Washington DC Cannabis License Solutions

The Cannabis License Experts (or CLE) experienced team will allow you to get your Washington DC Cannabis License faster and with an unmatched success rate. Having to repeat your Washington DC Cannabis License application process will set your business back by months and significantly impact your earnings potential. We’ll help you navigate the Washington DC recreational marijuana market and help you on your path to a Washington DC Cannabis License and much more by booking your free consultation today.

Years of Experience


Clients Served

5 Star

Google Reviews


Services Completed

washington dc cannabis

Washington DC Cannabis - Market Overview

With only 7 established dispensary operators and total vertical integration, the nation's Capitol proves as one of the most interesting markets with regard to legal status and Federal Prohibition. While no commercial sales are available for Recreational Washington DC Cannabis, there remains a strong ‘gift and donation’ marketplace for the Gray Market as Congress has prevented D.C. from regulating cannabis. This is a highly competitive cannabis market with many barriers to entry and very established operators for nearly five years. In November 2014, District voters approved the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Initiative, commonly known as Initiative 71. The new law became effective on February 26, 2015. Eventually, Congress stopped blocking the District's marijuana laws, allowing the medical marijuana process to proceed. Retail sales of recreational Washington DC Cannabis are still prohibited, however, you can gift or donate marijuana to someone as long as you do not receive money, goods, or services in exchange for it which makes Washington D.C’s marijuana market unique compared to other legal marijuana markets.

The Gift and Donation Marketplace allows enterprising citizens of the District to sell T-shirts, mugs, and other items and then provide a "gift" of marijuana along with the sale. There are no storefronts with transactions arranged at designated places. While it is legal to give marijuana to someone, the sale of other items to make that gift can run afoul of the law quickly and arrests made for these kinds of activities. The current marijuana market in Washington D.C could be worth up to $130 million a year with adult use permitted.

Book a free consultation today to learn more about how Cannabis License Experts can assist you and your team on the path to your Washington DC Cannabis License.

Washington DC Cannabis Licensing Requirements, Timelines, and Selection

The District of Columbia is currently accepting Washington DC Cannabis applications for up to 8 new licenses in 2022. The open application period for five (5) available medical cannabis facility registrations, including two (2) testing labs, two (2) cultivation centers and one (1) dispensary, started at 9:00 a.m. EST on Monday, November 29, 2021 and closes at 12:00 p.m. EST Monday, March 28, 2022. Only persons and entities whose Letter of Intent were approved may submit a Washington DC Cannabis Application. Oversight for licensing provided by The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration - ABRA, and the Department of Health.

Basic Washington DC Cannabis application requirements include:

Basic Washington DC Cannabis application requirements include:

The District uses a point process to make its selection for awarding a Washington DC Cannabis license. Applicants are required to address specified criteria in their Washington DC Cannabis application and points are given for each area addressed. (22 DCMR C section 5404). These areas include Location, Staffing, Security, Inventory, Business and marketing plan, Neighborhood impact, and Educational materials
cannabis in washington dc

Hear from Our Successful Clients

Some of the World’s Largest Brands have Trusted CLE to Support their Cannabis Journey.

5 Star Google Reviews

Matthew Caton Yield Cannab

Canna License Experts, and their team were retained by our company to help us along the way with a retail canna license. Brian Wolf along with Kalpna Mistry and their team of experts were there the entire way through the process. Thanks again to Brian and Kalpna for all you support from our family at YIELD Cannab Co.

Lin Yan GMLL Pharma

We have contacted a few licensing company before I decided to contact with Canna licensing Experts. So far I think I have made the right choice and I am happy with the work they have done for us. The team answer questions promptly and never leave us alone. Not to mention their charge are reasonable comparing the similar type of consulting company and quality of their job.

Joseph Dow Dow Testing Labs

Brian and Kalpna at Cannabis License Experts were very pleasant, informative, and knowledgeable regarding licensing. They helped us fill out all the forms needed and guided us through the entire process. I am sure that without their guidance our application would still be in process, or have been dismissed because of some missing information.

washington dc cannabis license

Washington DC Cannabis License Types

Basic Demographic Information
Resources include the US Census Bureau, City-Data.com, and any additional relevant resources.

Washington DC Cannabis License Numbers
As of 2017, five cultivation centers and three dispensaries were awarded licenses to grow and sell marijuana. As of 2022, there are now 7 total operating dispensaries.

Business Climate

Overall, the majority of the state has embraced the formal legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational use.
washington dc medical license
washington dc cannabis license

Washington DC Cannabis - Financial Requirements

Common for most jurisdictions as a mandatory component of the Washington DC Cannabis application is the requirement for a minimum amount of liquid cash on hand. This is to ensure that applicants have the financial wherewithal from the Washington DC Cannabis licensing process through to the initial 2-5 years of operation. Fees are required for the Washington DC Cannabis application and permit, but also there are fees for employees, managers, and business partners. (22 DCMR C sections 5103 and 5104). Annual Washington DC Cannabis fees for medical marijuana dispensaries are $10,000 with the Initial application fee of $5,000.

Real Estate & Zoning

Consideration for regional and local zoning with regard to allowed proximity to certain business types, schools, and other prohibited areas. Medical marijuana dispensaries cannot be within 300 ft. of a school or recreational center or in a residential district. Operating Hours for a medical marijuana dispensary are limited from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
dc medical license

Frequently Asked Questions

Cannabis cultivation is the process of growing cannabis within a regulated environment for the consumption via a medical or adult-use cannabis program. Generally cultivation refers to the agricultural activities associated with the propagation and growing of cannabis. Cannabis processing is when you manufacture finished cannabis products, packaging of dried flowers or manufacture and package cannabis-based products (i.e. extracts, edibles, and topicals). To be able to produce cannabis and cannabis derived products commercially a specific license is required, requirements depend on the state in which you are locating this business.

Yes, adult use cannabis was passed in 2014 however there is currently a lack of access to dispensaries for adult use consumers. Currently there is a gray area system where consumers can obtain cannabis as gifts from retailers for a purchase of a different item such as art or music.

Currently there are seven licensed medical dispensaries in D.C. and there is no indication of additional licenses being granted.

Due to D.C. having its budget being controlled by congress, D.C. has had issues rolling out its adult use cannabis legalization. While voters passed legalization in 2014 congress has used budget legislation to block the city government from regulating sales of cannabis. However, it is expected that 2022 is the year that changes will be made allowing for the city to govern its own licensing and sale of cannabis. 

Adults over the age of 21 can legally grow 6 plants in the city. Only 3 of these plants can be mature at one time. Additionally, this is intended for personal use only and not for sale to other consumers or licensed businesses.

One-Stop Business Solutions Provider

When you partner with CLE, you are able to leverage our proven knowledge and best industry resources to provide you a complete Cannabis Business Solution.

Don't Know Where To Begin? Get Started Now

Applying for a Washington DC Cannabis License and unsure where to start?
Washington DC Cannabis applications for a cannabis license in Washington D.C. are not currently being accepted and are unlikely to happen until the District of Columbia creates a Washington DC Cannabis licensing structure. CLE can develop a preliminary business and feasibility plan to help give an understanding of your Washington DC Cannabis business viability within the local climate and prepare for the Washington DC Cannabis application process for future licensing.
In order to get started, reach out to one of our regulatory experts today to learn more about Cannabis Business Solutions.
Cannabis License
0/5 (0 Reviews)