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How to Get Weed in DC: THE Official 2024 Guide

Updated: Jan 22


how to get weed in dc

Whether you're a frequent smoker or a casual user, we can all agree that it can be a pain in the a** to not know how to get weed in DC. From strict DC weed laws that stops individuals from using cannabis for recreational purposes to the lack of high-quality products, one might think that getting their hands on marijuana in DC is a crime. But it's actually not – and we're here to show you how to get weed in DC easily (and for free).


Getting marijuana in the nation’s capital can be daunting, and without proper knowledge, you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law. You wouldn't want to spend time in jail just because you lit a joint in the wrong place, would you? After reading this guide, you won't have to worry about the law and you'll be fully-educated on everything you need to know on how to buy weed in DC – the legal way.


What to Know Before Buying Weed in DC

Washington DC is one of the best cannabis destinations in the country, offering top-of-the-line cannabis products for both residents and first time visitors. But before we dive into the hotspots and popular joints (no pun intended) in the nation's capital for marijuana enthusiasts, let's first understand some of the regulations that govern marijuana usage. The capital has tons of weird DC weed laws that can get you in trouble. For example, did you know that smoking marijuana in your car is a violation in Washington, DC? Yup! There are several other rules like this that could land you in hot water. But don't worry; we'll go over them later.


The next part, "What is Initiative 71?", will explain more about this important law and how it's made a difference in the recreational marijuana scene in DC.


Marijuana Legalization in DC: What is Initiative 71?

The way to get weed in DC is quite unique. Despite recreational marijuana being legal, you can't actually buy weed in DC in stores like in other places. Instead, there's a workaround: businesses sell something else, like a token at The Garden, and then give you marijuana as a 'free gift'. This recreational weed DC gifting method is popular among those looking to buy weed in DC. It’s a creative solution to the law that doesn't allow the direct sale of recreational marijuana. This whole setup is a result of Initiative 71, a key law that's changed how people use and get weed in DC.


In 2015, recreational marijuana was decriminalized in Washington, DC- this occurred when the government passed initiative 71. Initiative 71 is the legalization of minor amounts of marijuana for personal use. It is a voter-approved (a whopping 64.87% approval) ballot initiative that legalized the consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes as long as it is GIFTED and not sold. Gifted?! Yes, in DC, it's possible for residents and tourists with no medical marijuana card to get weed in DC FOR FREE. This allowed multiple I-71 gift shops to open up in the DMV area and gave the opportunity for cannabis lovers with no MMC to get weed in DC FOR FREE. With this system put in place, this is the closest thing we have to a recreational cannabis dispensary in Washington DC.


So where to buy weed in DC? In the next section, we will break down the easy and hard way.



Where To Buy Weed in DC: Easy Way vs Hard Way

Buying weed in DC can either be easy or a bit more complicated, depending on where you go. The easier route is through I71 gift shops like The Garden, a local favorite. Here, you don’t directly buy rec weed; instead, you purchase a token, and then receive marijuana as a 'free' gift. This method doesn't require a medical marijuana card or a DC resident.


On the other hand, if you're looking to buy from medical marijuana dispensaries, it's more challenging. You need a medical marijuana card, which requires a doctor's recommendation. So, while dispensaries are an option, they're mainly for those with medicinal reasons and involve a few more steps.


Hard Way: Getting Cannabis from a Medical Dispensary

Getting cannabis from a medical dispensary involves a long and often challenging process with strict restrictions.


  • Medical Marijuana Card Requirement: Must obtain a doctor's recommendation for a qualifying medical condition to apply.

  • Stringent Application Process: Involves submitting personal and medical details with a non-refundable fee, and often a lengthy waiting period for approval.

  • Purchasing Limitations: Restricted to buying from licensed dispensaries in DC with strict purchasing limits and a limited product selection.

  • High Costs: Medical marijuana is generally more expensive and not covered by insurance, adding to the financial burden of the application process.


These are some of the prevailing laws in DC, and most times, it makes us wonder if marijuana is ACTUALLY legal in the capital. However if you're a tourist visiting the DMV area or a frequent smoker that lives in DC, we recommend going the easy route and get your marijuana from a certified I-71 Shop like The Garden.


recreational weed dc

Easy Way: Free Weed Gifts from i71 Shops

If you're looking for a hassle-free way to get weed in DC, then the I-71 shops are your best bet. I-71 gift shops have become increasingly popular in DC because they allow people to get weed in DC without having to go through the hassle of getting a medical marijuana card. These shops operate under the Initiative 71 law, which allows for the gifting of marijuana as long as there is no exchange of money involved.


  • No Medical Card Required: Accessible to anyone 21 and older, no need for a medical marijuana card.

  • Open to All: Welcoming both D.C. residents and tourists alike.

  • Cost-Effective: Generally more affordable with no additional fees compared to medical dispensaries.

  • Wide Variety of Products: Offers a broader and often more diverse selection of cannabis products.


the garden dc

How to Get Weed in DC from The Garden

Alright, now let's talk about the good stuff, how to get your hand on some high-quality weed in DC. With several laws set in place to prevent the sale of marijuana for recreational use, it's essential to know how to select a local dispensary or weed shop that won't get you into trouble with the law.


There are numerous cannabis shops to choose from in Washington, DC. But BEWARE, not all of them are approved or compliant with I71. Most of these dispensaries are sketchy back-door vendors and often cause you to involve yourself in illicit acts. And, of course, getting in trouble isn't something we would want.


But luckily you've come to the right place!


The Garden currently offers in-store shopping with free parking or skip the line and preorder online to pick up in store today.


Here's how to place your online order:

  1. Select your free marijuana gift of choice

  2. Complete your token order

  • Your token will help support one of our organizations like the Last Prisoner Project, X for Boys & more.

  1. Once confirmed, head over to our storefront to pick up your order.


PS: You must have a 21+ state-issued ID to pick up your order. We only accept cash payment, however we do have an ATM in store.


Why Choose The Garden?

With HIGH-quality customer service and rated Top 3 Best "Gifting" Services in Washington DC by Washington City Paper, The Garden offers only premium free marijuana gifts to both DC residents & tourists with no medical card needed. Choose from our wide variety of flower, edibles, concentrates, pre-rolls, and more. The Garden also offers all smoking accessories like bongs, pipes, and rolling papers, so you'll have everything you need for the perfect smoke session.


Acquiring weed in DC shouldn't always be a chore. That's why our knowledgeable staff at The Garden DC has worked hard for you to ensure that you can get Initiative 71 compliant top-quality cannabis gifted to you. Sound's easy, right? That's because it is!


To view our menu, visit our website and call (202) 815-5663 for any questions regarding Initiative 71's Gifting Process or buying weed in DC. For The Garden DC hours, please check our website. Follow us on Instagram to find out more about 420-friendly and Initiative 71-compliant deliveries.


Some of our best sellers:


Recreational Weed DC: Frequently Asked Questions

Can you buy weed in Washington DC?

Yes, you can buy weed in Washington DC. However, the sale of recreational marijuana is not legal. Instead, under Initiative 71, adults aged 21+ are allowed to possess and gift small amounts of marijuana. The Garden provides free marijuana gifts to residents and tourists in compliance with this law.


Is Weed Legal in DC?

In DC, adults aged 21+ can possess, use, and grow limited quantities of marijuana (limited to two ounces). However, selling marijuana is not legal in DC, and consumption is restricted to private property only. In 2015, Initiative 71 legalized recreational weed in DC, but the sale of it remains illegal.


how to buy weed in washington DC

Do they have recreational dispensaries in DC?

Well, sort of, but not your usual kind - like in Vegas or LA. What you find in DC are not typical recreational weed dispensaries but rather I71 gift shops. These unique establishments operate within the legal framework by offering cannabis as a complimentary gift with another purchase.


For example, let's say you want to buy an oz of marijuana. You would go into an I-71 gift shop and find an item that costs $25. You would then give the store this item, and they would give you an ounce of marijuana.


Where can I buy edibles in DC?

In Washington, D.C., you can buy edibles in DC at I71-compliant gift shops, such as The Garden. These shops operate under the gifting system; you purchase a non-cannabis item and receive edibles as a free gift. The Garden is known for its variety and quality, making it a popular choice.


The Garden offers a wide edibles collection like brownies, cookies, and gummies from brands like Stoney Patch and MOTA. But before you go munching on some pot brownies, if you’re new to the edible game then it’s safe to know how long do edibles last and how much you should eat.


Smoking weed in DC Federal Property

Is it legal to smoke weed in DC?

The short answer is yes – smoking weed in DC is legal but only if you're 21 or older. However, it's crucial to note that you're only allowed to smoke marijuana in private settings; smoking marijuana in public spaces and on federal land is strictly prohibited in Washington DC.


You can smoke weed at the comfort of your home; however, if you're itching to light up a joint somewhere that's not your home, we've got a few recommendations of where you can smoke weed in DC.


Can you go to jail for weed in DC?

For adults, you won't face jail time for possession and recreational use of small amounts (up to two ounces) of weed in DC. But if you have more than that, sell it, or use it publicly, you could get into legal trouble, possibly including jail time.


Is recreational weed legal in Washington?

Yes, in Washington, D.C., adults over 21 can legally have up to two ounces of weed for personal use. You can also grow up to six plants at home. But, buying and selling it is tricky due to federal law complications.


Can you buy recreational weed in Virginia?

No, recreational weed is not legal in Virginia. While some states have legalized recreational marijuana, Virginia has only legalized medical marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions. Which is why many out of state residents/visitors from Virginia and Maryland are making the short drive to Washington DC.


Do you have to be a DC resident to go to a dispensary?

For all adults 21 years or older, you do NOT need to be a DC resident to visit a dispensary or Initiative 71 gift shop. Businesses like The Garden are open to both DC residents and tourists visiting the area. All you need is a 21+ ID.


Do I need a dispensary card in DC?

Yes, you need a medical card to buy from a dispensary in DC. However both DC residents and tourists are still able to get weed in DC from i71 shops. Initiative 71 shops only require you to bring a state-issued 21+ ID and cash payment.


buying weed in dc

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