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Legalization Questions: Where Can I Consume Cannabis in Washington, D.C.?

If you live in Washington, D.C., you might be confused about the laws surrounding cannabis use in the district. As of 2014, recreational cannabis has been legalized in Washington DC. The bill that was passed, Initiative 71, allows those aged 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of cannabis and grow up to six plants at a time for personal consumption. Though this sounds pretty standard, DC hasn’t legalized the actual sale of cannabis. Instead, you can grow your own or have a non-transactional transfer of up to an ounce of cannabis between consumers at least 21 years of age.

Because recreational cannabis and cannabis-related products cannot be legally sold within the DC area, there are no traditional dispensaries. Instead, cannabis can be obtained in other ways, primarily through weed delivery services or pop-up markets. These services can bring your cannabis anywhere in DC if you provide proper identification. However, this doesn’t mean you can enjoy your cannabis just anywhere. Once you’ve received your “gift” of cannabis, where can you consume it?

Smoking Cannabis on Restaurant Patios in DC: Is This Legal?


With the legalization of recreational marijuana only a few years ago, plus an influx in weed delivery services and businesses, Washington DC’s cannabis community is thriving more than ever. However, with the slightly confusing laws that D.C. has surrounding cannabis, residents and tourists alike are unclear about where they can enjoy their products. Though DC legalized recreational cannabis and weed delivery services make the process of getting cannabis almost seamless, smoking at your favorite rooftop bar or restaurant patio is simply out of the question.

When cannabis was legalized in the area, it was explicitly stated that the plant was for “home use” only. You must be within a private residence to enjoy your cannabis products. It is prohibited by law to smoke or consume cannabis in any place that is open to the public. Even if your favorite rooftop bar is weed-themed and completely cannabis-friendly, it is still against the law to enjoy it there.

If you’re tired of smoking at home and want to experience something different, a great legal option is a cannabis-friendly AirBnB or Bud and Breakfast. These are both technically considered private residences, and because the owners approve of the consumption of cannabis, it is legal. (You have to stay the night, of course.) These places are becoming more common throughout the DC area, so do some searching to see if you have one near you to escape to for the weekend.

Can I Smoke in My Car in Washington DC?


Smoking cannabis inside our cars is a staple of most of our pasts, a memory of a time when our options were limited. Nowadays, with legalization happening in more and more states each year, smoking inside our private residences or in our backyards has become commonplace.

If you feel you don’t have a choice and are considering smoking in your car in Washington D.C., you should think again. D.C. has strict cannabis laws that specifically outline what you can and cannot do when it comes to recreational cannabis, and being knowledgeable of these regulations is crucial.

Along with not being allowed to smoke inside your vehicle, even if it isn’t on, you cannot smoke anywhere in DC that is open to the public. The law states that cannabis is intended for “home grow and home use,” meaning you’re allowed to grow your plants and consume them in your place of residence only. Smoking in your car is considered a place where the public may be invited, so it goes against Initiative 71.

To sum it up: stick to consuming your cannabis in private residences and leave the car for driving.

 So, What Should I Do If I Visit or Live in D.C.?

Whether you live in D.C. or are just visiting, following their cannabis rules and regulations is vital. They are put in place for a reason, and though they are confusing, they can easily be worked with. The first step is ensuring you’re aware of the law. After this, you can safely and confidently enjoy your various cannabis products inside (or in the backyard) of your residence or mini-vacation home.

The best option for enjoying cannabis in D.C. is to just stay in your home. When you do this, you’re abiding by D.C.’s weed regulations, and it is the most comfortable. Enjoying cannabis in public should be avoided, whether you’re a permanent resident or just stopping by.

So, when you’re in Washington, D.C., and want to enjoy cannabis, stay safe and consume it in the comfort of your home. With the ability to have it delivered right to your door, there’s no reason to have it anywhere else.


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