DC Medical Marijuana

District of Columbia Medical Marijuana Qualification

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, which establishes the “Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010.” The Mayor signed the bill on May 21, 2010, and the law went into effect on July 27, 2010, after the Senate and the House both declined to overrule the bill during a 30-day Congressional review period. This 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. The Mayor and the Department of Health are still establishing the program. Unlike most Medical Marijuana States, Washington, DC will prohibit home cultivation of marijuana and require patients to obtain a limited amount of marijuana at DC-monitored dispensaries.

How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient in Washington, DC

  • Must be a resident of Washington, DC and be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition or be currently undergoing a qualifying medical treatment (see below).
  • You must obtain legitimate medical records or documentation from your primary care physician describing their diagnosis. Learn how to request your medical records.
  • Obtain an authenticated, written recommendationfrom 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.
  • The law also requires patients to register with Washington, DC’s medical marijuana program to obtain a Medical Marijuana card. The Mayor and the Department of Health are still establishing the program at this time.
  • Once you have obtained your marijuana card, you may purchase your medicine from a cannabis dispensary and possess up to two ounces of dried medical marijuana.

What Ailments Can Be Treated with Medical Cannabis in Washington, DC?

Patients in Washington, DC diagnosed with the following medical conditions are afforded legal protection under the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010: HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, cancer, or any other condition, as determined by rulemaking, that is: Chronic or long-lasting; 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:  Chemotherapy; The use of azidothymidine or protease inhibitors; Radiotherapy; or 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 condition.

Medical Marijuana Access in Washington, DC

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 physicians will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.

Unlike most medical marijuana states, Washington, DC medical marijuana law does not allow for the cultivation of medical cannabis.  Patients must obtain a set amount of medical marijuana at state-monitored cannabis dispensaries. The maximum amount of medical marijuana that any qualifying patient or caregiver may possess at any moment is two ounces of dried medical marijuana. Because Washington, DC only recently passed its medical marijuana law, the state is currently in the process of setting up its cannabis dispensaries.