D.C. Mayor inks bill to launch 4/20 cannabis tax holiday and grant older patients with no-prescription medical cannabis access


A bill has been signed into law by Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. that will increase access to the District’s medical cannabis patient program in numerous ways.

According to the administration, people aged 65 and above can “self-certify that they will use cannabis for medical purposes in lieu of including a recommendation from their health care practitioner with their registration application as is required for all other applicants.”

Moreover, the law broadens the registration renewal target date for patients in various other age groups and establishes a seven-day medical cannabis tax “holiday” that occurs simultaneously with 4/20.

The annual “4/20” holiday originated in 1971, when a group of cannabis consumers nicknamed “The Waldos” would smoke weed in front of the University of California at Berkeley’s 1940 Benny Bufano statue.

Since this time, the ritual has gained global popularity, with cannabis connoisseurs celebrating the plant every April 20th.

Emergency legislation will make it easier for patients to obtain medical cannabis in D.C.

Not only will the Mayor-signed bill make it easy for older medical cannabis patients to procure their treatment but also, patients and caregivers will benefit from two-year validity on registrations issued up until September 30; normally, cards expire after one year.

Furthermore, fees will be waived for all registrations made through April 24 and medical cannabis products bought at any of the state’s seven licensed dispensaries will not be subject to the usual six percent sales tax.

The emergency legislation is designed to relieve logistical obstacles for medical cannabis patients. It urges people to buy their medicinal-grade cannabis from licensed dispensaries, as opposed to illegally-operating black market sellers. 

D.C. medical cannabis patients obtained free two-year registration at Senior Week 

The process of expanding medical cannabis access in D.C. has already begun. Older people who rely on pharmaceutical-grade cannabis in D.C. were recently invited to attend Senior Week, which ran from February 22 to February 25. 

Based on a statement issued by the District’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), qualifying patients aged 65 and older could get their hands on a free two-year registration card at the event.

“We appreciate the steps taken by the D.C. Council to ease the burdens for qualifying patients to access medical cannabis as a result of this emergency legislation,” said ABRA director Fred Moosally.

Senior Week is featured in a chunk of legislation that was signed into law by Mayor Bowser, titled, “The Medical Marijuana Patient Access Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2022.”