By year’s end, qualifying medical marijuana patients in Washington, D.C. will be able to find some relief with the announcement of four dispensaries. This news now adds the District to the list of the current 17 states where qualifying patients can purchase medical marijuana.
Four dispensary operators were selected to operate sites around the District including: Herbal Alternatives, Center City Care, Metropolitan Wellness Corporation, and Takoma Wellness Center, which will be owned and operated by a rabbi. Three of the dispensaries will be in locations in Northwest and one in Southeast D.C.
In a press release from the Marijuana Policy Project, based in the District, Legislative Analyst Dan Riffle said the announcement comes as welcome news for patients in D.C. who have waited a long time for the area’s medical marijuana program to get up and running.
Voters had approved the legalization of medical marijuana in 1998 but Congress blocked it with an amendment to the D.C. appropriations bill. However, this amendment was repealed in 2009. The District then issued regulations in July 2010 that said it would license up to five dispensaries and 10 cultivation centers.
“Congratulations to the operators of these four dispensaries, who will be at the forefront of one of the nation’s safest medical marijuana programs right here in Congress’ back yard,” Riffle said.
Operators were selected for having the highest qualifying scores based on criteria that included quality of the applicant’s application as well as an educational materials plan,
Operators were selected by a six-member panel including representatives from the District Department of the Environment, Office of the Attorney General, Department of Real Estate Services Protective Services Division, DCRA, and a consumer representative or patient advocate.
Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana patients include HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, conditions characterized by severe and persistent muscle spasms, such as multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Qualifying medical treatments include chemotherapy, use of azidothymidine or protease inhibitors and radiotherapy.