Every state in the country has different rules and laws in place about cannabis. In some areas, cannabis is completely legalized while others only medicinal cannabis can be used. Knowing the laws of the state you live in or are visiting is very important when it comes to cannabis because there are consequences for not following these laws, even if you’re from out of state. So let’s walk through everything you need to know about buying cannabis in Washington DC.
What Uses for Cannabis Are Allowed in Washington DC
In Washington DC, both medicinal and recreational mariajuan are legal; however, and this is important, only medicinal marijuana can be sold in Washington DC. This is especially noteworthy for those visiting Washington DC from states that sell both recreational and medicinal marijuana because you will not be able to purchase marijuana for recreational use. For those who live in DC, you can grow your own within the proper laws provided. If you need medical marijuana, you can go to a dispensary to get the cannabis you need with the proper documentation.
How To Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington DC
The very first thing you need to do before even looking into buying cannabis or finding a dispensary is get your medical marijuana card. Until you have this, you cannot do anything else. To get a medical cannabis card, you must have a Medical Marijuana Recommendation. Medical professionals include Physicians (MD, DO), Nurse Practitioners (APRN/NP), Dentists, Physician Assistants, and Naturopathic Physicians. Personal medical professionals can be used if they have been approved by the Department of Health to recommend the use of medicinal cannabis.
Once you have a recommendation from an approved medical professional, you need to submit your application to the Department of Health online or in the mail. An online submission is better due to the length of time it can take mail to travel. When you submit your application, you need to include your medical recommendation, and two forms of ID proving you are a resident in Washington DC. This can be a pay stub, voter registration, driver’s license, tax statement, deed, rent or lease agreement or a utility bill. You’ll also need a photo ID, a headshot of yourself, and the payment for the application fee of $100. It can take up to a month for the DOH to mail your medical marijuana card, so this is something you’ll want to do sooner rather than later to get the process started.
Places You Cannot Carry Marijuana in Washington DC
Even though marijuana has been legalized in Washington DC, there are still places you cannot carry marijuana with you. These places are federal buildings and land because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. Because there is so much federal land in DC, it can be a lot to try to figure out where you can and cannot carry cannabis. This is important to note for locals who walk to work because you may end up walking through a federal park or on federal land. And if you are visiting from out of town, you’ll want to plan ahead of time based on the places you’ll be visiting and note whether you’ll be visiting federal buildings or parks.
Choosing a Cannabis Dispensary in Washington DC
As of this writing, there are 17 marijuana dispensaries in Washington DC that you can purchase medical marijuana from. Each dispensary has its own products they offer, so when deciding which one you want to go to, it’s best to look on their website to see what they provide. Some focus more on oils while others focus more on accessories while others still have a wide range of cannabis products. You’ll also want to note the location of the dispensary you’re wanting to visit. The best option is usually the one that is convenient to get to. Finding a place near your home or workplace that you can get to easily is important because you never know when you’ll need more marijuana. Whether you ran out faster than expected or found you need something stronger to help with pain, it can be incredibly helpful to choose a cannabis dispensary that you can get to quickly when you need it most.
Different Ways To Use Cannabis and Their Benefits
When it comes to medical marijuana, there are several different ways you can take it. Each way has its own set of pros and cons, but of course, there’s no right or wrong way. Everyone has their own preference and needs, so we’ll share some of the pros and cons of each here to help you better decide which way you may prefer. Ultimately, the best way to find out for yourself though is to try different ways to see which one you prefer and which ones help you the most and the fastest.
Smoking – Smoking marjuana is the most common method of using cannabis. Just because it is the most common does not make it the most popular though. The benefits of smoking marijuana include the fast-acting relief it provides which is the biggest draw. It’s also simple and easy with the relief often lasting two to three hours. Some people prefer smoking because the flavors are more enjoyable that way, but that is more of a preference than benefit. The downsides to smoking are that this does cause smoke which creates a smell that many people don’t enjoy, especially if you’re out in public. Smoking marjuana can be unreliable with the results, and there are many health issues that smoking marijuana can cause which is why this method isn’t as popular as it once was.
Vaping – Vaping has become the more popular way to smoke marijuana for several reasons. A few pros of vaping are the immediate effects you can feel for pain relief. Vaping is much easier to do in public for how discreet it is, so you can vape without the smell being quite as strong and without the harmful effects that can be caused through smoking. Vaping is also a great way to use less cannabis as it doesn’t require as much as other methods to get the same results. Cons of vaping include the smell. While it isn’t as strong as smoking, there is still a smell from vaping. Buying a vaporizer can be pricey depending on the type and brand. Even cheaper vaporizers are great unless you’re buying a bunch because they get lost or broken.
Edibles – Edibles, or as we like to call them medibles, are ingestible edibles and are becoming more and more popular in the cannabis community. Edibles are extremely versatile as they can be added to baked goods, cooked foods, oils, and more. This allows you to discreetly ingest cannabis without drawing a lot of attention to yourself or needing accessories to use cannabis. The effects of ingesting medical marijuana can last much longer than other methods too depending on how quickly your body metabolizes the food. Medibles also mean you aren’t inhaling smoke or char of any kind. While there are many pros to edibles, there are also several cons. The first being that you may not feel the effects of the cannabis for one to two hours after ingesting. If you need immediate relief, medibles are not the best option. The dosage may also be off because you cannot control the amount of cannabis in each bite. This can cause adverse reactions and cause you to not get the full amount you need or have you take way too much. Experimenting on a smaller scale is the best way to help with this before taking too much at one time.
Tinctures – Tinctures are similar to medibles in how they can be taken. You can use tinctures in food, drinks, by itself or in topicals. Tinctures are another discreet way to take medical marijuana without a smell, accessories or even food needed. Tinctures are also much easier to control the portion taken because you can control it by drops, and the effects can last upwards of six to eight hours. The cons to tinctures are similar to those of medibles. The effects can be overwhelming if not measured out properly or put in a large meal where you can’t control how the marijuana spreads out. Tinctures are usually best when done on an individual level so you can carefully measure out what you need to avoid unnecessary side effects or taking too much or too little at one time.
Topicals – Topicals cover a variety of ways you can use cannabis on the skin. This includes oils, salves, creams, bath salts, and more. Topicals are focused more on muscle and joint pain, but they can also be used for inflammation, acne, and other skin conditions. Topicals are great for skin conditions because they can be applied directly to the affected area. You also don’t have to necessarily worry about taking too much as it’s being applied to the skin. The main con is that it may take time for the skin to absorb the topical which could result in slower results. This is mainly dependent on how the topical is being used (skin condition versus muscle pain). Overall, topicals are a great way to help relieve pain without the smell of marijuana or the effects of ingesting medical marijuana.
We hope you found this information helpful, and if you are looking for a dispensary in Washington DC, Herbal Alternatives is a great location with a variety of options for our customers. We look forward to seeing you soon!