How To Get Weed in DC
Cannabis is legal in Washington DC but there’s no dispensaries like you’d find in Denver, Seattle, or Los Angeles. When the city passed Initiative 71, a rider was added to the federal spending budget that prevents the District from setting up a similar retail sales program. No worries, baby! I71 still allows adults to possess, grow, and share weed, so in the absence of licensed businesses, a private market of marijuana gifts bloomed to help you get weed in DC. Here, let me show you around!
I71 Weed-Gifting Services
Here’s the list of services that I currently recommend and promote here for high-quality gifts and dedication to customer service:
- Baked DC: Menu | Review | Website | 202-230-2463
- Street Lawyer Services: Menu | Review | 202-839-4200 | 409 H St NE Washington DC 20002
- Exotic Organics DC: Menu | Review | Website | 202-817-6725
- Peace In the Air: Menu | Review | Website | (323) 744-9333 | 2118 18th St NW Washington DC 20009
- Bagged Buds: Review | Photos | Website | 202-505-7619
- Gifted Curators DC: Menu | Review | 202-684-9915 | 2469 18th St NW Washington DC 20009
- Select Co-Op: Menu | Review | Website | 202-459-1401
- Green Kings DC: Menu | Review | Website | 202-570-4850
- Canamelo: Review | Photos | Website | 202-274-0298
- Lucky Chuckie: Menu | Review | Website | 202-424-8367
- Athena’s Gifts: Menu | Website | 202-749-0042
- Lifted Shop DC: Menu | Review | 202-332-8494 | 2622 Georgia Ave NW Washington DC 20001
- Puff Kings DC: Menu | Website | 202-792-9891
- Entourage DC: Photos | Instagram | 202-848-8781
- Heady Club DC: Menu | Review | Website | 202-460-8698
- Exotic Blooms: Menu | Review | Website | 202-317-9158
- Hidden Leaf DC: Menu | Review | Website | 202-750-3194
Five Ways to Get Weed in DC
There are five ways to get weed in DC that don’t require a medical marijuana card (if you don’t include growing it yourself). You don’t need to be a DC resident, either! Some brands may offer more than one of these options. I’ve sorted my favorite brands by type and gift availability on the Menu Directory to help you find what you’re looking for fast!
But if you’re like me and nothing but the best marijuana will do, then check out my weekly Reviews instead! Every gift featured is available at the time of posting and has personally been inspected and approved for quality by yours truly.
Storefronts are the closest you’ll get to a dispensary experience without a medical card in DC. These typically do not require an appointment, so you may encounter a line, but you’ll have time to peruse the gift display and ask questions. Often hosted inside a smoke shop or CBD store, but there are exceptions. Lifted Shop DC, for example, is located upstairs from ListenVision Studios at 2622 Georgia Ave NW (open from 12-8pm everyday!)
A Pick-Up is when you meet the brand at a private indoor location, like a hotel room, apartment, or AirBNB, and typically requires an appointment. It’s similar to a storefront otherwise, as you’ll have time to ask questions and check out their selection of cannabis gifts before choosing what you want. 1-2 hours in advance should be enough time to secure an appointment, but setting your appointment the day before is a good idea, especially if you’re tight on time. BakedDC is a popular Pick-Up brand (open from 10am-10pm everyday!)
Delivery brands send your gift to a location of your choice. In my experience, the average time is between 1 and 2 hours, so make sure you’re going to be in one place for at least two hours if you go with delivery- or set an appointment in advance the day before! Also note that they cannot deliver to federal property, like the National Mall. Exotic Blooms is a classic example of a Delivery brand (open 9am-7pm everyday! Text or call 202-317-9158 to make an appointment).
Meet-Ups are like a delivery, but the brand tells you the location, which will usually be in front of a coffee shop or restaurant. This is great for visitors unfamiliar with the city, but you could also just ask a regular Delivery brand to suggest a place to meet. I’m sure most will accommodate that sort of request. Since they’re functionally the same as Delivery, I have included them in that category. Select Co-Op primarily offers Meet-Ups.
Pop-Ups, otherwise known as Events, typically have several brands with table displays of weed gifts set up inside a bar, restaurant, or nightclub. Their frequency has waned as police have raided many such events in recent years. FYI, there’s been a Social Use Ban that went into effect, like, a month after I71 kicked off. Here’s the FAQ I wrote about what you can expect at these marijuana pop-up events.
Getting Weed in DC- Coronavirus Update!
During the ongoing pandemic, some Pick-Ups and Storefronts are offering curbside pick-up instead of letting people inside. Curbside Pick-Up is functionally the same as Meet-Ups, above.
Where Can I Smoke Weed in DC?
You’ve successfully got weed in DC, congrats! Now, where do you smoke it? Legally, you’re not allowed to smoke weed in public. The fine is pretty small ($25) so long as you’re on DC-owned land and not federal land (like the National Mall). But if you’re like me and would rather avoid any potential hassles with Johnny Law on your visit, here’s a few options to consider:
Lucky Chuckie Tours will pick you up and drive you around the Nation’s Capital while you enjoy their flower-infused treats. Book them for a romantic evening with your special someone around the National Harbor, or maybe y’all would prefer drive-thru dinosaurs instead? Get a lift from Lucky Chuckie to the Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru Dinosaur Tour on the RFK Stadium grounds! Get stoned and look at dinosaurs, man! Need I say more? RSVP now.
Visit Lifted at 2622 Georgia Ave NW and rent time in their Hot Box, a private lounge next to their in-house cafe of infused treats. No weed? No problem! Lifted’s I71 storefront is right across the hall. You can book your appointment (in 15 or 30 minute increments) in advance online if you’re on a tight schedule!
Planning a longer visit and want a place to stay where smoking weed is explicitly allowed? Go on to AirBNB, then filter by House Rules -> Smoking Allowed. You’ll find several properties from single rooms to entire houses that will welcome traveling stoners with open arms and, in some cases, fat doobies.
What is Initiative 71?
In Washington DC, thanks to Initiative 71, adults 21+ are allowed to:
- Grow up to 6 marijuana plants, only 3 of which may be mature (“flowering”) at a time
- Possess up to two ounces in public
- share up to one ounce with another adult 21+
- But you can’t sell it
- And you can’t smoke it in public, either; if you’re caught it’s a $25 fine.
- (You can actually go down to the station and get your weed back if you’re caught smoking in public with less than two ounces. Strange days, indeed.)
- This only applies on DC-owned land. Cannabis is still federally illegal and around 30% of DC is federal property, like National Parks & government buildings (map) but also federally-subsidized housing
So the way many I71 marijuana-gifting services get around the restriction on sales is to sell something else, like tee-shirts, hats, juices, digital art, lunchboxes, all kinds of stuff, then give you a bag of buds as a free thank you gift. You do not have to be a resident and you don’t need a medical card!
Still have questions? Here’s the DC Weed Delivery FAQ page.
FYI, there are few other sites out there that can help you find buds, but I can’t vouch for the reliability or quality of anyone not on this site. Should you wish to step off the Gentleman’s lighted path, you can check out 420dc.com, LeafedIn.org, WheresWeed DC, and Marijuanas.org. Be careful with anyone that asks you to pay using an app or Bitcoin or anything you can’t reverse in advance as a First Time Customer! Rip-offs are rare but it is the Wild West out there, pilgrim.
How to Get Medical Weed in DC
Want to get your hands on lab-tested products? DC’s medical marijuana program started accepting patients for any condition whatsoever thanks to emergency legislation enacted in 2015. They started accepting out-of-state medical cards in 2018. Your Gentleman, naturally, has some opinions:
Maryland’s medical program has been going strong- visit my Ultimate Guide to Marijuana in Maryland for more info! Want more info on getting your medical marijuana card in DC, Maryland, or Virginia? Why, I’ve got a page just for you, my fine friend, step right this way. More reviews? Oh, Beauregard, you flatter me! Right here under the Medical tag.
Grow Your Own Weed in DC
If you consume a lot of cannabis, growing your own is definitely a consideration. A single adult can grow up to 6 plants in Washington DC, only 3 of which can be mature at once (which I presume to mean ‘flowering’). Here’s the rules on growing your own at home. If you do choose to grow, the local head shops and hydroponic shops are a great place to find seeds, sometimes even clones. Check out DC Seed Exchange to find packs from the hottest new micro-breeders!
CBD Shipped to Your Door!
Have you heard about the benefits of a sexy little cannabinoid called CBD and want to try it out yourself? There’s brick and mortar shops opening up all over the city since the last Farm Bill legalized hemp as well as a bazillion online companies that’ll ship to you anywhere in the US.
I really like District Hemp here locally- you can find my reviews of their products here and here. They ship anywhere in the US and they’ve got store locations in DC, Leesburg, and Manassas! Here’s their website.
Get Outta Town!
The Gentleman is also an avid ganja tourist. You can find marijuana reviews here of products I picked up from a Dispensary while traveling in Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and adding more all the time, God bless America.
The #1 source for weed in DC! Discover Initiative 71 marijuana dispensaries, weed delivery services, and cannabis personally curated by GT.
Washington, DC marijuana laws
Is marijuana legal in Washington, DC?
Current legality status
Cannabis is legal under state law for adults 21+.
Both recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Washington, DC. However, the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes remains illegal. There are seven medical dispensaries in Washington, DC which medical patients can access with a licensed medical card.
Possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for recreational use is legal for people 21 and older. So is possession of paraphernalia. Residents may cultivate up to six plants, three of which may be mature. People may give away up to one ounce of marijuana, but not sell it.
Medical marijuana use is also legal. It was officially legalized in 1998 following the passage of Initiative 59, but a series of legislative challenges prevented the establishment of a functioning medical marijuana program until 2013. Patients can now possess up to four ounces of marijuana and may grow up to six plants (under the 2014 legislation).
In 2020, residents of Washington D.C. passed the Entheogenic Plants and Fungus Policy Act also known as Initiative 81. This policy change makes certain psychedelic (also known as entheogenic) drug crimes the “lowest enforcement priority” of the District’s Metropolitan Police Department.
This policy change does not make psychedelics legal in the region, but does require police officers to place less comparative interest into the investigation and arrest of those possessing, growing, or using psychedelics for therapy.
Washington, DC recreational marijuana laws
Recreational marijuana became legal in Washington, DC in 2015 following the success of Initiative 71, the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Initiative of 2014. It passed with 64.87% approval.
The legislation allows adults 21 and over to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, as well as paraphernalia. They may also grow up to six plants, three of which may be mature. Up to one ounce of marijuana may be given away, but it may not be sold.
Marijuana had previously been decriminalized by legislation passed earlier in 2014. The penalty for possession of up to one ounce was reduced to $25.
It is worth noting that some of Washington, DC is actually federal land and because marijuana is still federally illegal, users may face federal penalties if caught with marijuana in these areas.
Sale of marijuana for recreational purposes is illegal, but some delivery services have attempted to skirt the law by selling other products and giving marijuana away as a gift with purchase. This has been sporadically successful but some operators have faced legal consequences.
Washington, DC medical marijuana laws
In 1998, the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative (Initiative 59), passed with 69% support. It legalized the use of medical marijuana for a wide variety of debilitating conditions.
However, the swiftly passed Barr Amendment proposed by Georgia Congressman Bob Barr (R) blocked DC from implementing the program. The amendment, tacked on to the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, made it illegal to “conduct any ballot initiative which seeks to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act or any tetrahydrocannabinols derivative.” The amendment was overturned in 2009.
In 2010, the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act was passed. It clarified the provisions of the 1998 legislation, notably establishing regulations for dispensaries. Possession limits were set at two ounces for medical patients. The first dispensary did not open until 2013.
The Medical Marijuana Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 expanded eligibility for a medical card to include all conditions that a physician feels may benefit from use of medical marijuana.
In 2015, recreational marijuana legislation allowed patients to cultivate up to six plants, three of which may be mature. Possession limits were raised to four ounces in 2016 per a proposal by Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The Medical Marijuana Reciprocity Amendment Act of 2015, which took effect in 2017, allowed patients from other jurisdictions that had medical marijuana programs equivalent to Washington, DC’s to use their cards at DC dispensaries. The number of eligible states was expanded to cardholders from all states with medical programs in 2019.
In 2020, a temporary order was issued that allowed medical patients to have marijuana delivered to their homes due the COVID-19 pandemic.
Washington, DC qualifying conditions for medical marijuana
The Medical Marijuana Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 stipulates that any condition a physician feels may benefit from medical marijuana is eligible.
How to get a medical marijuana card in Washington, DC
The first step in getting a card in Washington, DC is to consult with a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or dentist. These health professionals can issue recommendations to DC residents that will allow them to legally purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries in the District. Patients may apply online here.
As part of the recommendation process, you’ll be given a recommendation number. With that in hand, submit a patient application to the Department of Health. The application consists of a headshot, photo ID, and two forms of proof that you’re a DC resident. There’s also a $100 application fee, though low-income patients may qualify for a reduced fee of $25.
For more information, see the Health Department’s patient checklist.
Does Washington, DC accept out-of-state medical cards?
As of 2019, patients from any state with a medical marijuana program may use their cards at a DC dispensary.
When does my Washington, DC medical card expire?
Medical marijuana registrations are good for one year, a communications official at the DC Department of Health told Leafly by email.
Washington, DC marijuana growing laws
Per the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Initiative of 2014, anyone over the age of 21 may cultivate up to six plants total, with only three in a mature stage at any one time. People sharing a space may cultivate up to 12 plants, six of which may be mature, for the entire household.
Washington, DC public consumption laws
Public consumption may result in a misdemeanor conviction, up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Technically, because some portions of Washington, DC are federal land, penalties may vary.
In practice, public consumption will result in a $25 fine. Alternatively, offenders may choose to go to court per 2018 policy recommendations issued by the mayor’s office.
Washington, DC cannabis DUI laws
By driving in DC, there is implied consent to a chemical test. If a driver refuses to submit to a test, they shall be informed that their license will be revoked for 12 months. Evidence of a refusal to submit to a test shall be admissible as evidence of guilt in a court of law.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) that may be administered by a trained Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) include breath test instrument, urine test, and blood test (must be administered by a medical professional at the request of law enforcement).
- First offense: Incarceration for no more than 180 days, $1,000 fine, or both, six-month suspended driver’s license
- Second offense: 10-day minimum incarceration up to one year, $2,500 to $5,000 fine, or both, and one-year suspended driver’s license
- Third offense: 12-day minimum incarceration up to one year, $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both, and two-year suspended driver’s license
- Fourth and subsequent offenses: 45-day minimum incarceration (plus an additional 30 days for each subsequent offense) up to one year, $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both
Washington, DC cannabis testing regulations
The District’s medical cannabis must go through a rigorous set of tests that look for moisture content, water activity, terpene and cannabinoid levels (THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBN), foreign matter contamination, microbial and/or mycotoxin contamination, heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury), pesticide and/or fertilizer residue, residual solvents, and homogeneity (for edibles).
Common questions about marijuana legalization in Washington, DC
When did Washington, DC legalize?
Recreational marijuana was legalized in 2014. Medical marijuana was technically legalized in 1998, but cannabis dispensaries were not operational until 2013.
Are dabs legal in Washington, DC?
Concentrates are legally sold by dispensaries in Washington, DC. Recreational legislation does not explicitly mention dabs so caution is advised.
How many recreational dispensaries are in Washington, DC?
Zero. Sale of marijuana for recreational purposes remains illegal. However, there are seven medical dispensaries in Washington, DC.
Are drugs legal in Washington, DC?
Good news! Marijuana is legal for both recreational and medical use in Washington, DC. Learn about the current weed laws on the books, including possession limits, dispensaries, and growing regulations.