Cannabis Rules & Regulations: Washington D.C.

Cannabis Rules & Regulations: Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. Cannabis History


Cannabis is legal for both medical use and recreational use for possession, personal use, cultivation, and transportation, but not for sale in the District of Columbia.  In 2014, D.C. voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 71, or the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014. Previously, possession or use of marijuana without a physician's recommendation was prohibited under the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998. 


Washington D.C. Child-Resistant Packaging Rules

The District of Columbia’s child-resistant packaging and labeling regulations are as follows:


  • 5607.1 No medical marijuana shall be dispensed or distributed to a qualifying patient or caregiver unless the container in which it is distributed bears a legible label, firmly affixed, stating:
  • (a) The name of the cultivation center where the medical marijuana was produced and the manufacture date; 
  • (b) The name of the dispensary where the medical marijuana was dispensed;
  • The quantity of medical marijuana contained within;
  • The cannabinoid profile of the medical marijuana contained within, including the THC level; 
  • (e) Any other ingredient or ingredients besides medical marijuana contained within;
  • (f) The name of the recommending physician;
  • (g) The dispensing date that the medical marijuana was transferred to the qualified patient or caregiver; 
  • (h) The qualifying patient’s name and registration card number; and
  • (i) A statement that the product is for medical use, not for resale or transfer to another person, containing the following language: “Contains Marijuana. Keep out of the reach of children.”
  • 5607.2 All medical marijuana sold or otherwise distributed by a cultivation center shall be packaged and labeled in a manner that advises the purchaser that it contains marijuana, specifies the amount of marijuana in the product, and that the marijuana is intended for medical use solely by the patient to whom it is sold, and that any re-sale or re-distribution of the medical marijuana to a third person is prohibited.  
  • 5607.3 The label shall include all ingredients contained in the product, in order from most abundant to least abundant.  The label for ingestible items shall identify potential food allergy ingredients, including milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans.  The product shall be packaged in a sealed container that cannot be opened without obvious damage to the packaging.  
  • 5607.4 The label shall contain the following warning:  “There may be health risks associated with the ingestion or use of this product.”  Please consult your physician if you have any questions or concerns.
  • 5607.5 All medical marijuana shall be labeled with a list of all chemical additives, including but not limited to non-organic and organic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that were used in the cultivation and production of the medical marijuana.
  • 5607.6 A cultivation center may place a trade or product name on the medical marijuana container prior to transporting it to a dispensary.
  • 5607.7 The label shall not contain any of the following information:
  • (a) Any false or misleading statement or design; or
  • (b) Any seal, flag, crest, coat of arms, or other insignia likely to mislead the qualified patient to believe that the product has been endorsed, made, or used by the District government. 
  • 5607.8 A cultivation center or dispensary shall not alter, obliterate, or destroy any label attached to a medical marijuana container.
  • 5607.9 A dispensary shall place for transport purposes packaged and labeled medical marijuana in a separate sealed container prior to dispensing medical marijuana to a qualified patient or caregiver.  This separate sealed container shall comply with these regulations and include a label containing the following required information contained in § 5607.1: 
  • (a) The dispensing date the medical marijuana was transferred to the qualifying patient or caregiver; and 
  • (b) The qualifying patient’s name and registration card number.
  • 5607.10 A cultivation center or dispensary shall not use the word(s) “candy” or “candies” on the product, packaging, or labeling of any medical marijuana product. 
  • 5607.11 A cultivation center or dispensary shall not place any content, image, or labeling that specifically targets individuals under the age of twenty-one (21), including but not limited to, cartoon characters or similar images, on the product, packaging, or a container holding medical marijuana.
  • 5607.12 A cultivation center that produces edible marijuana products or marijuana-infused products shall ensure that all edible marijuana products or marijuana-infused products offered for sale: 
  •  Are labeled clearly and unambiguously as medical marijuana;
  •  Are not presented in packaging or with labeling that is appealing to children; and 
  •  Have packaging designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five (5) years of age to open, but not normally difficult for adults to use properly.
  •  5607.13 A cultivation center or dispensary shall not use or allow the use of any content, image, or labeling on a medical marijuana product that is offered for sale if the container does not precisely and clearly indicate the nature of the contents or that in any way may deceive a customer as to the nature, composition, quantity, age, or quality of the product.
  • 5607.14 Packaging of edible medical marijuana products or medical marijuana-infused products shall not bear any:
  • (a)   Resemblance to the trademarked, characteristic or product-specialized packaging of any commercially available candy, snack, baked good or beverage;
  • (b)  Statement, artwork or design that could reasonably mislead any person to believe that the package contains anything other an edible medical marijuana product or medical marijuana-infused products; or
  • (c)  Seal, flag, crest, coat of arms, or other insignia that could reasonably mislead any person to believe that the product has been endorsed, manufactured, or used by any state, county or municipality or any agency thereof.
  • 5607.15 The Director may prohibit a cultivation center or dispensary from selling any medical marijuana product upon a finding by the Director that the product is deceptively labeled or branded in a manner which is misleading about its content or that contains injurious or adulterated ingredients.
  • 5607.16 In addition to the other labeling requirements of this section, all edible marijuana products, and marijuana-infused products shall be labeled in accordance with 16 C.F.R. Part 1700 (2016), Poison prevention packaging; 21 C.F.R. Part 101 (2016), Food Labeling, as specified in Section 1102 of the District Food Code Regulations (Title 25-A DCMR).
  • 5607.17 A dispensary shall submit its labeling to the Mayor for approval and record. The Mayor shall transmit the final dispensary labeling designs to MPD.


Useful Links for Washington D.C. Cannabis Regulations

District of Columbia Marijuana Regulations

Code of the District of Columbia Chapter 16B. Use of Marijuana for Medical Treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions for the Medical Marijuana Program
District of Columbia Patient Application
Complete List of Marijuana-Related Forms


Washington D.C. Cannabis Growers Application

Washington D.C. Cultivation Center Application Forms and Information

Editor's Note: Status as of 4/9/2021


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