Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser released the following plan this week:
Mayor Muriel Bowser has proposed the Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2019 – legislation allowing for the sale of recreational cannabis in Washington, DC. The bill enhances public health and safety, provides clarity on the use of cannabis and cannabis products, and advances equity to ensure that that benefits of the new regime go to DC’s most vulnerable communities through jobs and investments in housing. Revenues collected on cannabis will be invested back into the community, focusing most on areas hardest hit by the criminalization of marijuana.
Mayor Bowser’s legislation follows through her on her commitment to fulfill the wishes of DC voters when they overwhelmingly passed Initiative 71, which legalized adult possession and home use of marijuana. Voters passed the initiative with the understanding that DC would then set up a tax and regulate system. Before the Council could enact such a system, Congress stepped in and imposed a rider on DC’s appropriations bill, prohibiting DC from using its local funds to fully enact Initiative 71 in a safe and regulated manner.
Why do we need the Safe Cannabis Act?
- Safety – Illegal drugs cause violence in our neighborhoods. In the unregulated market, products may contain dangerous chemicals and pesticides.
- Clarity – Residents have expressed confusion about what is legal and what is not – this drives some adults to the illegal market.
- Equity – Despite similar rates of marijuana use, communities of color have been disproportionately harmed by the criminalization of cannabis.
What can residents expect?
Must be at least 21 years old and present valid government identification to legally enter a cannabis establishment and purchase products.
- Daily individual purchase limits:
- 1 oz of usable cannabis flower
- 5 grams of cannabis concentrate
- 16 oz of cannabis infused edibles
- 72 oz of cannabinoid product in liquid form
- Prohibits consumption in public spaces such as sidewalks, parks, schools and roadways.
- Creates the ability to purchase products online for delivery to a residential address.
- Prohibits smoking in any workplace.
- Taxes cannabis and cannabis products at a rate of 17% at the point of sale.
What can vendors expect?
- For 6 months after enactment, applications for licenses for off-premise retailers and cultivators will be first opened to those who already possess a medical marijuana license.
- Five types of licenses which will be valid for a term of three years, renewable, and limited based on demand:
- Cultivator, manufacturer, distributor, off-premise, retailer, and testing facility
- A requirement of 60% of ownership for each new licensee and 60% of employees must be DC residents.
- Public comment and ANCs feedback during the application process.
- DC Government will use a seed-to-sale tracking system.
- This new adult use regime will be run in parallel to the medical marijuana regime.
- The Alcohol and Beverage Regulation Administration will be renamed the Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Administration.
Source: Washington D.C. Mayor’s office