Inside Washington DC’s Pop-Up Marijuana Markets
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Though Washington D.C.’s marijuana laws are far from complete, cannabis policy in our nation’s capital has long been at a standstill. In D.C., you can smoke marijuana in private residences, own a small amount of weed, and grow marijuana plants at home. You cannot, however, buy or sell marijuana. So how are people who don’t want to grow their own herb getting weed? Despite federal restrictions, marijuana pop-up markets that ‘gift’ rather than sell weed are flourishing throughout the district. Here’s a closer look at D.C.’s underground marijuana community and the legislation keeping Mary Jane in the dark.

Initiative 71 Legalized Weed Possession and Little Else

David Berkowitz/flickr

I-71 legalized recreational marijuana. This means that anyone over 21 can have 2 ounces of weed, grow six plants (three flowering at a time, technically), give 1 ounce of weed away without receiving payment, and smoke in a private home.

Since I-71 passed in 2015, legislators haven’t proposed a system for regulating and taxing marijuana. This is largely due to federal, rather than district politics. Shortly after D.C. approved marijuana legislation, the federal government passed a law that prevents the D.C. city council from holding a hearing to reschedule marijuana.

High Octane Treats has appeared at these pop-ups every night of the week for the past year. On a weeknight, these markets can hit 200 to 300 attendees, but on the weekend they can even reach 350 or more. On 4/20, DNice says that over 700 people filtered in and out of the market where he was set up.