Washington D.C. Soon to Launch Medical Marijuana Program

A medical marijuana program first approved by voters way back in 1998 is finally close to launching in the District.

City leaders have drawn up rules covering the use of medical marijuana, and those rules are expected to take effect April 15.

D.C. will allow as many as 10 cultivation centers and five dispensaries. Permit applications should be available April 17, provided the federal government doesn’t shut down. If it does, then there could be a delay.

If you’re interested in running a dispensary or cultivation center, it will cost you $5,000 to apply for a permit. If your application is approved, you’ll pay between $5,000 and $10,000 a year in operating fees.

“Man, we should have about 100 of those places. We’ll make a couple dollars of of this,” joked Mayor Vincent Gray after announcing the fees.

It’s too soon to tell exactly where weed will be grown and sold, but those locations won’t be allowed within 300 feet of preschools, primary schools or secondary schools.

It’s not clear how soon the program will be up and running, but D.C. Health Department Director Dr. Muhammad Akhter expects a strong response.

“In the first year, there are going to be a couple hundred patients who will come forward to really take advantage of it.”

The Health Department is overseeing the program.

Interested patients will have to get a recommendation from their doctors and will need to register with the city. The registration process hasn’t started yet.

Fifteen states already allow people to use marijuana for medical reasons.

– Article originally from WTOP