(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced that his administration has completed the development of regulations governing the use of medical marijuana. The emergency rules also regulate the cultivation, sale and distribution of marijuana grown for that purpose.
The rules take effect upon publication in the D.C. Register, currently scheduled for April 15. They implement a law passed by the D.C. Council last year.
“District residents suffering from painful conditions like cancer and HIV/AIDS will soon have one more option to help relieve their symptoms,” said Mayor Gray. “In addition, the regulations published today will put in place the structure necessary to allow registered parties to grow and sell medical marijuana in a safe and medically appropriate manner. These regulations are among the most comprehensive anywhere in the country and are intended to describe the rights and obligations of patients, growers and sellers clearly.”
Potential cultivation centers and dispensaries will be required to apply for permits through the District Department of Health. Potential patients will be required to receive recommendations from their bona fide physician and register with the District prior to purchasing medical marijuana. District residents will not be permitted to cultivate marijuana in their homes.
The District joins 15 states in allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The Department of Health will announce when it will begin accepting applications for cultivation centers and dispensaries as well as the process for patient registration.
The rules are being published on an emergency basis in order to expedite the District’s ability to meet the needs of residents who are suffering from serious illnesses that can be effectively treated with medical marijuana. The Mayor intends to adopt this rule, in final form, not less than thirty (30) days from the date of publication of this notice in the D.C. Register or upon approval of this rulemaking by the Council, whichever occurs later.