medical cannabis patient. Fire them after being suspected of intoxication on the job. Testing positive for Marijuana in late 2020. It also directs that the Office of Unified Communications (OUC) reimburse the employee for all back pay and benefits.

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