Washington, D.C.'s Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) made a significant move this week for two industries – tourism and cannabis. On Monday, Bowser signed a bill that would allow tourists visiting the nation's capital to self-certify as medical marijuana patients without a physician's recommendation.
The action comes some three months after she signed the Medical Marijuana Self-Certification Emergency Amendment Act of 2022 into law, which allows D.C. residents to self-certify as MMJ patients and buy cannabis from licensed retailers.
Now, the self-certification right is basically extended to non-residents visiting the capital.
Why Self-Certification In The First Place?
Though adult-use cannabis was legalized in Washington D.C. in 2014, a rider that has remained valid throughout several presidential budget proposals has prevented the District from fully exercising its legal cannabis program.
This legislation enables the District to bypass the rider that has prevented D.C. from using its local taxes to implement a system of legal cannabis commerce.
“We have made it a priority over the years to build a more patient-centric medical marijuana program and this legislation builds on those efforts. We know that by bringing more medical marijuana patients into the legal marketplace in a timely manner and doing more to level the playing field for licensed medical marijuana providers, we can protect residents, support local businesses, and provide clarity to the community," Mayor Bowser stated when she signed the new bill. "I applaud the Council for moving forward this innovative solution to a complex issue, and I look forward to working with the Council and ABRA on permanent, more comprehensive medical marijuana legislation in the future.”
What Now? Tourists Wait In Line
Under the new temporary emergency legislation, non-residents have the right to a 30-day registration from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to buy cannabis from licensed retailers, reported Marijuana Moment.
Under the measure that was unanimously approved by the D.C. Council last month, registered medical marijuana patients from other states are allowed full registration just like District residents. The bill also raises the limit that a patient can possess from four to eight ounces.
The law took effect upon the mayor’s signature and is set to last 90 days since enactment. A supplementary measure that would last for 225 days, is under review, as it has already passed the Council. The deadline for passing on it or signing into law is Oct. 25.
You heard it tourists, so, what are you waiting for?
Photo: Benzinga Edit; Sources: Kindel Media and 12019 by Pixabay
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