Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–1671.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) "Adjacent" means located within the same physical structure as, and is abutting, adjoining, bordering, touching, contiguous to, or otherwise physically meeting.

(1A) “Administer” or “administration” means the direct introduction of medical marijuana, whether by inhalation, ingestion, or any other means, into the body of a person.

(1B) "Advanced practice registered nurse" means an individual licensed and in good standing to practice advanced practice registered nursing under District law.

(1C) "Authorized practitioner" means a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, physician assistant, dentist, or naturopathic physician who is licensed and in good standing to practice under District law.

(2) “Bona fide relationship with a qualifying patient” means a relationship between an authorized practitioner and qualifying patient for which the authorized practitioner:

(A) Has completed a full assessment of the patient's medical or dental history and current medical or dental condition, including a personal physical or dental examination; and

(B) Has responsibility for the ongoing care and treatment of the patient.

(3) “Caregiver” means a person who:

(A) Is designated by a qualifying patient as the person authorized, on the qualifying patient’s behalf, to possess, obtain from a dispensary, dispense, administer, and assist in the administration of medical marijuana;

(B) Is registered with the Department as the qualifying patient’s caregiver;

(C) Is not currently, with the exception of caregivers providing services on behalf of nursing homes and hospices, as those terms are defined in § 44-501(a)(3) and (6)), serving as the caregiver for another qualifying patient; and

(D) Is at least 18 years of age.

(4) “Controlled Substances Act” means Unit A of Chapter 9 of Title 48 [ § 48-901.02 et seq.].

(5) “Cultivation center” means a facility operated by an organization or business registered with the Mayor pursuant to § 7-1671.05 from or at which medical marijuana is cultivated, possessed, manufactured, and distributed in the form of medical marijuana, and paraphernalia is possessed and distributed to dispensaries.

(5A) "Dentist" means an individual who is licensed and in good standing to practice dentistry under District law, but does not include an individual who only holds a dental teaching license.

(6) “Department” means the Department of Health.

(7) “Dispensary” means a facility operated by an organization or business registered with the Mayor pursuant to § 7-1671.05 from or at which medical marijuana is possessed and dispensed and paraphernalia is possessed and distributed to a qualifying patient or a caregiver.

(8) “Dispense” means to distribute medical marijuana to a qualifying patient or caregiver pursuant to this chapter and the rules issued pursuant to § 7-1671.13.

(9) “Distribute” means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another.

(10) “Manufacture” means the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of marijuana, either directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, and includes any packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or re-labeling of its container.

(11) “Marijuana” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 48-901.02(3)(A).

(12) “Medical marijuana” means marijuana cultivated, manufactured, possessed, distributed, dispensed, obtained, or administered in accordance with this chapter and the rules issued pursuant to § 7-1671.13.

(12A) "Medical marijuana product" means a product derived from or composed of medical marijuana, in part or in whole.

(13) “Minor” means any person under 18 years of age, but does not include an emancipated minor.

(13A) "Naturopathic physician" means an individual who is licensed and in good standing to practice naturopathic medicine under District law.

(14) “Paraphernalia” means:

(A) Objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in preparing, storing, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing medical marijuana into the human body; and

(B) Kits, objects, devices, or equipment used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, manufacturing, cultivating, growing, harvesting, processing, or preparing medical marijuana.

(15) “Physician” means an individual who is licensed and in good standing to practice medicine or osteopathy under District law.

(15A) "Physician assistant" means an individual who is licensed and in good standing to practice as a physician assistant under District law.

(16) “Program” means the medical marijuana program established by § 7-1671.05.

(17) “Qualifying medical or dental condition” means any condition for which treatment with medical marijuana would be beneficial, as determined by the patient’s authorized practitioner.

(18) “Qualifying medical or dental treatment” means:

(A) Chemotherapy;

(B) The use of azidothymidine or protease inhibitors;

(C) Radiotherapy; or

(D) Any other treatment, as determined by rulemaking, whose side effects require treatment through the administration of medical marijuana in the same manner as a qualifying medical or dental condition.

(19) “Qualifying patient” means a resident of the District who has a qualifying medical or dental condition or is undergoing a qualifying medical or dental treatment, or a patient enrolled in another jurisdiction's medical marijuana program; provided, that a patient from another jurisdiction shall not be a qualifying patient if the Department determines that there is a shortage of medical marijuana or the real-time electronic records system referenced in § 7-1671.05(4)(A) is inactive.

(19A) "Real-time electronic records" means a records system that is able to track the amount of medical marijuana that District residents and patients from another jurisdiction purchase in real-time.

(20) “Residence” means a dwelling or dwelling unit in which a person lives in a particular locality with the intent to make it a fixed and permanent home.

(21) "Testing laboratory" means an entity that is not owned or operated by a director, officer, member, incorporator, agent, or employee of a cultivation center or dispensary, and is registered by the Department to test medical marijuana and medical marijuana products that are to be sold under this chapter.


(Feb. 25, 2010, D.C. Law 13-315, § 2; as added July 27, 2010, D.C. Law 18-210, § 2, 57 DCR 4798; Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-189, § 2(a), 61 DCR 12119; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-209, § 2(a), 63 DCR 15291.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 3-1202.03, § 48-904.01, and § 48-1103.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-189 rewrote (17).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Expansion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-475, July 21, 2016, 63 DCR 10179).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a)(1A) of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-396, May 19, 2016, 63 DCR 7908).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Medical Marijuana Expansion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-3, Feb. 19, 2015, 62 DCR 2468).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2 of Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative Applicability Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-323, March 1, 2010, 57 DCR 1849).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Medical Marijuana Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-396, July 29, 2014, 61 DCR 8255).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Medical Marijuana Expansion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-479, Nov. 12, 2014, 61 DCR 12129, 20 STAT 4403).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-104, July 20, 2015, 62 DCR 9965).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Expansion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-156, Oct. 16, 2015, 62 DCR 13707).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Expansion Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-146, Aug. 19, 2016, 63 DCR 9282).

Section 2 of D.C. Law 18-152 added a section to read as follows:

“Sec. 11a. Applicability. This act shall apply upon the effective date o the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative Amendment Act of 2010, as introduced on January 19, 2010 (D.C. Bill 18-622).”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 18-152 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Medical Marijuana Expansion Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-163, February 26, 2015, 60 DCR 10753).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Expansion Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-33, Oct. 21, 2015, 62 DCR 10896).

Editor's Notes

History of D.C. Law 13-315.

Initiative 59, permitting the use of marijuana for medical treatment, was certified as a proper subject for an initiative by the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics on September 17, 1998. In reaction to the certification, Congress enacted and the President signed the “Barr Amendment” that prohibited the use of appropriated funds to conduct any ballot initiative which sought to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with a controlled substance. Since, the ballots for the November 3 election had already been printed before enactment of the Barr Amendment, District voters still considered the initiative.

After the vote, the Board of Elections and Ethics refused, in light of the Barr Amendment, to release and certify the results of the vote on Initiative 59. Certain District of Columbia voters then sued the Board.

In Turner v. District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics, 77 F.Supp.2d 25 (D.D.C. 1999), the court ruled that the Board could count and certify the election results concerning Initiative 59. After the count, the Board announced that Initiative 59 had been approved by the voters and certified the results. The initiative was eventually assigned D.C. Act 13-138.

On October 20, 1999, the District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) submitted a fiscal impact statement that found that implementation of Act 13-138 would have a fiscal impact and recommended that the cost be included in the development of the fiscal year 2001 budget.

On October 25, 1999, the District of Columbia Council transmitted D.C. Act 13-138 to the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority (“Control Board”).

On October 26, 1999, the Control Board informed the Council that it would not accept D.C. Act 13-138 without a revised fiscal impact statement from the CFO.

On September 30, 2001, the Control Board suspended its activities.

Between 1998 and 2009 all District of Columbia appropriations acts contained language that prevented Initiative 59 from taking effect as law. Congress did not include the language in the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117).

With the removal of the “Bar Amendment”, the Council transmitted Act 13-138 to Congress on December 21, 2009, for a 30-day period of review.

D.C. Act 13-138 became D.C. Law 13-315 on February 25, 2010, and is published at 57 DCR 3360. D.C. Law 18-210 amended D.C. Law 13-315 in its entirety “to read as follows.”

Mayor's Orders

Establishment of Medical Marijuana Program Pursuant to the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1999, see Mayor’s Order 2011-71, April 13, 2011 ( 58 DCR 3527).