DC Mayor Muriel Bowser introduced legislation today that would legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in DC. Should it be passed by the end of the year, legal cannabis sales could be expected to start in October 2022.
Sales would be restricted to people 21 and older, and would be taxed at 17 percent. That revenue would be reinvested into communities that have been disproportionately affected by the criminalization of cannabis. The bill also requires the automatic expungement of records for certain cannabis convictions.
“This is about safety, equity, and justice,” said Bowser in a press release. “Through this legislation, we can fulfill the will of DC voters, reduce barriers for entering the cannabis industry, and invest in programs that serve residents and neighborhoods hardest hit by the criminalization of marijuana.”
Bowser introduced similar legislation in 2019 that ultimately failed to come to fruition. Since 2014, Congress has imposed a rider on DC’s appropriations bill prohibiting the District government from using any funds toward cannabis legalization. Under current District law, residents are allowed to grow and possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, but they cannot legally purchase the it.