Cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use in Washington, DC, and cannabis possession and homegrown are legal for adults 21 and over. Additionally, adults can give up to one ounce of flower or any other form of cannabis to one another. Furthermore, the recreational sale of weed is still technically illegal.

The Washington DC Council has repeatedly tried to legalize recreational sales. On June 28, 2022, D.C passed a law “self-certify” in which people self-certify themselves for medical marijuana. Now individuals are no longer required to have a doctor’s note to buy medical marijuana in D.C.

Residents 21 and older self-certify their medical need for cannabis. They can do that at the alcoholic beverage regulation administration office or online. Before self-certifying laws, patients had to get a doctor’s recommendation and a medical marijuana card to purchase marijuana from dispensaries. Many questions arose after this law, but the most common question is:

Can You Use Your “Self-Certified” DC Medical Cannabis Card in Other States?

The answer is partial. Yes, you can use self-certified cards in certain states. You may use your DC self-certified card in another state if that state offers reciprocity. Reciprocity is the mutual exchange of privileges between states or businesses. For medical marijuana, reciprocity refers to one state or nation recognizing written recommendations for marijuana cards from another.

For instance, your DC self-certified card will not work in Maryland or Virginia because these states do not offer reciprocity for medical cannabis, which means any out-of-state cardholder cannot purchase medical cannabis there. Whereas states such as Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Hawaii confirmed that D.C. cards would continue to be accepted. Remember, these states do not have recreational programs.

Moreover, if you want medical cannabis in states where reciprocity is available, there still may be certain limitations for out-of-state residents. For instance, In New Hampshire, out-of-state cardholders may only access dispensaries up to three times per year. If the number of access increases individuals will require a doctor’s note. In Puerto Rico, out-of-state residents can only acquire edibles. If you want flowers and other smokeable products you need to have a prescription from a local registered health professional.

Some states accept MMJ cards or even physician recommendations from any state, but some don’t allow it. Each state has its own medical marijuana card reciprocity laws, so check with the specific location before using your cannabis card in another state.

The answer is partial. Yes, you can use self-certified cards in certain states. You may use your DC self-certified card in another state if that state offers reciprocity.

Does Washington, DC Accept Out-Of-State Medical Cards?

Washington, DC allows reciprocity of medical marijuana cards. Patients from other states must present their digital or physical government-issued medical cannabis registration card. Reciprocity in D.C. allows certified patients from most state medical marijuana programs. The D.C. Department of Health has authorized certified patients to make purchases at D.C. dispensaries in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Maryland
  • Maine
  • California
  • Illinois
  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Florida
  • Georgia

For the entire list of the states, you can contact your health professional, or you can simply contact Our Doctors

Washington, DC Marijuana Growing Laws

As per the law, anyone over the age of 21 may cultivate up to six plants at home, with only three in a mature stage at any one time. Individuals that share a residence can cultivate up to 12 plants, half of which may be mature.

How Much Can I Purchase?

Under Washington, D.C. law, patients purchase up to 8 ounces within a 30-day window. If you reach your limit, you’ll need to wait until one of your previous purchases becomes more than 30 days old. If you want to exceed your limit or need more cannabis, you need to consult with your health professional.

Washington, DC Public Consumption Laws

Public consumption of medical marijuana remains illegal in Washington, DC. The state mentioned on its website that consuming marijuana in any form–or even holding or carrying a lighted roll of paper or other smoking equipment filled with marijuana in any public space is illegal.

If found consuming medical marijuana in public places, it is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. Some portions of Washington, DC are federal land, so penalties could vary. Alternatively, offenders may choose to go to court per the 2018 policy issued by the mayor’s office.


The self-certification law in Washington, DC could be the new era of medical marijuana use, but it’s in the early stages. As time passes, its advantages and disadvantages will pop up automatically. If you’re a medical marijuana patient, it’s best to know the rules before traveling or looking for accommodations. To avoid problems, check the regulations and reciprocity laws of the state before planning. You can consult a marijuana doctor, who has expertise in providing medical marijuana cards.

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