On Monday, 26 July, 2010, medical marijuana became legal in the Washington District of Columbia when Congress declined to overrule a Council bill allowing the formation of up to eight cannabis dispensaries. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said, “We have faced repeated attempts to re-impose the prohibition on medical marijuana in D.C. throughout the layover period,” said Norton. “Yet, it is D.C.’s business alone to decide how to help patients who live in our city and suffer from chronic pain and incurable illnesses.” It will be some months before the sanctioned dispensaries are opened for business however.
Under the new legislation, patients suffering from severe and chronic medical conditions, including cancer and glaucoma, will be allowed to possess a maximum of four ounces of usable cannabis, which they must obtain from licensed companies. Patients will not be permitted to grow their own marijuana and will need a doctor’s prescription before obtaining their medication. The drug will be subject to an agreed 6% sales tax and those D.C residents who qualify will get their medication free or at a reduced cost.
Those who are granted a license to grow marijuana will be limited to growing a maximum of 95 plants at an agreed location and penalties will be put in place to deter the cultivation of any more than that.