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Emergency Vote in DC on Cannabis Gifting Services Scheduled for Tomorrow

Hashish gifting storefronts and supply providers in Washington, DC are bracing themselves at present for a DC Metropolis Council emergency vote scheduled for tomorrow, April 5, 2022, that would drive them again underground.

Initiative 71 legalized hashish for leisure use in DC in 2014, with 64.87% of voters approving the measure. Nevertheless, DC’s lack of statehood implies that the town price range must be accepted by Congress — and instantly following the passage of the initiative, Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris launched an modification to the invoice often called the Harris Rider that has successfully allowed Congress to dam the town authorities from legalizing business adult-use gross sales.

Residents of DC are at the moment allowed to own as much as two ounces of hashish, develop as much as six vegetation, and present as much as an oz to different adults, however business gross sales stay banned because of the Harris Rider. During the last a number of years, this has led to a “gifting financial system,” a inventive workaround through which prospects buy an merchandise reminiscent of a T-shirt, digital art work, fitness center membership or different product and obtain a hashish present in trade.

This has led to some pressure between medical hashish dispensary homeowners and the oldsters operating gifting providers. It’s additionally attracted the ire of DC Metropolis Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who has tried to take motion in opposition to I-71 gifting retailers a number of instances.

Final yr, Mendelson launched an emergency invoice to empower metropolis businesses to have interaction in “revocation of licenses, sealing of premises, and fines for companies buying, promoting or exchanging marijuana.” The language within the invoice that will have elevated enforcement on gifting companies, together with a positive of as much as $30,000, was eliminated sooner or later forward of the vote.

Now Mendelson has revived the struggle, calling for an emergency vote tomorrow that will permit the town to shut down gifting companies beginning in mid-Could, whereas additionally eliminating the necessity for a health care provider’s suggestion for anybody procuring medical hashish from DC dispensaries by self-certifying their medical use. This transfer is supported by many medical hashish dispensary homeowners, who complain that they’re dropping enterprise to gifting shops, which function in a grey space of the regulation because of the Harris Rider.

A decision from Mendelson’s workplace, reported by, declares that “A number of dozen unlawful hashish companies are at the moment working within the District. These companies … don’t pay the charges and taxes licensed services should pay, placing licensed hashish companies at a aggressive drawback.”

Underneath I-71, DC residents can develop as much as six vegetation for private use and gifting — however dwelling growers accused of operating an unlawful service might be fined $30,000 and locked out of their residence for 96 hours.

DC residents can contact council members to allow them to know they don’t need their taxes getting used to close down hashish gifting shops. The vote is scheduled for tomorrow’s legislative session.