Jon Walker asks around:
“About four months” is theoretically the absolute fastest that stores could begin selling recreational marijuana in the District after the D.C. Council adopts new legislation, according to Rabbi Jeff Kahn. As the operator of Takoma Wellness Center, one of D.C.’s three functioning medical marijuana dispensaries, he is uniquely positioned to provide insight into this question.
But a year to a year-and-a-half is more likely:
One big hold up could be the council and the local regulators charged with writing the final rules.
The council is going to need to not only balance the needs of the customers, the community and business leaders, but also trying to prevent Congress and/or federal agencies from stepping in to shut down the whole thing. After all, voters in the District first approved a medical marijuana initiative back in 1998, but Congress stepped in to prevent the District from actually adopting medical marijuana rules until 2010. Earlier this year, a federal appropriations bill containing a provision to block D.C. efforts to move forward with marijuana legalization actually passed in the House, but it died when the Senate didn’t take it up.
That said, Councilmember David Grosso (I) feels that if voters show overwhelming support for Initiative 71, the council will move quickly to respect the will of the electorate.
Which is a good opportunity to highlight the absurd anomaly of the capital city’s disenfranchisement. Which reminds me: get your Know Dope DC t-shirts here. (Oregon version here and Alaska version here … full details on the shirts here.)