D.C. Council Votes to Expand Medical Marijuana Law

The Washington D.C. Council has passed legislation to significantly expand the district’s medical marijuana program.

The Medical Cannabis Amendment Act was passed by the council through its first reading by a vote of 7 to 4. It will now be required to received one final vote by the council before it can be sent to Mayor Bowser for approval.

The proposed law would make several changes to expand the district’s medical marijuana program, including eliminating the cap on marijuana businesses and creating new business categories within the industry including on-site consumption facilities and marijuana cooking classes.

Possibly the biggest change would allow medical marijuana patients to self-certify that they’re qualified to purchase, possess and use medical marijuana and marijuana products.

The legislation was introduced by Council Chair Phil Mendelson on behalf of Mayor Muriel Bowser, who is expected to sign it into law quickly once it receives its final vote by the council.

“The public and voters have decided that they want to see a different framework in the District of Colombia,” says Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie. “We’ve done that over the years, and this is just one additional step where we’re trying to fulfill those commitments to both the initiatives and laws that we pass in the District of Columbia around medical cannabis.”

The proposal would also change tax law so that marijuana businesses can deduct taxes under local statute that they’re prohibited from making under the federal Internal Revenue Services (IRS) code known as 280E.

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