Washington D.C. has some weird cannabis laws. It’s legal for adults 21 and over to use recreational weed, but it’s illegal to buy it. Fortunately, some crafty cannapreneurs have found a way around this dilemma. Thanks to a loophole in the district’s laws, you can now get weed delivery service to your front door.
Taking Advantage Of A Loophole
Here’s how weed laws work in D.C. Back in 2009, the city formalized a medical marijuana program. To this day, if you have a medical card you can get weed from a network of licensed dispensaries.
Then in 2014, voters in the district passed Initiative 71. This made it legal for adults to use cannabis for recreational purposes. Under I-71, as it came to be known, adults can own and use up to two ounces of weed. It also lets people grow small amounts of it at home.
Strangely, selling and buying cannabis is still illegal. But there’s a loophole: It’s totally legal for growers to give adults as much as an ounce of weed. This allowance has opened the door to some explosive entrepreneurial activity.
Recently, all sorts of cannabis businesses have started using this loophole to sell and deliver weed to people throughout the city. On the surface, these businesses are selling legal products—juice, clothing, artwork, stuff like that—and then throwing in an extra “gift” or “souvenir.”
For example, one company sells customers art prints. They even hand deliver them right to your door. A poster will cost somewhere around $50-$60. After you pay the delivery person, they give you the poster, and tucked in with the artwork is a small container with an eighth of high-grade bud. And since the weed was technically just a “gift” it’s not breaking D.C.’s laws.
Legal Gray Area With Delivery
But it might not be quite that simple. Authorities in the district know what is going on, especially when a bottle of juice costs $50, or when a T-shirt carries a $60 price tag.
In general, these clever weed delivery services are not hassled by the cops. But every once in a while, somebody gets busted.
For example, Nicholas “Kushgod” Cunningham’s operation was shut down by authorities. He ran an art gallery in Georgetown that sold weed to patrons. He also owned a line of vehicles with cannabis leaves painted all over them. Cunningham used the vehicles to “give” weed brownies to people, who in return made “donations” to his organization.
For whatever reason, Cunningham’s attempt to use the loophole did not convince police. He was eventually arrested.
This highlights the ongoing confusion and tension created by Washington D.C.’s laws. By making it legal to use recreational weed, but not allowing anyway for people to sell or buy it, the district has created a bizarre situation. For the most part, though, it looks like D.C.’s weed delivery businesses are managing to exploit the loophole successfully.
An Active Cannabis Scene
The other interesting dynamic in all this is the fact that although weed is illegal at the federal level, it’s been legalized in the nation’s capitol. In fact, as evidenced by its network of weed delivery businesses, D.C. has a lively cannabis scene.
Along with the growing community of growers, sellers, and consumers taking advantage of I-71’s loophole, the district is also the site of a lot of cannabis activism.
For example, weed advocates built a massive inflatable joint as part of a rally last year. And last month, in celebration of 420, weed activists gave free joints to members of Congress. They also organized a “smoke-in” rally on April 24.