Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Set to Open in Washington D.C.

The first medical marijuana dispensaries in the nation’s capital is set to open next month, after a long struggle over the legalities of marijuana distribution, according to the Washington Examiner.

Marijuana dispensaries have been waiting on government regulations and approval since 1998, but Congress prevented the law from moving forward.

“D.C.’s system is one of the most strict in the nation. Everything from cultivation to security is tightly regulated at these facilities,” said Morgan Fox, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.

He said he did not expect much federal interference in the program even though marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

Only patients with qualifying medical conditions, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis, or medical treatments such as chemotherapy, are eligible to receive a written recommendation for medical marijuana. Patients will be allowed to purchase 2 ounces of marijuana per month.

Vanessa West, general manager for Metropolitan Wellness Center at 409 Eighth St. SE, said the facility pushed back its opening date to mid-April because it is waiting for a grower to produce marijuana to sell.

“We are 100 percent ready and awaiting a final inspection from the Department of Health. We expect that to happen any day now,” Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn, co-owner of Takoma Wellness Center, said in an email to the Washington Examiner.