District of Columbia: Medical Marijuana Program Expanded

District of Columbia: Medical Marijuana Program Expanded

Washington, DC: Members of the DC City Council and Mayor Vincent Gray have approved legislation amending the District’s medical marijuana program to expand physicians’ authority to recommend cannabis therapy. The Mayor signed the measure, "The Medical Marijuana Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2014," into law on July 29.

Under the city’s existing regulations, enacted in 2010, physicians may only recommend cannabis therapy to patients diagnosed with one of a limited number of qualifying conditions, such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. As amended, DC-licensed doctors will be able to recommend cannabis therapy for any debilitating condition for which he or she believes the plant may offer therapeutic benefits.

About 700 DC residents are presently registered to participate in the program, which allows for registered patients to obtain cannabis from District-licensed dispensaries.

The new measure also expands the number of marijuana plants a licensed cultivator may grow from 95 plants to 500 plants. The measure will become effective following a 30-day Congressional review period. However, as enacted the changes to DC’s medical marijuana program are only temporary and will need to be renewed by the Council later this fall.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.