DC City Council Votes Nov 2nd. The threat to shutdown ALL Washington, DC cannabis gifting shops has been revoked!
News Report by SLS Woman @Ari_OnlySmokes and SLS Contributor, Jack Dobbyn
The Rumors are TRUE. On Thursday, October 28th , Phill Mendelson, Chair of Washington, D.C. City Council introduced an emergency amendment that would allow local authorities to engage in more aggressive enforcement against the gray market “to respond to the threats posed by illegal cannabis storefront and delivery services.”
The council is set to vote on the emergency measure Tuesday, November 2. The move comes only a couple weeks after congress removed the ban preventing recreational marijuana sales in the District and just weeks before a Council hearing on legislation that would create the legal framework for recreational sales.
BUT! DC’s citizens overwhelmingly reached out to DC city council members and before the vote, the aggressive enforcement language was removed! Only a few cannabis regulation issues are up for vote on November 2nd.
The new changes with the amendment.
The emergency amendment did have some good and honestly necessary provisions. Since emergency covid measures extending medical marijuana licenses expired on July 25th, 2020 and 6,216 of the almost 12,000 registered medical cannabis users in D.C. lost their licenses and can no longer purchase medical marijuana legally. Sales of medical marijuana in DC have plummeted as a result, with some dispensaries citing drops of 40% or more. The measure will provide a three-month grace period to those whose cards expired on or after March 2020, will extend the renewal period to two years instead of one, and will increase the amount of medical marijuana card holders can legally carry from two ounces to eight ounces.
What Does This Mean for All of Us?
If the threat was enacted, the Mendelson amendment could have shut down and brought more aggressive enforcement to anyone operating in this current “gray” cannabis market. Not only putting hundreds of jobs at risk, but there is also significant risk of the bill shuttering what could form the basis of an eventual legal marketplace in D.C.
Lonny The Street Lawyer and The SLS Women have been on a mission to get “cannabis to the people.” This emergency amendment threatens the shop from opening back up after a police intervention of the shop operation.
If passed, the measure would allow the District to impose heavy fines, revoke business licenses and seal any “businesses purchasing, selling or exchanging marijuana” without a permit issued by D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). It also will allow the District to impose civil penalties on landlords of businesses selling marijuana without a permit.
Since the use and possession of recreational marijuana was legalized by Initiative 71 (I-71) in 2014, hundreds of businesses have been created operating under a grey-area loophole that allows for the gifting of marijuana. Over the course of 7 years, a burgeoning community of entrepreneurs have built a marketplace that includes a wide variety of shops such as pop-ups, events, delivery services, bakeries and store-fronts, offering items for sale that come with a “gift” of cannabis.
Why is Cannabis Gifting Important for the DC Community?
The financial barriers to entry in the cannabis industry negatively affects the minority demographic from generating an income and revenue in the cannabis space. Giving large pharmaceuticals even more dominance of the DC cannabis market. It also negatively affects the citizens who are unable to obtain medical cards and the recreational users who prefer getting high to drinking alcohol.
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DC City Councilors Contact Info
|Chairman Phil Mendelson
Chair Pro Tempore Kenyan McDuffie
Ward 5 Councilmember
Janeese Lewis George
Trayon White, Sr.
How to buy weed in DC- All about cannabis gifting laws.