“Tourists In D.C. Can Now Legally Buy Weed As Mayor Bowser Signs Legislation Allowing MMJ Self-Certification”

"On Monday, Bowser signed a bill that would allow tourists visiting the nation's capital to self-certify as medical marijuana patients without a physician's recommendation."

by Nina Zdinjak

Washington, D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) made a significant move this week for two industries – tourism and cannabis. On Monday, Bowser signed a bill that would allow tourists visiting the nation’s capital to self-certify as medical marijuana patients without a physician’s recommendation.

The action comes some three months after she signed the Medical Marijuana Self-Certification Emergency Amendment Act of 2022 into law, which allows D.C. residents to self-certify as MMJ patients and buy cannabis from licensed retailers.

Now, the self-certification right is basically extended to non-residents visiting the capital.

Why Self-Certification In The First Place?

Though adult-use cannabis was legalized in Washington D.C. in 2014, a rider that has remained valid throughout several presidential budget proposals has prevented the District from fully exercising its legal cannabis program.

This legislation enables the District to bypass the rider that has prevented D.C. from using its local taxes to implement a system of legal cannabis commerce.

“We have made it a priority over the years to build a more patient-centric medical marijuana program and this legislation builds on those efforts. We know that by bringing more medical marijuana patients into the legal marketplace in a timely manner and doing more to level the playing field for licensed medical marijuana providers, we can protect residents, support local businesses, and provide clarity to the community,” Mayor Bowser stated when she signed the new bill. “I applaud the Council for moving forward this innovative solution to a complex issue, and I look forward to working with the Council and ABRA on permanent, more comprehensive medical marijuana legislation in the future.”

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