- See Best Recreational DC Dispensaries (No Medical Card Required)
- Best DC Weed Delivery
- Best DC Medical Dispensaries
- What is Initiative 71?
- Is Weed Legal in DC?
- How to Buy Weed in DC
- Ask for Weed in DC the Right Way
- How Much Does DC Weed Cost?
- Is the Weed in Washington DC Good?
- Where Can I Smoke Weed in DC?
- Grow Your Own Weed in DC
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Cannabis is now legal in our Nation's capital but there are no recreational DC dispensaries like you’d find in Denver or L.A. When the city passed Initiative 71, a rider was added to the federal spending budget that prevented the District from setting up recreational dispensaries in Washington DC.
No worries, boss! The I71 law still allows adults to possess, grow, and gift DC cannabis, so in the absence of licensed recreational businesses, a private market of marijuana gifts bloomed to help you get weed in DC. Allow your friendly, neighborhood Gentleman, DC’s most prominent connoisseur (featured in the Washington Post, the LA Times, and many more) to show you the fundamentals of buying weed in DC.
BEST I71 COMPLIANT WEED GIFTING STORES
DC recreational dispensaries sell all kinds of products in 2022, like art and apparel, then provide marijuana as a free “thank you gift” afterwards. If you’re wondering where to get weed in DC, look no further! The Gentleman has helpfully compiled this list of his favorite I71 compliant DC recreational weed brands for you! These brands have all been vetted for professional service and quality gifts by yours truly, so you can feel confident choosing any of these to buy weed in DC from.
(Psst. Use these links if you're specifically looking for Storefronts or Delivery)
How to Get Weed in DC (5 Popular Methods)
There are five ways to buy weed in DC that don’t require a medical marijuana card (or you can grow it yourself, if you’re so inclined). You don’t need to be a DC resident, either! Some brands may offer more than one of these options for buying marijuana in Washington DC. I’ve sorted my favorite brands by service type on the Directory to help you find what you’re looking for fast!
But if you’re like me and nothing but the best DC marijuana will do, then check out our Buying Guide instead! Updated weekly, every recreational cannabis gift featured is available at the time of posting and has personally been inspected, smoked, and approved for quality by the Gentleman's team of connoisseurs.
1. DC Weed Storefronts (No Medical ID)
DC cannabis stores are the closest you’ll get to a recreational marijuana DC dispensary without a medical card. It’s no surprise they’re so popular- this is what the city thought it was voting for when it legalized marijuana in DC. Brick and mortars typically make a great effort to remain I71 compliant, too. They don’t require an appointment, so you may encounter a line, but you’ll have time to peruse the marijuana gift displays and ask questions. Recreational DC weed stores operate through the “gifting loophole” in Initiative 71 and have become a simple, reliable way to get weed in DC. Here are my faves:
2. I71 DELIVERY SERVICES
DC weed delivery brands bring your gifts anywhere you’d like. In my experience, getting weed in DC this way takes between 1-2 hours, and you can expect an ETA from most delivery services these days. Some services will even let you set a delivery appointment in advance, an awesome feature to save time for the busiest of bees!
Also note, you will not be able to have recreational weed in DC delivered to federal property, like government buildings or the National Mall. Now that’s out of the way, here’s a few of my favorite delivery services:
Call Judiijane at 202.276.4699
3. DC Marijuana Pick-Ups
Some DC marijuana brands offer “Pick-Up” where you meet the brand at a private indoor location, like a hotel room, apartment, or AirBNB. These services typically require an appointment. Curbside Pick-Up is not the same thing, but wouldn’t it be cool if they were wearing a trenchcoat with all kinds of weed hanging from clips on the inside like counterfeit watches in the movies? It would be. I’m gonna suggest it to everybody.
Similar to many recreational dispensaries in Washington DC, pick-ups allow you to ask questions and take your time checking out their selection of Washington DC cannabis gifts.
1-2 hours in advance should be plenty of time to secure an appointment, but setting your appointment earlier is a good idea, especially if you’re tight on time. Here’s a few of my favorites for DC marijuana pick-ups:
4. DC Cannabis Meet-Ups
Meet-Ups, or Curbside Pick-Up, is like a delivery but the DC recreational dispensaries tell you the location. Usually, you’ll meet in front of a coffee shop, restaurant, or Metro stop. This is great for daytrippers unfamiliar with the city, but you could also ask a regular Delivery brand to suggest a place to meet. Since this service is functionally the same as Delivery, I have included Washington DC recreational dispensaries that offer meet-ups in that category.
5. DC Weed Pop-Ups
DC pop ups, otherwise known as weed events, often feature several DC cannabis brands with their THC gifts displayed on tables at a bar, restaurant, or nightclub. These weed farmer’s markets were once incredibly popular, but the frequency of Washington DC cannabis pop-ups waned after police raids on them increased. Your best bet to finding them is to follow DC weed pages on social media like Instagram.
FYI, there’s been a Social Use Ban on Cannabis in DC that went into effect, like, a month after I71 kicked off. It prohibits smoking cannabis in public spaces like bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Some of these spaces will flaunt these rules on occasion but allowing it all the time will catch the attention of ABRA, which comes with stiff fines and putting your liquor license in jeopardy.
What is Initiative 71 and Why Does it Matter?
In Washington DC, thanks to Initiative 71, adults 21+ are allowed to:
-Grow up to 6 marijuana plants, only 3 of which may be mature ("flowering") at a time
-Possess up to two ounces in public
-Share up to one ounce with another adult 21+
-Selling of cannabis in DC is not permitted
-And you can't smoke it in public, either; if you're caught it's a $25 fine.
-(You can actually go down to the station and get your weed back if you're caught smoking in public with less than two ounces. Strange days, indeed.)
-This only applies on land that DC owns. Cannabis is still federally illegal and around 30% of the District is federal property, like National Parks & government buildings (map) but also federally-subsidized housing
So just how are people buying legal weed in Washington DC? Let’s take a closer look at how I71 works.
Is Weed Legal in DC Through I71?
So the way many Initiative 71 marijuana-gifting services get around the restriction on sales is to sell something else, like tee-shirts, hats, juices, digital art, lunchboxes, all kinds of stuff, then give you a bag of buds as a free thank you gift. You do not have to be a resident and you don’t need a medical card! This is the only way to get legal recreational weed in DC in 2022 since we still don’t have licensed dispensaries.
Is taking advantage of the gifting loophole legal, though? I’m a Gentleman, not a lawyer, and in my experience, the answer very much depends on who you ask. The best I can personally give you is a very confident ‘sort of.’ I think what you really want to ask is if you can suffer legal consequences as a customer, and that answer is ‘maybe, if there were a perfect shitstorm, but I’ve never heard of that happening to anyone in five years of legalization.” Hope that sets your mind at ease! Any other questions? Here’s the DC Weed Delivery FAQ page.
How to Get Medical Weed in DC
Want to get your hands on lab-tested products? DC's medical marijuana program started accepting patients for any condition whatsoever thanks to emergency legislation enacted in 2015. They started DC Reciprocity in 2018 and now includes patients from both Maryland and Virginia. Learn how to get a medical marijuana card in DC. Your Gentleman, naturally, has some opinions:
Is Recreational Weed Legal in Washington DC? (2022 Update)
The short answer is yes, the use of recreational marijuana in Washington DC is legal to possess, consume, and gift! However, stores are not yet able to sell us any recreational cannabis directly. As a result, residents are now getting their DC weed from brands through the gifting system. This is currently how Washington DC recreational weed dispensaries operate within their understanding of the law as we discussed above.
If you catch the distinction I've made, not everyone agrees that cannabis gifting is legal in DC. There are several members of the DC Council that have made it clear they consider this market to be wholly illegal and the DC Metropolitan Police Department has conducted raids on these businesses with some frequency throughout the last six years. However, adults 21 and older now have higher accessibility to medical marijuana, thanks to the District's newly passed marijuana proposal. This bill was instated in an attempt to return the people's business to the medical marijuana industry within The District of Colombia.
But why do lawmakers have a priority in limiting business for DC recreational marijuana shops?
The weed distributed to the recreational community in DC is "gifted" not sold. The gifting market is consistently criticized by DC lawmakers due to their inability to tax gifted cannabis or products containing THC.Even though these recreational cannabis shops add immense value to their communities, untaxable goods are often thought to be a financial nuisance by DC's Council.
Just two months prior to the approval of this new medical marijuana proposal, a bill was set to heavily fine DC's recreational cannabis shops for their business practices. Luckily, this bill was turned down by the voting Council, and now that DC's newest cannabis bill has been approved, medical patients can easily self-certify; meaning that medical cannabis will become more accessible for Medical Marijuana Patients without ridding the DC recreational community of its thriving cannabis gifted market. Truly a win-win for everyone!
DC Weed Gifting Legality Counterpoints
I'd like to make two points here. The first is that the vast majority of brand owners I've spoken to have consulted a lawyer who told them some version of X + Y + Z equaled a legal business. I've seen all kinds of attempts to be more "I71 compliant" over the years. Separating the cannabis side of your store from the actual purchase section, point exchange systems, and the concept of equivalent value (that is, what you're selling must be within a reasonable range of what that item typically retails for alone) are all concepts that have been pitched by lawyers to their entrepreneurial clients. And even though the Council calls them opportunists today, these brands stick with their established systems. Why?
The answer is my second point- the DC Council is the legislative branch of government. They make laws, but they do not interpret them. That's the job of the judiciary! Six years in and the courts have dismissed nearly every I71 gifting case brought before them and most don't even make it that far. The only people who have actually faced conviction had another factor involved: the sale of other drugs, gun offenses, or traveling over state lines.
Will Initiative 71 Shops Be Closed Down?
Chairman Phil Mendelson of the D.C. council has led two failed efforts in the past year that would have imposed steep financial penalties for the brands that have operated under I71's banner (and their landlords- here's my analysis of the most recent bill's possible consequences).
There is little hope that the most socially equitable cannabis policy in the nation will continue on without government interference much longer, however. The last vote to shut them down failed by a single vote, and most of the Councilmembers that sided with I-71 did so because they didn't think ramming such important legislation through on an emergency basis was the correct course. Emergency legislation would have gone into effect immediately without any input from DC citizens, but now, we should expect two votes and a public hearing. Based on Martin Austermuhle's Twitter feed from the day of the vote, current thought is that the DC Council will vote to shut down the I-71 cannabis gifting late in 2022, but perhaps with some additional medical licenses being made available and held for Washington's unique legacy market entrepreneurs.
If you want to support their efforts to secure amnesty and a transition to the licensed program, please follow Generational Equity Movement and The I-71 Committee on Instagram!
Will DC Ever Get Licensed Recreational Dispensaries?
There are several scenarios that would allow the District to set up the taxed and regulated adult-use cannabis market it wants. Each is implausible in the current political climate, which is why the brands facing extinction are hoping to move to the medical market.
Scenario 1: DC Statehood
The best, most coveted scenario is that DC receives its long-deserved statehood. There are over 700,000 people that live in our nation's Capital that sit outside the halls of its government like war orphans outside the USO, with no representation in the hallowed halls of Congress save for the non-voting (i.e. powerless) seat that is perennially held by Eleanor Holmes Norton.
DC becoming a state is unlikely because the city is a Democratic stronghold, so granting them statehood gives Congressional Democrats 2 additional Senate seats, plus commensurate House seats. You'd have to convince Republicans to willingly shoot themselves in the foot. However, it is a worthy cause to support in the unlikely event Democrats pick up enough seats to pass it themselves- here's a great group in DC for statehood.
Scenario 2: Remove the Harris Rider
The second option is the removal of the budget rider that has plagued Washington DC's green ambitions since its inception. This is the scenario that the DC Council and Mayor were hoping for once Democrats took control of both halls of Congress. Alas, we would soon learn there is simply no political motivation for the Dems to help DC establish cannabis sales. As reported by Martin Austermuhle, reopening negotiations with Republican on this budget rider would reopen other riders for discussion, and there simply isn't enough juice to make it worth the squeeze here.
Scenario 3: Federal Legalization
The last hope to bring licensed adult-use dispensaries to DC, then, lies in federal legalization. The MORE Act just passed the House, but it has become obvious that its social equity provisions will not receive Republican support, so it won't pass the Senate in its current form. As a cannabis blogger since 2016, I can tell you that from my own perspective, federal legalization is tantalizingly close, yet somehow remains as far away as ever.
How to Find Trusted Recreational Dispensaries in DC
When marijuana legalized in DC there were new vendors popping up like, uh...popcorn? Well, you think of something that pops, smarty-pants! Recreational dispensaries in DC should offer safe and timely services with quality cannabis gifts and of course be an Initiative 71 compliant business. This means gifting only to adults 21 years or older and never directly selling cannabis. If you are looking for brands that you can trust when buying weed in DC check out our verified brands above.
Buying Weed in DC - Everything You Need to Know
Still a bit confused on how to buy weed in DC? No worries, the DC marijuana market can be a bit tricky for first timers. DC legal marijuana is easily divided into two categories, medical and recreational. The Gentleman is gonna break down how it all works for you! Let's begin with how to be gifted cannabis from a recreational (I-71) shop correctly.
Ask for Weed in DC the Right Way
Remember that you're not buying cannabis in DC, you're receiving it as a free gift for buying something else. With that in mind, here's the right way to ask for weed in DC so you don't get tripped up! In this example, we'll say that you're buying a tee shirt, but every brand has their own products. Sometimes it's an art print, sometimes it's a sticker, sometimes it's even an inspirational speech. Yes, I'm serious.
- Ask to see their cannabis gift menu. It might be printed out, on a chalkboard, a display screen, or a tablet, but they'll be only too happy to show you what gifts are in stock.
- The actual item, or combination of items, you have to purchase to get the gift you want will probably be listed on the menu. If not, you'll ask "Which tee-shirts comes with an eighth of free OG Kush?"
- Place your order like so: "I'd like the DC Statehood $50 shirt and for my free gift, an eighth of OG Kush."
- Your budtender rings you up, passes you your gifts, and smiles. You have successfully navigated the lingo around buying weed in DC, you sharp bastard. Now, it's time to smoke!
Can Tourists Buy Weed in DC?
Tourists can absolutely buy weed from I71 smoke shops and delivery services while visiting Washington DC! Many of our capital city's 24,000 yearly tourists already take advantage of the legal cannabis laws here and you can, too. The only requirement to buy weed in DC is that you must be 21 or older. If you're in for multiple nights, delivery services are happy to deliver to your hotel and there are storefronts in just about every trendy neighborhood. There are even some 420 friendly AirBNBs around. And, heck, if you have a medical card in your state, DC's medical program offers reciprocity to every other state's program, so you're set if you want to visit a DC medical dispensary while you're in town.
As a tourist, you want to be careful not to smoke cannabis on federal land, which is illegal. This includes the parks, National Mall, and most waterfront areas, as well as federal buildings. I've created a guide to help you around town and avoid any hassle from law enforcement.
We also have to point out that you can't bring weed with you over state lines legally. That means you can't bring your weed home with you, even if you live in a legal state or have a medical card in another state. Especially important for Maryland-based daytrippers, as the Old Line state has not yet legalized cannabis, only decriminalization for possession under 10 grams.
How to Buy Weed in DC Without a Medical Card
Buying medical marijuana in DC simply requires you to obtain your MMJ card. Buying recreational cannabis in DC, however, is where you must follow I71 guidelines. The process, whether it’s a DC dispensary, delivery service or a meet-up is fairly similar.
Visit your brand or visit their website and find their gift menu.
You will see a list of I71 weed gifts to choose from and what corresponding purchase you have to make to receive the gift.
To complete the transaction you will have to buy a non-cannabis product and then you will receive the I71 cannabis as a gift.
Note! When ordering delivery, you'll typically have to send a photo of your ID and a selfie so you can prove you are over 21 years old. This is the standard practice. If it makes you uncomfortable (understandable), visit a storefront instead, where you only have to present your ID to security.
Visit any of these verified brands that have been vetted for quality by yours truly.
When buying weed in DC through Initiative 71 the most important thing to note is that you are not buying cannabis, but instead receiving it as a gift. All DC marjuana brands have their own unique spin on gifting, so just follow their guidelines and you’ll be aces, Champ!
Where To Buy Weed in DC
Knowing where to buy cannabis in DC can be difficult. There are hundreds of options around town, which can make choosing between them feel like spinning the roulette wheel. So bet on the Gentleman! We regularly check the flower gift quality at the DC vendors listed in my top recommendations above to ensure they deserve your hard-earned dollars! If you want to know which flowers and edibles we think are specifically stupendous, then check out our Buying Guide and DC Edibles Guide instead.
Not in DC? The Gentleman still has you covered. Maryland's medical program has been going strong- visit my Ultimate Guide to Marijuana in Maryland for more info! Virginia has a fledgling medical program and gifting market, too- here's my guide to fantastic cannabis in the Commonwealth.
How Much Does DC Weed Cost?
The cost of weed in Washington DC is typically between $50 and $75 per eighth, or between $250-$400/ounce. This is average, but I've seen specials with $200/oz or less, and I've found storefronts that only gift eighths, so you receive no scaled discount for buying more. You'll also pay a premium for designer cannabis. Edibles are typically priced around $20/100mg of THC they are advertised to contain. Concentrates range from $40/gram for shatter all the way up to $100+ for designer hash.
We actually wrote two in-depth articles that explore how wholesale and retail weed pricing work. In short, the cost is subject to the same factors that influence cost across the industry- the method it was grown. Weed that was grown outdoors typically has the fewest trichomes, and thus the lowest THC percentage, of any method and retails at the lowest tier. Greenhouse, aka light-dep, is the next step up, with indoor-grown weed coming at the highest price point with their big, flashy trichomes. In my estimation, this set up is irrelevant to the discussion of quality- I've found plenty of bad buds from every tier.
Oh, and there's one more tier you should know about- exotic or designer cannabis. You'll see plenty of Cookies, Doja Pak, Backback Boyz and more across shops in DC. But are they legit? Sometimes! Check out our guide to identifying fake & counterfeit cannabis here.
Is the Weed in Washington DC Good?
So, you want to know if the weed you’ll find in DC is actually good? Weed quality, bar none, and I am pleased to report that we regularly find fantastic flowers in the District from I-71 gifting shops, the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries, and District home growers alike. Some of our favorite strains come from I-71 gifting shops & delivery services, which often feature the same designer buds you’ll find from the West Coast, like the ubiquitous Gelato and Zkittlez off-shoots. In 2021 alone, we reviewed Wonderbrett’s Orange Sunset (at Gifted Curators), Cookies’ Gary Payton (at Exotic Organics), a fabulous run of Miracle Alien Cookies (at Natural Vibes), and many more.
The Best DC Weed Strains of 2022 (So Far!)
Our full, expanded list of the best cannabis buys in Washington DC lives on our Buyer's Guide. It's updated weekly with our connoisseurs' picks for sativas, indicas, value, and designer weed you'll want to get before it's gone! Here's a few of the recent highlights from our Buyer's Guide you should certainly snatch should you see them available:
Big Al’s Crushers from Legacy DC
A staff favorite here at Gentleman Toker, we get excited every time we get to evaluate a hype Gushers selection, and this Big Al’s bag from Legacy does not disappoint. The genetics for Crushers are unclear, but some have speculated that it’s an offshoot of Top Tier and Backpack Boyz’ White Gushers, as both have more of a sugary sweet flavor with a sort of cinnamon tinge on the back end as opposed to the tart candy flavor from some other Gushers and Biscotti selections. Crushers was also perfectly fresh and incredibly potent; a perfect “dessert” smoke for between dinner and bedtime.
Sherbinskis Gello Gelato from Gifted Curators
While most Gelato cuts and crosses offer a predictable sleepy couch-lock effect, Gello is much more energizing and refreshing which makes it suitable for mornings and afternoons. The nugs on the sample we got from Gifted Curators are the same dense multi-peaked shape you would expect from Bacio or Mochi, but the buds are almost all green rather than purple. The scent and flavor are also much more funky and savory than the tart sweet we’re used to, which is a nice change of pace. Overall, we recommend this for anyone looking for a high-quality, energizing strain that aids focus and creativity.
Gary Payton from Lit City
Gary Payton is a cross between (Snowman x Y Life) #20 pheno and is an inbred Cookie and OG strain. The cross is also shared with Cereal Milk and Snow Montana, but the astringent burnt rubber scent and soapy flavor set the #20 pheno apart from the others. This particular batch from Lit City had an exceptionally long effect duration and smoked quite smoothly. Overall, if you’re looking for baller potency or something effective for evenings and nights, this strain is for you.
Cherimoya from Elevated Lounge
Cherimoya is a cross between (Gelato 41 x Mai Tai), which mixes the narcotic candy gas Gelato qualities with more tropical traits more commonly found in classics like Maui Waui and Hawaiian Sativa. Put together, these traits give Cherimoya a scent and flavor reminiscent of Hawiian Punch or concentrated Kool-Aid, a perfect refreshment for these hot, swampy DC afternoons. The sample provided us with a jolt of refreshment in the middle of the day when we tested it, and the smoothness of the smoke was impressive.
The freshest cannabis comes straight from the grower and there are plenty that are happy to share- we’ve profiled a few of our favorite local cultivators in this article and ten of our favorite strains from the last year in this one. DC’s medical marijuana program puts out some fire, too- Alternative Solutions’ Panama Red comes immediately to mind.
The Best DC Edibles of 2022 (So Far!)
If you’re interested in edibles, Washington DC is home to many talented cannabis chefs that make all kinds of tasty, infused sweets and savories. You can find a list of some of the more popular edibles, including full-spectrum and distillate-based options. I personally lean more towards full-spectrum edibles these days because I feel it delivers a more enjoyable and organic experience, but if exact dosage is important to you, then you can't beat distillate. Here's some of my favorites of both weed edible varieties that you'll find in DC:
Full-Spectrum Brownies from Athena's Gifts
It’s rare to find weed edibles infused with marijuana flower these days as it’s far easier to ensure accurate dosages with distillate. My personal preference is for flower-infused edibles, as the experience tends to be a lighter, brighter, more “organic” high. Athena’s Gifts honors these ancient ways, so when the Gentleman wants to get thoroughly stoned, this is what I reach for. Athena’s Gifts has a fantastic edibles menu of cookies, cereal bars, and brownies along with a rotating specialty selection, like cheesecakes! All of it is made fresh locally (and also available from Lucky Chuckie). Oh! They also make infused juices and tinctures. As always, if you’re new to weed, start slow and gauge your tolerance. If you’re a daily smoker, you might want to smoke something along with it to get a boost from the edible that leaves you unmistakably higher than your baseline. Trust me, it works great! You are welcome.
Leveled Gummies from Adose Wellness
Adose Wellness is a solid new addition to Washington DC’s weed edibles scene! Their core menu features some unique takes on crisped rice treats, like Churro and Strawberry White Chocolate, along with a wide selection of gummies to satisfy the sophisticated palate of any candy connoisseur. Aside from their perfectly balanced flavor, the texture on these gummies is better than store-bought.. Adose Wellness’ infused treats use marijuana distillate that allows them to categorize the products by potency and cannabinoid profile, and they’ve got a chart that explains it way easier than I can with all these clumsy words. That’s what charts do, mon frere! I ended up taking 60mg THC from half a dozen Level 4 Sour Watermelon gummies, then I supplanted that with a single Raspberry Level 2 (7.5mg of CBD, 2.5mg of THC). And then I fell asleep on the couch at 9pm, watching Matlock reruns, I presume. I tried again with just 30mg, and had a nice, manageable buzz for the next couple of hours.
THC + CBD Gummies from Puff Kings
Puff Kings typically offers impeccably crafted gummies, chocolates, cake pops, rice krispy treats, and brownies. Every so often, they come up with something really unique, like infused buffalo sauce in the summer and infused cornbread kits in the fall. What I like most about Puff Kings’ edible selection is the many options that include a combination of THC and CBD in the same product, which eases the weight of a THC-only edible high, making it a more relaxing and long-lasting experience. It’ll still help you sleep at night, but it won’t knock you out in the middle of the day at responsible dosages. In my experience, this synergy is also better at relieving pain and anxiety. There’s also some research that indicates CBD acts against the side effects of THC, like memory loss. Puff Kings even offered giveaways of their CBD-only edibles throughout the pandemic. Great folks, great products, what’s not to love?
MOTA Distillate Tincture
Don’t let the fancy new packaging with the candy skulls fool you — the MOTA brand of edibles has been around since the early days of I-71, supplying this city with some of the most consistently potent products around. I’ve tried just about every type of their locally-made distillate-based edibles and they all work: the hard candies, the gummies, the rice krispy treats, you name it. Their tincture, however, is the best I’ve had anywhere. Tinctures added to a drink function like an everyday edible, with a typical onset between 25-60 minutes. You can also take a tincture sublingually for a faster onset, which means under your tongue if you don’t feel like Googling it. When I tried a sublingual application with MOTA’s tincture, I was high AF in five minutes, but it subsided after only a couple hours (ingested edibles usually last much longer). Mercifully, MOTA tinctures do not burn, so you can keep them under your tongue long enough to get every precious molecule of THC in your bloodstream. These days, you can find MOTA edibles at almost every storefront in town. I know for a fact that The Garden and All the Buzz keep them in stock!
Jackpot Distillate Gummies
Jackpots are vegan and gluten free gummy cubes that you’ll find in some of DC’s favorite I-71 shops like Gifted Curators, Legacy, and Peace in the Air. They come in brightly illustrated jars of 20 weighing in at 20mg of THC per piece, so you end up with 400mg. I had the chance to try these out myself recently. I had a 7 hour Amtrak ride, 'cuz I hate being rushed in airports, taking off my belt so that my pants fall off my ass, having my shoulders cramped in the seat, and on top of all that, it feels like you’re in stasis the whole time. Shark’s gotta swim, man! What were we talking about? Oh yeah, so I popped 2.5 Jackpot gummies for a total of 50mg and within an hour, I zonked out, and caught up on some much needed sleep. I was roused about 90 minutes later feeling fine, no lingering oogey-ness in my head. That’s how you know you’ve got your dose right, you don’t wake up drained and fog-brained. Jackpots, baby!
Is DC Weed Lab Tested?
As of today, there are no third-party laboratories within DC city limits that have the equipment to perform safety-based lab testing, not for I-71 recreational services and not for DC medical dispensaries.
Now, our editorial team discovered that lab results, even in licensed cannabis markets, are fraught with errors. We've investigated this thoroughly in this article and more evidence comes to light daily that lab-tested weed is a marketing gimmick.
The Problems with Weed Lab Testing in USA
First off, the labs aren't funded by the state, they are funded by selling testing services to licensed growers. This gives bad actors incentive to falsify the results in order to make these cultivators happy- one of the major drivers behind customer purchase decisions is THC percentage. Thus, the higher the THC they can put on the package, the better it will sell. Then, much like sports and steroids, those that provide accurate results underperform in the marketplace, meaning they have to cheat just to stay even.
Second, no two states share the exact same list of chemicals they test for or allowable percentage of each. With the lack of federal guidance, each state has been left up to its own devices. Speaking of, the science behind lab testing is far from settled. Some camps champion gas chromatography, others high-performance liquid chromatography. This is an airplane we are building mid-flight, folks.
Finally, even under the best of intentions, these labs are often staffed by inexperienced and undereducated workers who are under pressure to push through as many tests as possible every single day (I've heard equipment manufacturers boast of 90+ per day).
Now let's talk about DC and the nuances of lab testing in both the recreational and medical markets.
Why Isn't Initiative 71 Weed Lab Tested?
Washington DC is a small city with very limited land in which to grow. Meanwhile, California has ample room to grow, a crowded marketplace, and oppressive taxes for those that wish to operate legally. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of weed in DC comes from California and other states that end up with a surplus of cannabis (like Oregon had a couple years ago). On the East Coast, Maine is putting out the majority of the fire these days, but don't knock our neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia. Some of the best locally grown cannabis flower available in DC is grown just outside the Beltway.
Some of it, for certain, is grown right in Washington DC by our talented marijuana artisans. More and more, we're seeing limited drops at I-71 smoke shops featuring the best homegrowers in the city.
Almost none of it is lab-tested, and even if the brand hands me a Certificate of Analysis from out of state, I'm disinclined to accept it. I trust my nose and sense of taste to judge cannabis and here at GentlemanToker.com and that's exactly what I want to teach you how to do. This website isn't about being some stuffy, pretentious, holier-than-thou kind of stoner. We are about empowering you, dear reader, with the tools you need to evaluate cannabis yourself.
DC Medical Dispensary Lab Testing
As I said at the start, to date, no DC medical marijuana has every been tested by a third party lab within the city for safety (whether they sent something out the backdoor to another state is possible, but unlikely). Up until now, the only third-party testing that has been done is for cannabinoid and terpene profiles. Some of the cultivators do perform their own in-house testing, but this is unreliable under the "we've investigated ourselves and found nothing wrong" doctrine of modern meme law.
However, the city did issue two licenses for companies to operate labs last year. My hunch, as the longest tenured cannabis blogger in the city, is that these were issued when DC leadership anticipated the removal of the Harris rider. With recreational cannabis sales nowhere on the horizon now, I suspect these licenses will never see use. Why?
The DC Council always intended for there to be third-party lab testing for its medical marijuana program. The problem is that their patient base is too small for any lab company to operate profitably here- Steep Hill had its foot in the door but walked away years ago. With adult-use sales again looking like a distant pipe dream, I expect the awardees will allow their licenses to lapse without ever setting up shop here in the nation's capital.
Where Can I Smoke Weed in DC?
You've successfully got weed in DC, congrats! Now, where do you smoke it? Legally, you're not allowed to smoke weed in public. The fine is pretty small ($25) so long as you're on DC-owned land and not federal land (like the National Mall, large parks, most waterfronts, government buildings, and federal housing). Most folks, myself included, just light up and smoke while we're walking down DC's eclectic blend of residential streets. The trendy commercial strips like M St and 18th St are usually fine in the evening and you won't find many Debbie Downers stepping outside of a bar or club at night, but you might catch some side-eye from indignant pedestrians trying that during the day time. Its better to step off the beaten path.
Most hotels in DC lack balconies and I don't recommend tourists try to smoke in their rooms. That being said, lots of hotels have rooftops or smoking areas where smoking a bit of cannabis won't be amiss. You could also book with a smoke-friendly BNB and eliminate worry entirely.
As with every other legalized state in the US, you aren't allowed to smoke it in your car, even if someone else is driving or the car is turned off. Don't risk it!
If you want the full rundown on how to avoid any potential hassles with Johnny Law for puffing a joint on your visit, check out my guide on how smoking in public works in DC and where you could consider visiting. And here's some other stoner-friendly options to consider:
The Best Marijuana Tours in DC
Lucky Chuckie Tours will pick you up and drive you around the Nation's Capital while you enjoy their signature, flower-infused treats. Book them for a romantic evening with your special someone around the city, the National Harbor, or their special destination of the month! You can book online or call 202-425-3280. Want more details? I wrote a review of my recent trip with Lucky Chuckie!
DC 420 - FRIENDLY LODGING
Planning a longer visit and want a place to stay where smoking weed is explicitly allowed? Go on to AirBNB, then filter by House Rules -> Smoking Allowed. You'll find several properties from single rooms to entire houses that will welcome traveling stoners with open arms and, in some cases, fat doobies.
Grow Your Own Weed in DC
If you consume a lot of cannabis, growing your own is definitely a consideration. A single adult can grow up to 6 plants in Washington DC, only 3 of which can be mature at once (which I presume to mean 'flowering'). Here's the rules on growing your own at home. If you do choose to grow, the local head shops and hydroponic shops are a great place to find seeds, sometimes even clones. Check out DC Seed Exchange to find packs from the hottest new micro-breeders!
Managing your own cannabis garden can be time-consuming, however. That's why, after a search that has taken the Gentleman six long years, I am proud to present a service that will handle the growing for you that also meets my lofty standards for high quality cannabis! Please check out our friends at Nova Horticare. These folks operate in DC and Virginia, have several tiers of pricing based on how much of the work they'll handle for you, and offer discounts for veterans. I've had several samples of their flowers and am completely confident that you'll have some fantastic smoke on your hands if you hire them to manage your grow.
Get Outta Town!
Learning how to buy weed in DC can be intimidating at first, but I hope this guide has helped take some of the confusion out of the equation. Whether you are looking for the best recreational DC weed brands or just trying to have weed in DC delivered to you quickly and reliably, our list of trusted brands will be sure to please. The Gentleman can also help you find the best weed in lots of other markets! You can find marijuana reviews here of products I picked up from recreational Dispensaries while traveling in New York City, Hawaii, New Jersey, Boston, Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and adding more all the time, God bless America.