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Washington DC Marijuana Laws

March 30, 2020 4 min read

What are the marijuana laws in Washington DC as of 2020? 


Thankfully, DC has legalized recreational marijuana - hallelujah!


Thus I-71 compliant laws were born to protect and allow individuals to acquire a decent but limited amount of weed. 


The cannabis industry, however, is still finding itself in the grey area, battling against the legalities on a federal level.


So why are there still arrests being made, and why are there still raids if weed is legal?


Keep reading to better understand and familiarize yourself with what the laws are exactly, so you don’t find yourself in a sticky situation that can be avoided.



Is Weed Legal In DC?


The golden question is, is weed legal in DC?


Despite the overwhelming support of marijuana enthusiasts, individuals are still pondering this question even six years after the legalization.


The answer is simple.


The issue that comes into play is the fact that you cannot legally purchase or sell cannabis. That’s the catch.


The very next assumable question would be, how does one go about inquiring some good greenery without the interference with law enforcement?


Federally speaking, weed isn’t legal, only for the state.


In other words, there are still chances of you being arrested for smoking, possessing, or even owning a store with any cannabis-related products.


This especially applies to federal grounds in the city. It won’t matter if you have a license to grow or a medical card to purchase weed.


It is still illegal everywhere in the United States from a federal standpoint. Annoying right?


But it’s not all as bad as it sounds. There are still several ways to get your greenery.

Make sure to check out our master guide on if weed is legal in DC.


Recreational Laws In DC


The recreational laws in DC have made it easier to possess and smoke weed in the comfort of your own home or private area. It is, however, legal to:

  • Grow up to 6 marijuana plants, 3 of which may be mature or flowering at a given time
  • Possess up to two ounces in public
  • Share up to one ounce with another adult 21+
  • You cannot sell it
  • You can’t smoke it in public, either, unless you want to pay a fine

recreational weed laws

You can actually go down to the station and get your weed back if you’re caught smoking in public with less than two ounces! How cool is that?


DC Initiative 71


weed laws dc i71 compliant

What are the Initiative 71 compliant laws in DC? This law allows for a person who is at least 21 years old to:

  • Possess two ounces or less of marijuana
  • Transfer one ounce or less of marijuana to another person who is at least 21 years old, as long as there is no payment made or any other type of exchange of goods or services
  • Possess marijuana-related drug paraphernalia
  • Use marijuana on private property
  • Cultivate in their residence up to six marijuana plants, but no more than three of which are mature

However, you CAN be arrested for:

  • Selling any amount of pot to another person;
  • Possessing more than two ounces of marijuana;
  • Operate a vehicle or boat under the influence
  • Smoking, eating or drinking marijuana in any place to which the public is invited

I71 compliant laws are crucial because, without it, we wouldn’t have been able to have the luxury of dispensary storefronts or shops.


Despite the loophole, there are still raids that take place as soon as one of these laws are broken.


In short, though the police can still arrest or seize your weed, it is not likely unless you are blatantly going against Initiative 71.


Verbiage is critical for storefronts because you MUST make it clear and straightforward that you are NOT selling weed.


The product is, and will only be a gift for purchasing an item (non-cannabis related). A prime example of an exceptional storefront that is I71 compliant, is a place called Cloud 9 on U street.

i71 compliant weed shop in dc

The store is mesmerizing with artistic clouds that hang above the ceiling upon entry. Product selections are diverse with remarkable bud quality.


It’s a very clean and safe feeling atmosphere. Stores such as Cloud 9, do a fantastic job of delivering outstanding gifts all while maintaining and regulating their I71 compliant laws.


All this in mind, it’s safe to say that the I71 recreational laws have helped marijuana smokers a great deal.  None of this could have been done without it. I71 led us to where we are now, with the glorious opportunity to seek weed freely and comfortably.


Although anyone can be arrested at any given time, the chances aren’t likely unless you are being obnoxiously obvious or disrupting those around you. So stay safe and most importantly, stay HIGH.


Thanks for reading! Please leave any questions or concerns in the comments section below!

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