Code of the District of Columbia

This section will be modified by the following acts when they become effective:

§ 7–1671.06. Dispensaries and cultivation centers.

(a) Notwithstanding any other District law, a dispensary may possess medical marijuana for the purpose of dispensing the medical marijuana to a qualifying patient or caregiver and may manufacture, purchase, possess, distribute, and use paraphernalia, in accordance with this chapter and the rules issued pursuant to § 7-1671.13.

(b) Notwithstanding any other District law, a cultivation center may cultivate and possess medical marijuana for the purpose of distribution to a dispensary and may manufacture, purchase, possess, and use paraphernalia in accordance with this chapter and the rules issued pursuant to § 7-1671.13.

(b-1) Notwithstanding any other District law, a testing laboratory may possess medical marijuana for the purpose of testing its contents, in accordance with this chapter and the rules issued pursuant to § 7-1671.13.

(c) A dispensary may dispense medical marijuana and distribute paraphernalia to a qualifying patient or the qualifying patient’s caregiver, and a qualifying patient or the qualifying patient’s caregiver may obtain medical marijuana and paraphernalia from a dispensary, only if the qualifying patient is registered to receive medical marijuana from that dispensary.

(d)(1) Each dispensary, cultivation center, and testing laboratory shall be registered with the Mayor prior to manufacturing, cultivating, dispensing, possessing, testing, or distributing medical marijuana, or manufacturing, possessing, using, or distributing paraphernalia.

(2)(A) No more than 5 dispensaries shall be registered to operate in the District; provided, that the Mayor may increase the number to as many as 8 by rulemaking to ensure that qualifying patients have adequate access to medical marijuana; provided further, that no more than 2 dispensaries shall be registered to operate within an election ward established by the Council in § 1-1041.03.

(B) The prohibition of no more than 2 dispensaries being registered to operate within an election ward set forth in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall apply to applications pending as of December 13, 2013.

(C)(i) No more than one dispensary may be registered to operate in any election ward in which 5 or more cultivation centers have been registered to operate.

(ii) The prohibition of no more than one dispensary being registered to operate within an election ward in which 5 or more cultivation centers have been registered to operate set forth in sub-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph shall apply to applications pending as of December 13, 2013.

(3)(A) The number of cultivation centers and testing laboratories that may be registered to operate in the District shall be determined by rulemaking; provided, that the combined total number of cultivation centers and testing laboratories registered to operate within an election ward established by the Council in § 1-1041.03, shall not exceed 6.

(B) The prohibition of no more than 6 cultivation centers being registered to operate within an election ward set forth in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall apply to applications pending as of Dec. 13, 2013.

(4) The Mayor may approve the holder of a cultivation center registration that also owns, or has a valid lease for, real property adjacent to its existing cultivation center to physically expand the registered cultivation center into that adjacent real property for the purpose of increasing production of medical marijuana.

(e)(1) A dispensary may not dispense more than 2 ounces of medical marijuana in a 30-day period to a qualifying patient, either directly or through the qualifying patient’s caregiver; provided, that the Mayor, through rulemaking, may increase the quantity of medical marijuana that may be dispensed to up to 4 ounces.

(2) A cultivation center shall not possess more than 1,000 living marijuana plants at any time.

(3) It shall be unlawful for a dispensary to dispense or possess more than the quantity of medical marijuana needed to support the number of qualifying patients or caregivers registered to receive medical marijuana at that dispensary, as determined by the Mayor pursuant to rules issued under § 7-1671.13; provided, that the Mayor may allow a dispensary to possess a higher quantity of medical marijuana in anticipation of additional qualifying patients or caregivers registering.

(f) No marijuana or paraphernalia at a dispensary, cultivation center, or testing laboratory shall be visible from any public or other property.

(g) A dispensary, cultivation center, or testing laboratory shall not locate within any residential district or within 300 feet of a preschool, primary or secondary school, or recreation center.

(g-1)(1) A cultivation center shall not be located within a Retail Priority Area, as designated pursuant to § 2-1217.73, and as approved by the Council pursuant to the Great Streets Neighborhood Retail Priority Areas Approval Resolution of 2007, effective July 10, 2007 (Res. 17-257; 54 DCR 7194).

(2) Any applicant that had an application pending as of June 20, 2012, for a registration to operate a cultivation center within a Retail Priority Area as identified in paragraph (1) of this subsection, shall be allowed to modify the application within 180 days of May 1, 2013, without negatively affecting the current status of the application.

(g-2) A dispensary, cultivation center, or testing laboratory may be permitted to relocate within an election ward upon approval from the Mayor.

(g-3) A dispensary, cultivation center, or testing laboratory may be permitted to change ownership or controlling interest upon approval from the Mayor.

(h) Each dispensary, cultivation center, and testing laboratory" shall:

(1) Be either a for-profit or nonprofit corporation incorporated within the District;

(2) Implement a security plan to prevent the theft or diversion of medical marijuana, including maintaining all medical marijuana in a secure, locked room that is accessible only by authorized persons; and

(3) Ensure that all of its employees receive training on compliance with District law, medical marijuana use, security, and theft prevention.

(i) Each dispensary shall regularly distribute to all qualifying patients and caregivers the educational materials regarding potential harmful drug interactions developed as part of the Program.

(j) No director, officer, member, incorporator, agent, or employee of a dispensary, cultivation center, or testing laboratory who has access to the medical marijuana at the dispensary, cultivation center, or testing laboratory shall have a felony conviction; provided, that the Mayor shall not disqualify any of the forgoing individuals solely for a felony conviction of possession with intent to distribute marijuana that occurred before the July 17, 2014.

(k) A person found to have violated any provision in this chapter shall not be a director, officer, member, incorporator, agent, or employee of a dispensary, cultivation center, or testing labor, and the registration identification card of the person shall be immediately revoked and the registration of the dispensary, cultivation center, or testing labor shall be suspended until the person is no longer a director, officer, member, incorporator, agent, or employee of the dispensary, cultivation center, or testing labor.


(Feb. 25, 2010, D.C. Law 13-315, § 7; as added July 27, 2010, D.C. Law 18-210, § 2, 57 DCR 4798; Dec. 13, 2013, D.C. Law 20-59, § 2, 60 DCR 15484; Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-189, § 2(b), 61 DCR 12119; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-209, § 2(f), 63 DCR 15291.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-59 rewrote (d); and added (g-1).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-189 substituted “500 living marijuana plants” for “95 living marijuana plants” in (e)(2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Certified Business Enterprise Preference Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-334, May 3, 2018, 65 DCR 5058).

For temporary (90 days) , see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Relocation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-109, July 28, 2017, 64 DCR 7394).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Certified Business Enterprise Preference Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-83, June 28, 2017, 64 DCR 6229).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Relocation Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-74, June 5, 2017, 64 DCR 6078).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-18, Mar. 17, 2017, 64 DCR 3055).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-573, Dec. 19, 2016, 63 DCR 15689).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) 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 of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Relocation Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-427, June 23, 2016, 63 DCR 9022).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) 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 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center and Dispensary Locations Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-299, January 31, 2012, 59 DCR 902).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-339, April 7, 2012, 59 DCR 2784).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-4, January 29, 2013, 60 DCR 2790, 20 DCSTAT 438).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center and Dispensary Location Restriction Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-18, March 1, 2013, 60 DCR 3972, 20 DCSTAT 474).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-61, April 27, 2013, 60 DCR 6401, 20 DCSTAT 1408).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 2 and 3 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-263, January 9, 2014, 61 DCR 328).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) 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(b) 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(b) of the Medical Marijuana Expansion Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-3, Feb. 19, 2015, 62 DCR 2468, 21 STAT 801).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-36, Mar. 30, 2015, 62 DCR 4548, 21 DCSTAT 876).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Supply Shortage Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-53, May 6, 2015, 62 DCR 5950, 21 DCSTAT 1428).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Exception Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-64, May 22, 2015, 62 DCR 6863, 21 DCSTAT 1443).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) 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(b) 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 of Medical Marijuana Certified Business Enterprise Preference Temporary Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Law 22-18, Sept. 6, 2017, 64 DCR 6715).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Relocation Temporary Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Law 22-14, Aug. 19, 2017, 64 DCR 6247).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-234, Apr. 1, 2017, 64 DCR 883).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Relocation Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-162, Oct. 13, 2016, 63 DCR 9815).

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

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center and Dispensary Locations Temporary Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Law 19-122, Apr. 27, 2012, 59 DCR 1705).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Temporary Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Law 19-146, Jun. 20, 2012, 59 DCR 4164).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Temporary Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-1, May 1, 2013, 60 DCR 3962, 20 DCSTAT 1262).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center and Dispensary Location Restriction Temporary Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-2, May 18, 2013, 60 DCR 4620, 20 DCSTAT 1264).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) 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 of the Medical Marijuana Supply Shortage Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-18, July 22, 2015, 62 DCR 6880).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Exception Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-22, Sept. 17, 2015, 62 DCR 8850).

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