Getting Medical Marijuana in DC: How to Buy Legal Weed

When you live in DC, you know it’s more vital to follow the law there than anywhere else. The law enforcement presence includes local and District cops as well as the FBI, CIA, and all the other intimidating acronyms.

So, even though medical marijuana is technically legal in the Nation’s Capital, you want to make sure you’re following all the rules.

“Legal” doesn’t mean you can buy your weed from anyone who sells it. To avoid costly accidental mistakes, follow these tips when you’re getting medical marijuana in DC.

1. Have a Valid MMJ Card

Washington, DC isn’t its own state or part of any state. So, you don’t have to worry about the reciprocity of your medical marijuana card if you’re a non-resident.

Reciprocity is the term that refers to a state’s willingness to accept another state’s license as its own. Typically, if you head to another state, you can’t use your MMJ card unless the states have a reciprocal agreement.

These laws change frequently. If you’re planning on traveling out of state, you should check with the updated legislation. Keep in mind that federal law makes it illegal to transfer weed across state borders, even between reciprocal states.

Leave your stash at home to be on the safe side. As long as your card is valid and hasn’t expired, you can buy weed from a DC-based dispensary.

And if you don’t have a medical marijuana card yet, what are you waiting for? MetroXMD tells you how to qualify and start the process here.

2. Find a Licensed Dispensary

The next step is to find a dispensary that is approved to sell weed in Washington, DC.

To get this designation, dispensary owners have to go through a lot of legal hurdles, especially since marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. There isn’t a city out there more full of federal property than the Nation’s Capital, so this can be a bit tricky.

Any medical marijuana dispensary must go through the mayor before they’re allowed to be registered. From there, the DC Health Agency administers the actual licensing and registration paperwork and documentation. But the varying laws cap how many dispensaries are allowed within the District’s limit at one time.

Licensed medical marijuana dispensaries are listed on the government’s Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration page. Check this site regularly to make sure your favorite dispensary is still approved by the District.

3. Use a Delivery Service

Getting weed delivered is still a bit sketchy, but as of now, you can have it “gifted” to you under DC law. These gifting operations were the target of raids in early 2021. Later in the year, legislation removed the clause from the bill that would have made it illegal.

Some businesses use this loophole to promote their product sales. Customers buy what they need from the website, and in return, they get a free gift of weed delivered to their door with their order.

Expect to pay a high dollar for your rolling paper or “I ♡ DC” souvenir t-shirt. But before you cash out, you can pick your strain of gifted weed.

You may need to register your driver’s license or other ID with your order. The delivery person will ask to see it before they hand you the items.

Do You Have to Possess an MMJ Card to Get a Gift?

Technically, you can be gifted up to one ounce of weed without an MMJ card. Since recreational marijuana is still completely illegal in DC, we don’t recommend taking the chance.

It’s not a criminal violation anymore, as long as you’re caught with less than two ounces of weed. If you have edibles, this amounts to the size and weight of two cookies.

You’re still going to see a hefty fine and possibly some stressful court visits.


Buying cannabis in an area chock-full of federal property can be a bit of a sweaty proposition. As long as you have your MMJ card and purchase from a licensed dispensary or have it gifted to you, you’re all set. The trick now is to stay off of federal land while you partake in your hard-earned weed!