Marijuana consumption is divided between medical and recreational, with states falling into different regulations. There are currently 23 states allowing users to take possession of marijuana for non-medical use, and 38 allow its use by patients to ease the symptoms of their conditions.
The laws and regulations differ depending on certain factors. But Washington, DC’s Initiative 71 presents a unique rule on the dispensary of recreational marijuana and how a recently passed bill can benefit medical marijuana users.
This article will tackle Initiative 71, how it affects recreational and medical marijuana, and why users need a medical card to buy products within the capital state.
What Is Initiative 71?
DC Weed laws 2022 are different regarding the distribution of cannabis. The state was able to decide on allowing the recreational use of marijuana through Initiative 71, where 64.87% of the citizens approved the measure. Establishing dispensaries and selling or commercializing marijuana is not permitted under Initiative 71.
Users can’t get them commercially for recreational use. Still, a gifting economy began where citizens could buy T-shirts, stickers, and other merchandise. They could also receive cannabis but limited only to an ounce from shops and other businesses. Marijuana gifting also allowed Washington adult citizens to grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes.
In addition, as a conscientious consumer, getting cannabis products from a reliable store is essential. You put your health at risk if you buy from an unregulated supplier. Fortunately, websites like Cannassentials provide reviews on various cannabis products from a network of suppliers so you buy from licensed stores.
Bill Passed That Allowed Self-Certification
The legislation was passed in December 2022, allowing adults to self-certify eligibility for using medical marijuana. It means users no longer need a physician’s certification to acquire cannabis. Legalizing gifting shops isn’t possible because of the ban enforced by congress. Still, the bill allowed an expansion in the medical marijuana market space through the gifting business.
The bill now gives gifting businesses a chance to apply for the medical marijuana retailer license and prevent the businesses’ enforcement in 315 days. The bill aims to avoid the widespread use of unregulated marijuana not tested by gifting shops, risking public safety.
The bill is expected to bring a positive light to the industry. More people now have access to good-quality cannabis than ever.
Do You Still Need A Medical Marijuana Card?
That also depends on which states allow it and the dispensaries in your area. In the case of Washington, DC, some dispensaries will enable you to buy medical marijuana with or without a medical card now.
In some places, you must prove you’re of legal age to buy it by showing a valid government ID card that specifies your date of birth. Illinois citizens can shop with or without a medical card.
Suppose you’re a patient who wants to try medical marijuana. A state-issued card allows you to purchase them from licensed dispensaries to treat specific illnesses and conditions. Some states allow medical marijuana users to grow a limited amount of cannabis plants. It also allows patients to order medical marijuana and use delivery services.
The Two Categories Of Weed
First-time weed users will likely think that recreational and medical marijuana is the same. But the reality is that each possesses a specific legal status. You can also buy them in different stores or dispensaries.
Marijuana is illegal federally. Although its usage is under regulations, currently, you can source them from specific dispensaries in Washington and other states. You also need to find out if both, or one of each, is legal in your state. You’d want to know if you can attain them for a specific purpose.
Here are ways these two categories are different:
- Recreational Marijuana
Also known as adult-use cannabis, recreational marijuana products from licensed suppliers are available for users ages 21 and above. The regulations that apply to recreational weed are similar to alcohol, wherein adults can procure them without needing a doctor’s recommendation. Recreational marijuana users buy marijuana for its psychoactive properties, as an alcohol substitute, or for spiritual activities.
- Medical Marijuana
Marijuana is among the oldest medicinal plants in the world, and various states allow its sale for medicinal purposes. Today, individuals use it to treat chronic pain symptoms, nausea from cancer treatment, and other conditions.
Regulations on medical marijuana vary depending on your state. Idaho, Kansas, and Nebraska don’t allow recreational and medical marijuana (but decriminalized in Nebraska). On the other hand, Californians can buy medical cannabis from recreational dispensaries with or without a medical card. Still, some dispensaries will require one on specific purchases.
Knowing the two kinds of marijuana products will help you make informed decisions. Not all states have both, and some dispensaries will want to see your medical marijuana card.
In Washington, DC, you can buy marijuana with or without a card, even for medical use. Recent legislations allow users to self-certify and purchase medical marijuana. But while it is the case in one state, other states and dispensaries might require a medical marijuana card.
First-time marijuana buyers or users also must differentiate between recreational and medical marijuana and the laws that regulate their use. Being informed also helps them decide whether to get a medical marijuana card.
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