Weed in the DMV: The Latest Laws

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It’s hard to keep up with rules in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

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The law used to be simple: Marijuana was a no-no. But things have changed quickly, and it’s become hard to keep track. Here’s our handy guide to the latest on lighting up.


The mayor signed a bill in October allowing adults to self-certify that they qualify for medical marijuana—no prescription needed. (Others can legally possess two ounces or no more than three mature plants at home.) In June, the DC Council also passed a bill that protects employees from getting fired if they fail a drug test. Meanwhile, the city has been wrestling with how best to handle “gifting” shops that exploit a legal loophole to peddle pot.


After passage of a ballot initiative in November, adults will be able to possess up to 1.5 ounces of weed or up to two plants for personal use. The new rules go into effect July 1. But for anyone without a medical prescription, it will still be against the law to possess larger quantities.


Adults have been allowed to possess up to one ounce since 2021 and can cultivate up to four plants at home. But they aren’t permitted to buy or sell it: Last February, Republicans vetoed a bill that would have greenlit the sale of recreational weed. The proposal currently remains on hold.

This article appears in the January 2023 issue of Washingtonian.

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