This Legislation Will Expand Safe Access for Consumers and Will Help Deter Residents from Turning to Illegal and Unregulated Sources
Washington, DC — Today, in a major win for cannabis patients, the DC Council voted unanimously to pass the “Medical Marijuana Self-Certification Emergency Amendment Act of 2022.”
This bill allows individuals 21 years of age and older to self-certify their eligibility for medical cannabis without needing a healthcare practitioner’s recommendation.
The bill expands access to medical cannabis by easing the logistical burden of becoming a medical cannabis patient. Bypassing the arbitrary and antiquated recommendation process will allow patients to save time and money – often hundreds of dollars because these types of appointments are not covered by insurance, creating an additional barrier. Studies have shown that even among adult-use customers, the majority are using cannabis for health and wellness reasons. This reform makes DC one of the most accessible and affordable medical programs in the country.
The bill also expedites the medical cannabis card process to one day if the patient selects to visit ABRA’s office located at 2000 14th Street, NW.
“By allowing residents 21+ to self-certify as medical cannabis patients, access to safe and legal medical cannabis will expand and residents will hopefully be deterred from obtaining potentially harmful “street” cannabis from illegal sources,” said Linda Mercado Greene, Chair of the DC Cannabis Trade Association. “It is absolutely critical to have a safe, legal cannabis market so that those who use cannabis for therapeutic purposes are able to safely and reliably access their medicine.”
Currently, ABRA is waiving registration fees through August 18, 2022, meaning no out-of-pocket cost for patients. The program allows patients to purchase up to two ounces and offers reciprocity for patients registered in 38 other states.
This bill was considered on an emergency basis and will take effect immediately, pending mayoral review. DCCTA thanks CM Mary Cheh for sponsoring the bill, CM Kenyan McDuffie for co-sponsoring, and Chairman Phil Mendelson for putting it on the agenda.
The DC Cannabis Trade Association (DCCTA) is a coalition of legally licensed cannabis businesses. For more information on DCCTA, you can visit our website at dccta.org.
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