The just lately handed invoice, known as the Medical Cannabis Amendment Act of 2022 (B24-0113), was sponsored by Chairman Phil Mendelson of the Washington, D.C. Council in February 2021. The Washington, D.C. Council voted unanimously to pass on Dec. 20, 2022, adopted by Bowser signing the bill on Jan. 30, simply two days earlier than a response was due on Feb. 1.
The bill expands the capital’s medical hashish program in some ways, together with lifting the cap on dispensaries, creating new license sorts, and codifies emergency measures handed in 2021 and 2022.
Initially the modification proposed implementing an elevated cap on dispensaries, however was later revised to incorporate no most quantity (though the Alcoholic Beverage and Hashish Board is given the facility to ascertain a cap one 12 months from the passage of the invoice in January 2024).
It additionally authorizes the creation of extra hashish license sorts, together with hashish supply providers, on-line gross sales, academic applications, and areas devoted to hashish consumption. “At the least half” of all licenses given to presently unlicensed companies might be given to social fairness candidates (outlined as those that are D.C. residents with low earnings, have frolicked in jail for cannabis-related costs, or are associated to somebody who was affected by the Struggle on Medication).
Medical hashish was legalized in Washington D.C. in 2010, and an try and legalize adult-use hashish was handed by voters in 2014 by Initiative 71. Whereas it permits possess of as much as two ounces of hashish and residential cultivation, it additionally permits adults to reward as much as one ounce of weed to a different grownup, which created the loophole of gifting (or a strategy to get round hashish sale restrictions by promoting merch or attire with a present of hashish without spending a dime). The Medical Hashish Modification Act of 2022 seeks to focus on these unlicensed companies, giving them a path to acquire a authorized license.
The act additionally codifies emergency measures that have been carried out for hashish. This contains the emergency measure that gives help for Washington, D.C. sufferers with expired playing cards and assist struggling dispensaries as properly, which was passed in November 2021. In July 2022, Bowser signed a invoice permitting adults to self-certify themselves as medical hashish sufferers.
General, enforcement motion associated to those modifications gained’t be carried out till 315 days have handed because the signing of the invoice, which might be later this 12 months in December. It additionally wants congressional evaluation earlier than formally taking impact.
Additionally just lately in Washington, D.C., Mendelson the Second Likelihood Modification Act of 2021 (B24-0063) is underneath congressional evaluation. This could implement automated expungement by “automated sealing for non-dangerous, non-convictions in addition to shorten the ready intervals earlier than an individual is eligible to seal their document. It could additionally broaden the eligibility of who can seal their document.” All expungements would must be processed earlier than Jan. 1, 2025. If congress doesn’t make a transfer in opposition to the invoice, its projected legislation date is about for March 16, 2023.
Mendelson additionally just lately launched one other invoice (B25-0052) on Jan. 19, which goals to legalize adult-use hashish gross sales. The proposal features a “Reparations for Victims of the War on Cannabis Fund,” which might supply anyplace between $5,000 to $80,000 to pay those that have been negatively affected by hashish criminalization. It additionally features a “Hashish Fairness and Alternative Fund,” which might collect up 40% of income to go towards loans or grants for candidates affected by criminalization. Moreover, the invoice particulars a plan to reinvest hashish tax income into group providers akin to psychological well being remedies and youth improvement.