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Is Weed Legal in DC?

January 09, 2022 9 min read

It's been almost 6 years since recreational weed has been legalized in DC and still the majority of DC residents and the many tourist are asking "is weed legal in DC" and if so how do I buy it?

You may have seen all the weed delivery services, events, and smoke shops in DC, but you want to know just how legal it is and how to safely buy marijuana in DC without running into any issues. Worry not my friend, you landed on the right article because we are going to break down everything you need to know to get legal weed in DC today!

In a very simple answer for is weed legal in Washington DC: yes, both recreational and medical marijuana are legal, but the sales of marijuana for recreational use remains illegal.

With only 7 medical marijuana dispensaries supplying all of DC's medical marijuana patients this was the only option to purchase marijuana if you follow the law precisely. This left DC residents that want to obtain recreational marijuana with the only option of growing it themselves or being gifted from a medical marijuana card holder.

This was a very unrealistic approach that left Washington DC residents thinking hard of something new and creative that still adhered to the laws.

is weed legal in DC

You must be wondering is weed legal in DC, because you see most residents have no issues finding weed. They do not use a medical marijuana card nor do they grow it themselves. So just how are local residents of DC obtaining their recreational weed?

In this article ultimate guide are going to show you just how local residents are purchasing marijuana in DC legally, how you can snag some premium marijuana today like the Doja Pack in the image above from Cloud 9 DC with no medical card, and what you need to know about the laws so you can avoid costly legal troubles. Find out everything you need to know below.


Is Weed Legal in Washington DC - The Laws Explained

Nobody really loves talking about the laws.

Understanding the laws do, in fact, help you to understand how to safely and securely purchase legal weed in DC. Don't worry we will keep the legal jargon down to a minimum and rest assured by the end of the day you'll have some nice buds with no legal issues.

So let's take a quick look at the laws that helped make weed legal in Washington DC:

1998 Initiative 59 - DC Medical Marijuana Laws

Initiative 59 law was passed in 1998 but was opposed many times in legislation until finally in 2013 medical marijuana was allowed for DC residents. As a medical marijuana patient you could possess up to four ounces of marijuana and were allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants. But of course, many residents and tourist just do not have time to get a medical marijuana card or don't want to be tracked by the government when it comes to cannabis consumption. With that being said the next law is what opened the doors for recreational cannabis possibilities in Washington DC.

2015 Initiative 71 - DC Recreational Marijuana Laws

is weed legal in DC Initiative 71

Our primary focus on law will be on Initiative 71 for obtaining legal weed in DC. This law allows for adults 21 and over to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, possess drug paraphernalia(bongs), and are able to grow six marijuana plants.

More importantly, with this law anyone 21 years of age or older in Washington DC was allowed to gift up to one ounce of marijuana, but never for money or barter. Simply put, if you were to gift up to an ounce of cannabis, it must solely be a gift!

This simple statement in the law of allowing to gift up to an ounce of marijuana is how the entire recreational market in DC exploded and it's why you see many DC weed delivery services and DC smoke shops selling cannabis. Correction, they are not "selling" cannabis, they are merely selling items such as t-shirts, art prints, stickers, and gifting their marijuana with the purchase.

This simple process known as the "gifting process" allows for the majority of DC residents to purchase marijuana safely in DC with no medical card required. Pretty cool, right? We are going to do a deep dive into this process so for those of you that are looking to buy weed today, you will know exactly how and where to without getting tangled in any legal issues.

2020 Initiative 81 - DC Marijuana Decriminalization Laws

With the emergence of the gifting market of cannabis in Washington DC, many cannabis events, DC weed delivery services, and DC smoke shops popped up. For a few years there was a struggle between law enforcement and DC residents as these events and operations were shut down and many people were charged in 2016-2019.

But DC residents persevered and slowly but surely the law enforcement realized this was just not worth pursuing! Initiative 81 was passed in 2020 stating that any psychedelic drugs were now of the lowest enforcement priority. This took pressure off the gifting community and what you see as of 2020 in the legal cannabis market is much safer, so you can be rest assured that law enforcement is no longer pursuing any of the gifting community just so long as you follow the verbiage when purchasing marijuana in DC! More on verbiage and how to order legal cannabis in DC below.

Is Marijuana Legal in Washington DC - How to Order Today

As of 2020 and going into 2021 marijuana is definitely legal but with many legal nuances. For the majority reading this article we know it's not practical you are going to grow your own weed and also you may have reasons you just don't want a medical marijuana card.

For the vast majority of DC residents going the gifting route of marijuana through the legal loop hole of initiative 71 is the best possible solution.

DC marijuana is now very easy to obtain and as mentioned earlier it's all in the verbiage when you order.

Run the search query for how to buy weed in DC in Google and you will be left with many options! None of which are medical marijuana dispensaries. You will see a list of weed delivery services, headshops, pop-up events in DC selling cannabis.

Initiative 71 allows anyone in DC to gift someone else up to an ounce. Understanding the gifting process is the difference between walking into a District of Columbia smoke shop and walking out with cannabis or being turned away coldly. Let's obviously avoid the latter.

When ordering legal cannabis in DC make sure you follow the proper verbiage:

Make Sure you Never Ask to Buy Marijuana Products

This is very important. The entire market of the legal recreational weed community is thriving because they adhere to this rule: they do not "sell" marijuana in any store front or delivery service. They are only "gifting"! If you come into a DC smoke shop and ask to buy weed, you are going to look like an undercover cop and treated as one - cold shoulders.

Make sure when you walk into any legal weed establishment you are asking to buy the item in which they are trying to sell. These items can range from anything from a t-shirt, sticker, art print, speech, a song, etc. Ask to buy this item and then to see the "gift menu". Usually the products such as an art print will have various price tiers in relation to what cannabis gift you want.

For example a $30 sticker may come with a free eighth of cannabis as a gift. Get it how it works?

legal weed in DC

Make Sure you always Refer to Marijuana Products as Gifts

Make sure you always refer to the marijuana products as gifts when placing an order or inquiring about an order of legal weed in DC. This verbiage takes practice but if you follow it the smoke shops in DC understand you are trying to protect yourself and their store front! This opens up for mutual respect and a great customer experience. Most trusted smoke shops will coach you through this process like Cloud 9 DC - which is one of the most trusted DC smoke shops.

Understand You are Purchasing an Inflated Item for legal cannabis in DC

Lastly, understand that you are going to be paying for products at an outrageously inflated price! This means that a sticker that is worth 10 cents you may be paying $240 if the gift associated is one ounce of marijuana . The prices of the items you purchase are in direct correlation with what the price of the marijuana would be. This is how you purchase legal weed in DC.

Legal Weed in DC

Now that you understand all the laws that molded the current legal weed market and you know the proper verbiage it's time to find you the best legal weed in DC at the best prices! As long as you are 21 years of age all adults enjoy the luxury of skipping over the medical cannabis market and diving right into buying legal recreational weed as a gift, of course!

The only downside to the gifting community of legal marijuana in DC is that anyone can open up a smoke shop or delivery service and indeed that is what happened. Hundreds of options are available and this led to many low quality services such as shady smoke shops with bad marijuana, or DC weed delivery services that never showed up or scammed buyers.

Purchasing legal cannabis in DC is not just about verbiage but knowing what places to avoid and where to go to find premium marijuana for great prices. Cloud 9 DC Smoke Shop is one of the first establishments that put the customer experience first. They are a leading example of what the future of legal weed in DC will look like. With premium gifts, great customer experience, and even an app that allows you to track for meetup and delivery options, Cloud 9 is the safest way to purchase legal cannabis in Washington DC!

At Cloud 9 you can get your hands on award winning strains, premium DC edibles, popular concentrate carts, and so much more.

legal marijuana in DC

Their experienced team of budtenders also help first time buyers learn the verbiage and are trusted by their community.

The will always be those that may still feel uncomfortable participating in the new recreational weed market and that is perfectly fine if you want to follow the law precisely with no loopholes. You still have options but these options do take a bit of work.

If you do not want to participate in the gifting community and you want to acquire legal weed in DC your option are:

Grow Your Own Marijuana in DC

If you are a resident in D.C. and want to avoid all legal issues then growing marijuana is an option for you. The only requirements are that you at least 21 years of age, you grow in a controlled environment., and for every adult you are only allowed to grow up to 6 plants - with a maximum of 12 plants per household (2 adults or more).

A controlled environment fro growing legal weed in DC means you can't just grow freely in your front yard or living room. If you have kids in the house you must grow in a room that has no access to minors by using a lock a door. Also 6 plants also has additional rules where only three can be in vegetative state and three can be flowering at a time.

Growing marijuana is fun but can be quite expensive to learn and also very time consuming. If you do master this approach then you will have your legal pot with no worries of any legal repercussions ever.

Get a Medical Marijuana Card in DC

Another option if you are a resident and have the time is the obtain a medical marijuana card through the medical marijuana program in DC. The process is simple but a bit time consuming. You can apply online but at times it can take a few weeks to be approved.

Once you acquire your medical marijuana card buying legal weed in D.C .is easy but just remember there are only a few dispensaries in Washington D.C. serving nearly 7,000 patients. You can expect products to be sold out and a long line more often than not.

Get Gifted from Someone You Know That has Marijuana in DC

The final option if you want to avoid the gifting market of cannabis is to ask your friends. If you know someone that has a medical marijuana card or someone that grows they can legally posses two ounces of marijuana (medical patients four) and can rightfully gift you weed without any legal issues. Just be warned as soon as you pay them for the weed then you are crossing the legal boundaries again so this option is only viable if you are given the weed for free.


So yes, weed is legal in DC, but as you can see with all the changes in law the recreational weed industry grew into something quite beautiful. Yes, there are still many shady operations at play but there are very safe ways for you to purchase legal weed in DC. Cloud 9 DC Smoke Shop is the number one place to purchase cannabis in DC. They put a priority on the law, your experience, and everyone's safety.

Make sure to check out Cloud 9 today and leave when the most premium award winning DC weed strains!

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