DC Reminds Restaurants and Bars: It’s Still Illegal to Serve Marijuana Edibles

Photo by Jessica Sidman

Restaurants and bars in DC received a letter last week reminding them of the stiff penalties that establishments serving marijuana edibles may face. While DC law allows people to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for home use, it’s illegal to smoke or consume it in any eating or drinking establishments.

The letter came in response to recent complaints from the public and other agencies about cannabis events, Department of Health spokesperson Jasmine Gossett says.

Among the questionable events brought to the department’s attention: a “cannabis infused happy hour” on July 13 with food stations (including vegan options!), hookah, a free vape pen, and $5 drink specials as well as a sold-out Puff N Paint “420 friendly” art class in early August that includes a complimentary glass of wine, vape pen, and edible samples.

Neither event listed locations online. No fines have been issued yet.

The DC health department treats marijuana edibles as adulterated food and will issue fines up to $1,000 per violation in addition to suspending a business’s license, embargoing or destroying the food, and referring them to the Office of the Attorney General for further penalties. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration also have their own rules that would shut down and further penalize restaurants and bars for allowing or serving marijuana. Meanwhile, DC police may arrest or fine individuals observed consuming or possessing marijuana at a food establishment.

Take a look at the full letter here:

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.