After the history-making events of January 2021, security around Washington, D.C. is starting to die down and more Americans than ever are thinking about making sojourns to the national capital to pay respects. Washington, D.C. is an important vacation destination for those who are interested in politics, history, architecture, art, science and so much more — and most recently, the capital has started attracting cannabis travelers, as well.
Washington, D.C. has allowed for adults over 21 to possess and consume small amounts of cannabis for over five years — but getting one’s hands on legal bud is easier said than done. Technically, D.C. still prohibits cannabis sales, which means visitors won’t find a recreational weed storefront or dispensary that might be available in other states. Instead, weed seekers need to be a bit craftier if they want to consume cannabis during their D.C. vacation.
Visit a Medical Dispensary
Washington, D.C. voters approved the legalization of cannabis for medical consumption way back in 1998, and the first Washington, D.C. dispensary opened its doors in 2013. Despite legalization of recreational cannabis possession and consumption, medical dispensaries are the only spaces where cannabis can be bought by consumers because recreational sales remain strictly prohibited. However, visitors can only gain access to medical dispensaries if they have medical marijuana cards.
Fortunately, Washington, D.C. is one of few cities in the U.S. that offer reciprocity, which means medical dispensaries will accept valid medical marijuana cards issued by other states. Thus, if a visitor is a licensed medical marijuana user in their home state, they should be able to continue their treatment during their trip to the nation’s capital.
Buy Something From a Smoke Shop
As mentioned above, recreational cannabis sales are illegal in D.C., so to get people the pot they want to purchase, growers and sellers need to be a bit crafty in their tactics. Technically, it isn’t illegal to give small amounts of cannabis away, and shops tend to use this loophole to get weed into the hands of eager buyers.
Most smoke and vape shops have a tried-and-trusted method of distributing weed, which requires store visitors to make a specific purchase, like a T-shirt, ashtray or art print. Visitors might also be able to make a “donation” to a “cannabis charity.” Then, they can select a reward for their patronage from amongst various cannabis goodies. The system might seem shady, but it is typically how weed sales are done in D.C.
Sometimes, weed pop-up stores appear around the city. Unlike smoke shops, these pop-ups have a much larger selection of cannabis inventory, and though there might be some backbending to make a legal sale, it isn’t as reliant on knowing the right place and right lingo to get weed. However, D.C. police aren’t particularly pleased by pop-ups and can bust them, so visitors should be careful not to attract attention in their pursuit of one.
Find a Legit Delivery Service
Cannabis delivery isn’t expressly legal in D.C., but it isn’t expressly illegal, either. In the same manner that smoke shops vend cannabis, delivery services can bring weed to a consumer’s doorstep if that consumer makes a specific, seemingly unrelated purchase.
The problem with delivery services is that most D.C. accommodations for travelers are not particularly accepting of cannabis consumption on their premises. Interested users should be sure to book 420-friendly accommodations, which are easiest to find through peer-to-peer lodging services like Airbnb or VRBO. Alternatively, tourists might opt for discreet cannabis consumption methods, like edibles or vapes — as long as they have a grasp on dosing and know not to overdo it in an unfamiliar city.
Attend a Dank D.C. Event
Finally, visitors might plan their trip to D.C. to coincide with a cannabis event. Though it seems likely that all public gatherings will be postponed until the end of 2021 — or perhaps even 2022, depending on the speed of the vaccine rollout — eventually, scheduled events will once again take place in the nation’s capital. Some events are large and dispersed, like flea markets or conventions, and others are more intimate, like weed tastings and art showings. Regardless, visitors are likely to get access to some good green by attending a related event during their travels.
Finding recreational cannabis in D.C. isn’t as easy as it might be in L.A. or other cities that have legalized sale and consumption, but with perseverance, any of-age adult can get their hands on precious pot.