Currently, the nation’s capital has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana, but can anyone really buy weed in DC?
Despite I71’s law that allows for legal recreational use, there is an uncompromising rule stating no purchases or sales of recreational marijuana are allowed. Essentially DC tells residents you can grow your own DC pot and gift it to others, but you can’t buy or sell it recreationally.
Fortunately, DC residents cleverly found a loophole — now there are cannabis stores open where you can buy a sticker, artwork, or T-shirt, and you’re then “gifted” cannabis.
This gifting community is the safe and legal way to buy weed in DC 2021.
In this article, we break down everything you need to learn to safely buy weed in DC, the best Washington DC recreational dispensaries, the best options for how to buy weed in DC, and the top three medical dispensaries in DC.
But before we can get to our favorite cannabis stores, you should first understand all the ins and outs of the big question: is weed legal in DC?
Is Weed Legal in DC and Do I Need a Medical Card?
Whether you’re from the city or just visiting the area, the simple answer is yes, you will be able to get your hands on some DC weed without a medical card.
Since anyone can obtain recreational cannabis of the same quality as medical marijuana, there’s really no need to wait weeks to get approved for a medical marijuana card. So is weed legal in DC? Yes, medical marijuana is fully legal, and recreational cannabis is legal to consume and gift. This is how DC buys and sells marijuana: through the gifting community.
Through the Initiative 71 loophole, the gifting community was born, which gave way for recreational dispensaries in DC to gift cannabis without the need of a doctor’s recommendation.
The Best Washington DC Recreational Dispensaries
With so many Washington DC recreational dispensaries open, it can be tough trying to figure out which stores are worth going to, and where you should buy weed in DC.
Not only do you have to assess whether or not a shop’s cannabis products are high quality, but you have to make sure it is a safe, reliable, and trustworthy storefront that is compliant with I71 gifting regulations.
Below are the top four best Washington DC recreational dispensaries that follow these gifting guidelines to ensure you get premium cannabis safely, without sacrificing value.
Gifted Curators Recreational Dispensary DC
Gifted Curators is Adams Morgan's #1 storefront, and a great place to buy weed in DC safely. Gifted Curators is a street art gallery with a diverse selection of boutique exotic flower, edibles, and pre-rolls gifted along with your purchase of some amazing artwork. Go check out the awesome art in the GC gallery, and safely peruse the selection of top-shelf weed products in the safe 2nd-floor location.
Peace In the Air Recreational Dispensary Washington DC
Set inside the iconic Adams Morgan clothing store Grindstone Universal, you'll get amazing dry flower, edibles, and pre-rolls when you purchase some digital music. If you’re looking for some high quality DC pot, this is the place for you.
Street Lawyer Services - DC Recreational Weed
If you're looking for a spot on H street, this is your place. Fast, fun, and with a great selection of all your favorites, Street Lawyer Services is a great spot for getting weed in DC. The store provides pre rolls, dry flower, concentrates, edibles, and even offers an in-house special: THC-infused lemonade.
VIP Clientele - Recreational Weed DC
One of the OGs in I71 compliance, VIP Clientele offers some of the better products you'll get in DC, including a nice selection of premium dry flower and tasty edible options to choose from. If you’re strictly looking to buy weed in DC, you won’t be let down by the VIP Clientele menu.
3 Tips On How to Buy Weed in DC
If you’re looking to obtain legal pot in DC, you first have to know tips on how to buy weed in DC safely. This entails understanding the DC weed law, how Initiative 71 works, and everything about the gifting community.
Below is everything you’ll want to know on how to buy weed in DC without running into trouble.
Understand What Initiative 71 Is — and Isn’t
Initiative 71 gave way for recreational cannabis to be consumed, but not bought. That is very important to understand, as you are not by any means legally allowed to purchase or pay for DC pot. Marijuana may only be gifted or given without any money transactions or exchange of goods taking place. To buy weed in DC would mean breaking the law. It may only be gifted.
Know What Gifting Cannabis Means
Gifting DC pot is the only way the nation's capital has been able to give recreational marijuana to cannabis consumers. Since buying weed in DC is illegal, you must understand that you may never ask about buying pot in DC. Instead, ask if the store offers gifting services in order to stay within I71 laws.
How Does the I71 Gifting Process Look Like?
Learning how to buy weed in DC is all about knowing what the gifting process is and how it works. The loophole for buying pot in DC is to buy a non-cannabis product worth the same value of the cannabis you wish to receive. Start by asking if the store offers a gifting process or if they sell artwork, stickers, or merchandise. The staff will then inform you of the different price tags, and you can decide what amount of cannabis you would like to obtain.
How Old Do You Have To Be To Buy Weed In DC?
According to I-71, you can’t actually buy weed at any age in DC, but you do have to be at least 21 to possess it. When you purchase products from a gifting service, they will want to make sure that you are of a legal age to possess your gift. You will be asked to present a valid form of government-issued identification with any of the above options for buying weed in DC. Make sure you have proper identification on you when you get your delivery or when you go into a store.
The Best Options For Buying Weed in DC
Whether you’re a current resident or just visiting the city, it is important to understand all the main ways for buying weed in DC.
You may find that more than one of these options are better for you depending on your current situation or circumstance. A delivery service, for example, may have its advantages over visiting a smoke shop in DC when there’s inclement weather.
No matter what your choice is, below are the three easiest ways to buy weed in DC.
1. Use a Trusted Cannabis Directory
This is the best option for buying weed in Washington DC, as you can safely browse and choose from all the best cannabis selections in the city. By using a trusted and verified directory, you can rest assured you will be able to obtain the most premium strains in the capital while staying within DC weed laws.
2. Visit a DC Smoke Shop
Another option to buy weed in DC is to take the direct route. There are plenty of weed stores in DC that sell a variety of items. Of course, you’ll end up paying a higher amount of money for a hat or t-shirt. However, as far as the law is concerned, you did not purchase cannabis, and you’re staying compliant with I71.
You don’t have to have an appointment with weed stores like you may have to with delivery services, so it’s pretty easy to get in, make your purchase, and get out. If you want to hang out and take a good look around before buying anything, smoke shops are generally open during normal business hours, so there’s no rush. When you go to a storefront, ask about the non-cannabis products that are for sale; remember, the weed is NOT what you are purchasing.
Whether it's a pair of sunglasses, a T-shirt, or a piece of artwork, that is what you are purchasing. The weed is a free gift that you get when you make your purchase. Determine the number of free gifts you want to receive, then match that up to the product that equals out to the same price. Urban Aroma is DC’s #1 trusted directory, listing only the safest, most trustworthy, I71 compliant DC weed stores. Check out our DC weed dispensary directory to find your daily high.
3. Order From a DC Weed Delivery Service
Not big on getting out to buy weed in DC? Another option is to order weed directly to your door or the location of your choice! To do this, simply find a DC weed delivery service online.
Not all delivery services are up to par, so we did the legwork for you and found the best DC weed delivery services. Pick your product and wait for the friendly staff to show up with your item and cannabis gift. You will be screened before any delivery is completed. Most delivery services require that you send them a picture of your photo ID; some even require that you send a picture of yourself with the ID just to prove that you are who you say you are.
They may also instruct you on where they will and will not deliver in the DC area. Be aware that some delivery fees may be more than others and some may take longer to deliver depending on where you are. Keep in mind, DC weed delivery is a relatively new concept so delivery times may vary, but your patience will pay off in the end for premium DC pot.
Other Options for Buying Marijuana in Washington DC
When looking for where to buy pot in Washington DC, there are more alternatives to choose from than the ones given above.
Maybe you want to experiment and have a little fun at a pop-up event, or maybe you just want to keep it simple and pick up your DC pot instead. Either way, the choice is yours!
Below are three more ways for buying marijuana in Washington DC.
1. Pop - Up
What does buying marijuana from a DC pop-up event look like? Picture a farmer’s market or trade show…minus the fruits and veggies, with cannabis instead! This option for buying pot in DC is certainly an experience, but may lead to a run-in with the law if you don’t wisely select the DC pop-up event. Many pop-ups have been caught distributing weed to minors which is not compliant with I71.
If you don’t want to go to a store to pick anything up, you can make an appointment with a pickup service at various locations. It could be at a hotel, someone’s home, or even a vacation rental like Airbnb or VRBO.
A cannabis meet-up is a great way to buy weed in DC. It is a meeting that occurs in a public place such as a coffee shop or another establishment where you can get what you need. Functionally, a meet-up can be the same as curbside pickup that some gifting stores offer.
Top 3 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in DC
If you have a medical card and would still prefer to try out one of the medical marijuana dispensaries in DC instead of a recreational store, we have picked the best options for you worth the money and value.
Below are the top three medical marijuana dispensaries in DC.
1. Takoma Wellness Center DC Medical Dispensary
Takoma Wellness Center is DC’s first and longest-operating dispensary in the city. Serving strictly only medical cannabis for medical users, this dispensary in DC has been open since 2013, and is a great option for those with a medical card looking to buy weed in DC. Takoma Wellness offers flower, pre-rolls, vaporizers, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, topicals, CBD, and cannabis accessories, and has a patient reward program.
2. National Holistic Healing Center Medical Dispensary in DC
If you have a medical card and need marijuana in DC, National Holistic Healing Center is a great choice for cannabis. The store carries over 100 medical marijuana products ranging from dry flower, pre-rolls, edibles, concentrates, topicals, and cannabis accessories. National Holistic Healing Center even provides a pick up and delivery option.
3. Noble Gas DC Dispensary
If you’re buying medical marijuana in Washington DC, Noble Gas has a great selection of concentrates, pre-rolls, edibles, cartridges, dry flower, and CBD. Noble Gas offers both pick up and delivery options and daily deals and discounts. The store also has a black card membership.
How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in DC
If you still prefer to go to a medical dispensary and need to know how to get your medical marijuana card in DC, the process is simple, but it requires a waiting period. To obtain a medical marijuana card to buy weed in DC, you need to:
1. Book an appointment (the appointment may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on your doctor or underlying condition).
2. Consult with an MMJ doctor to receive your patient ID.
3. Get approved (this process can take weeks).
Medical marijuana has been legal in Washington DC since 2010 and recognizes medical cards from the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
To make purchases at legal marijuana dispensaries in Washington DC, you need to bring your medical marijuana card that was issued by your state, your photo ID issued by the same state, and for first-time visitors, you’ll need to bring the information to contact your physician who recommended that you be eligible for medical marijuana. You will not be given access to medical dispensaries without the above documents, and they must be up to date. You may purchase up to 4 ounces within a 30 day period and may not purchase more until 30 days have elapsed. The most you are allowed to give away to another person is one ounce, but you may not be paid for it in any way, including cash, goods, or services.
Where to Smoke Weed in DC
Even though weed is legal to possess in Washington DC, you can't just smoke it anywhere. So how do you know where to smoke weed in DC?
There are restrictions in place that do not allow you to smoke weed in public, so if you want to smoke anywhere other than your home, you'll need to find other private spaces to do it in. Smoking in public carries a not-so-hefty $25 fine, but hey, who wants trouble with the law when you can avoid it?
You can smoke in private spaces such as your home, but you may not smoke in private establishments that are open to the public, such as bars, stores, or any other similar establishment. You may not smoke on federal property, military property, or at any of the national parks or monuments in the DC area. Federal law enforcement will enforce the law if you are caught doing it. Be aware that the penalty for smoking in public can be a maximum of a $500 fine or 60 days in jail. Smoking weed in your vehicle is also illegal, and your first offense will be a misdemeanor DUI that could carry a maximum penalty of $1000 or 6 months in jail.
Finding Marijuana in DC Friendly Accommodations
Cannabis lounges are hot on the heels of coffee shops in terms of popularity where weed has been legalized. In Washington DC, you can't buy weed in the lounges themselves, but they are typically not far from an Initiative 71 compliant gifting service where you will be able to buy weed in DC.
How to Find a Marijuana Lounge
If you need to know where to smoke weed in DC, places like VRBO and Airbnb have filters that let you search for properties that will allow you to smoke while browsing the listings. 420-friendly properties are common in places where weed is legal for recreational use. Some properties will even give you a free gift!
Growing Legal Pot in DC
Even though retail sales of cannabis are banned, you can still grow a small number of plants for your own personal use. If you are over 21 and don’t want to go to a recreational dispensary to buy weed in DC, you may grow up to 6 plants in your residence as long as no more than half are flowering at any given time. If you live with another adult, your household may have up to 12 plants. You may not grow cannabis if your home is within 1000 feet of a public building, daycare center, swimming pool, youth activity center, public housing, library, or arcade. You may also not grow weed in a house where anyone is under the age of 21.
So Can You Buy Weed in Washington DC?
You can most certainly buy weed in DC, especially if you abide by the DC weed laws. The community is adjusting beautifully to Initiative 71, and new ways to get pot in DC are blossoming for all the marijuana enthusiasts out there.
Now that you know everything you need to know for buying weed in DC. where to buy weed in DC, and how to get weed in DC, you should be well on your way to getting weed in DC. No matter if it’s DC recreational dispensaries or medical, rest assured you will be able to get your hands on some premium cannabis in the city.