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DC Marijuana Qualification

Updated on April 8, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

District of Columbia Medical Marijuana Qualification

Patients in District of Columbia diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under the District of Columbia Medical Marijuana law, as per “Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010”  —  Amendment Act B18-622:

    • HIV/AIDS
    • glaucoma
    • multiple sclerosis
    • cancer
    • or any other condition, as determined by rule making that is, chronic or long-lasting;
    • or is debilitating or interferes with the basic functions of life; and is a serious medical condition for which the use of medical marijuana is beneficial, that cannot be effectively treated by any ordinary medical or surgical measure, or for which there is scientific evidence that the use of medical marijuana is likely to be significantly less addictive than the ordinary medical treatment for that condition.
    • Patients may also qualify by undergoing any of the following medical treatments: Chemotherapyradiotherapy; the use of azidothymidine or protease inhibitors; or any other treatment as determined by rule making, whose side effects require treatment through the administration of medical marijuana in the same manner as a qualifying medical condition.

How to Become A Medical Marijuana Patient in District of Columbia

  1. You must be a resident of the District of Columbia and be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition or be currently undergoing a qualifying medical treatment (see below).
  2. You must obtain legitimate medical records or documentation from your primary care physician describing their diagnosis  — *Learn how to request your medical records
  3. Obtain an authenticated, written recommendation from a physician licensed in the state of Washington, DC, with whom you maintain a bona fide relationship with, stating that that you might benefit from the medical use of marijuana — *Find a certified medical marijuana physician in the District of Columbia
  4. The law also requires patients to register with DC’s Department of Health, upon which the patient will receive a medical marijuana I.D. card.
  5. Once you have obtained your marijuana card, the maximum amount a patient may possess, is no more than 2 ounces of dried cannabis flower. Medical cannabis may be purchased from state-licensed caregivers, or collectives, also known as a dispensary.

Who Qualifies for Medicinal Marijuana in District of Columbia

On May 4, 2010, the Council of the District of Columbia, approved Amendment Act B18-622 in a vote of 13-0, establishing the “Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010.” The law removes state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of medical marijuana (also referred to as medical weed, medical pot or medical cannabis) by qualifying patients who obtain a recommendation from their physician. The law also requires patients to register with a medical marijuana program to obtain marijuana card.

At this time, the Mayor and the Department of Health are still establishing the DC program. Unlike most Medical Marijuana States, District of Columbia does NOT permit home cultivation of marijuana, and requires patients to obtain a limited amount of marijuana, from a DC-monitored dispensary.

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Medical Marijuana Access in District of Columbia  

Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana doctors in District of Columbia will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.

According to District of Columbia medical marijuana laws, DC patients are permitted to purchase up to two (2) ounces of dried medical marijuana per month, or the equivalent of two ounces of dried medical marijuana when sold in any other form. Home cultivation is NOT permitted.

Access to medical cannabis improved for D.C. residents in March 2017, when the city council agreed to increase the number of marijuana dispensaries allowed throughout the city. The vote to do so was unanimous, and the mayor quickly signed it into law.

While the change was only from five dispensaries to six, even this small move increased access for thousands of patients meeting D.C. medical marijuana qualifications. The only people who can currently access dispensaries are patients who have registered with the district and have a physician’s recommendation for cannabis.

The City Council also approved a measure in March 2017 that would allow patients who have valid cannabis cards from other states to be able to obtain medical marijuana in the District of Columbia. This is known as a “reciprocity” program and is very helpful for those who travel and need access to medical weed. The council also increased the number of cannabis plants that can be legally grown at cultivation centers from 500 to 1,000.

At, we want to be your single “go-to” source for information regarding medical cannabis. Whether you are interested in D.C. medical marijuana qualifications, you want to learn how to obtain a medical cannabis card in D.C. or anything else, please turn to us first.

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Finally, a helpful & informative website! answered all of my medical marijuana questions and helped me schedule an appointment with an accredited doctor in my area.~Susan - Denver, CO