Washington D.C. cannabis business compliance guide

In this guide, we'll cover:
Legally reviewed by:

NY Content Hub ->

Dutchie does not provide compliance advice. Merchants are responsible for their own compliance. External Dutchie compliance documentation may be updated from time to time and has been prepared for informational purposes only, is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or compliance advice. Merchants should consult their own tax, legal and compliance advisors to determine how best to operate within the cannabis industry.

Market Type

In Washington D.C. cannabis sales are for medical patients. While β€˜Gifting’ operations are allowed within the District of Columbia, which allow for the transfer of cannabis with the purchase of another non-cannabis item, only Medical cannabis sales are regulated in this market.Β 

Metrc and Inventory‍

Washington D.C. uses METRC as a seed-to-sale traceability provider. In Washington D.C. sales are reported to METRC for both local medical patients (who have registered with the D.C. medical cannabis program) as well as out-of-state medical patients from a reciprocal state who are making a medical cannabis purchase.Β 

Purchase Limits‍


  • 2 Oz per 30 day period
  • Only patients with a written certification from a doctor are able to purchase products up to 500mg THC per package.Β 


Washington D.C. rules mention β€˜Equivalent’ values in their rules, however cannabis product equivalencies are never explicitly defined.Β 


Cannabis specific taxes are not outlined for the D.C. medical cannabis program.

Medical Cannabis purchases are subject to local sales tax.Β 


Maximum amount of inventory for delivery

ABCA does not define specific inventory maximums, however any delivery vehicle may not carry more than $5000 cash at one time.Β 

Delivery operations

A delivery driver may deliver to multiple locations in a single dispatch, however a driver may not make more than 10 deliveries in a single dispatch.Β 

Delivery misc.

All vehicles must have GPS.Β 

Delivery hours are limited to 9am - 9pmΒ 

At retailer discretion, patients may be required to pay electronically.Β 

Things to Note‍

Currently any adult may β€˜self-certify’ as a valid medical patient in Washington D.C. Self Certification can be done online via the ABCA website, and requires a registration fee. Once an adult has self certified, they receive an electronic patient registration card from ABCA.Β 

State Resources

ABCA Medical Cannabis Laws and Regulations->

Recent Updates

Beginning in August 2023, licensing applications open for cannabis retailers who are currently running unlicensed operations.


Washington D.C.


How much does it cost to open a dispensary in New York?

How long does it take for applications to be reviewed?

How many licenses do we expect New York to issue?

Has New York identified what the application will look like?

How will the office evaluate applications?

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