If you’re planning a trip to the Washington, D.C. area, you’ve got plenty of options for where to eat, what to do, and what to see. But if you’re wondering if and where you can get high-quality marijuana products, either for medical or recreational purposes, the search can be a little daunting. The practices regarding marijuana in the District of Columbia are convoluted, and it can be hard to find a spot that offers high-quality products without any sketchy business practices. For those of us who prefer eating our THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) dose to smoking it, the million-dollar question is where to get edibles in D.C that you can comfortably and safely enjoy. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of the three best ways to get your fix legally, right in the nation’s capital.
Edibles possess a number of advantages over other marijuana products. For smoke sensitive individuals, edibles don’t have the respiratory risk that’s associated with smoking a pipe, a bong, or a blunt. They can contain THC, the primary psychoactive component in weed. Edibles may also contain CBD (Cannabidiol) which produces no psychoactive effects but is useful for individuals with anxiety or chronic pain, or both. Truth is, edibles just hit different—they take longer to kick in and their effects can last anywhere from three to eight hours. An added benefit is that, because they’re a food product, you get to eat a delicious treat and feel the effects of marijuana in one package! Edibles are generally sold as baked goods, candies, chocolates, and even lollipops. Our favorite is Sour Pack Edibles for their sour punch flavor and nostalgic feel.
Weed regulations in D.C.
Differing laws from state to state can make it difficult to keep track of the rules regarding weed possession and consumption, especially when you visit a new city. If your question is “Is weed legal in D.C.?”, the simple answer is “Yes.” But if you’re wondering “OK, so how can I get it?”, the subject gets a bit more complicated. Unlike states such as Colorado or Vermont, it isn’t legal to directly purchase marijuana products in the District of Columbia. However, it’s legal to grow your cannabis in D.C. and consume it. If you don’t have a D.C. friend with a green thumb (not to mention one who knows how to cook edibles) never fear! There are still loopholes that give you a way to get weed legally here. To understand those loopholes, we have to take a closer look at Initiative 71 or I71.
Passed in 2014, Initiative 71 allows adults over 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use. It allows individuals to gift cannabis products to adults over 21, as long as they’re not directly selling it. They can grow up to six plants for personal use, but only three can be flowering at a given time. The initiative also allows for the sale of cannabis-related equipment and paraphernalia, from growing equipment to pipes and bongs. This has given rise to a booming business of smoke shops and what’s called the “gifting economy.” While there are no recreational dispensaries in D.C. and you cannot buy marijuana outright, shops and individuals can give you cannabis products as a “thank you” gift for buying another of their products. This is perfectly legal but it’s important to find spots and services that offer high-quality “gifts” in a completely over-the-board, I71 compliant way.
Here are the top three methods for getting cannabis products via D.C.’s gifting economy:
- Smoke Shops
Many smoke shops selling pot paraphernalia and art products in the D.C. area will offer cannabis gifts along with a purchase, of course, at a higher price. That being said, not all of them offer the highest quality options and some are not fully I71 compliant. Our favorite shop to buy edibles is Cloud 9 Art & Smoke, located on U St. in D.C. Not only are they a trustworthy spot to get edibles legally, but they also offer amazing products by local artists and have delicious, high-quality THC and CBD edibles as gifts (including our favorite Sour Pack Edibles). Instead of purchasing weed, which is illegal in D.C., you’re supporting a local artisan and getting your edible fix! Though many smoke shops have closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cloud 9 still offers meet-ups at handy locations.
Delivery is also a viable option in D.C., being both more convenient and safer than going to a smoke shop, especially in the COVID-19 era. You can find a delivery service online, select your product, and wait for it to arrive. If you’re pressed for time, you can schedule an appointment to ensure your edibles arrive when you want them to. Cloud 9 has even developed a delivery app that allows you to track your driver for a speedy, transparent delivery.
- Weed Events
You may have heard of pop-up weed events in the Washington, D.C. area. These are similar to farmers’ markets or conventions, with vendors setting up booths to sell various items. Along with your purchase, most vendors will offer you a cannabis gift. These events are generally advertised discretely on social media. However, the prices at these events can be quite inflated and they have been busted by law enforcement in the past because of minors attending. So, they aren’t the best or safest way to find edibles in D.C. Going to a trusted storefront or relying on reputable delivery service is much safer and more likely to be compliant with I71.
While D.C. area regulations concerning the sale and consumption of cannabis products can be a bit confusing, getting good quality edibles shouldn’t be a headache. As discussed above, there are ways to get around legal restrictions. Relying on a trusted, 100% I71 compliant business, like Cloud 9 Art & Smoke, is a safe option that can set your mind at ease. This way, you can enjoy your edibles in our nation’s capital in a comfortable, convenient, and completely legal way.