Washington, DC: District Regulators Move Forward With Plans To Dispense Medical Marijuana

Washington, DC: Washington, DC Health Officials on Friday selected six companies to provide medical cannabis in compliance with the District’s nascent medical marijuana law.

The companies must still apply for their business license and building permits from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. That process is expected to take less than two weeks.

All six of the successful firms will open their cultivation centers in the northeast quadrant of DC – five in Ward 5 and one in Ward 7 – although the latter applicant may ultimately have to move its site. As reported by The Washington Times newspaper, "The selected companies in Ward 5 are Abatin Wellness Center, a firm affiliated with Montel Williams that will set up operations at 2146 Queens Chapel Road; Holistic Remedies at 1840 Fenwick St.; Montana Apothecary doing business as Alternative Solutions at 2170 24th Place; District Growers at 2417 Evarts St.; and Venture Forth doing business as Center City at 2210 Channing St. Phyto Management LLC was selected to open up across the Anacostia River at 3701 Benning Road NE. However, it is expected to relocate."

District City Council members authorized the establishment of medical cannabis facilities in May 2010 when they amended the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative, a 1998 municipal ballot measure which garnered 69 percent of the vote yet was never implemented.

All of the selected applicants signed a waiver releasing the City from criminal liability if federal officials decide to take action against the facilities. In recent months, agents from the US Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration have targeted multiple medical cannabis dispensaries, including in some instances those licensed by state and local officials.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director or Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500.