ABCA published a list of unlicensed applicants in February.
All businesses that are not on the list will be at risk for enforcement.
K&M is currently helping D.C. conditional licensees open shop in 2024.
D.C. social equity retail and online retail licensing period closes April 30, 2024.

Washington, D.C.

The District’s medical cannabis market significantly expands as more business licenses are offered in 2023 and 2024.

The Medical Cannabis Amendment Act of 2022 (MCAA) became effective on March 22, 2023. The Act made removed licensed caps and significantly expanded the District’s existing medical cannabis program.  Among the most significant changes was the creation of an open application period for unlicensed establishments that had been operating as “gifting shops” pursuant to Initiative-71. The District agency that regulates medical cannabis, the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA), held an open application period for unlicensed establishments from November 1, 2023 to January 29, 2024.

Some of the other changes implemented by ABCA include, the creation of a social equity applicant designation; the expansion of license tiers for cultivators; the creation of a license category specific to manufacturers; the creation of additional retailer licenses, the creation of internet retailer and courier license categories;

Also the creation of a safe use treatment facility endorsement for licensed retailers; the creation of a conditional license that allows an applicant to submit an application that does not identify a proposed location; and established a 45 day protest period for an affected Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC).  

In 2024, emergency legislation was passed by the D.C. Council that gives ABCA enforcement authority to issue warning notices and impose civil fines and penalties on unlicensed operators that DID NOT submit an application by January 29, 2024. 

On February 12, 2024, ABCA published a list of all applications submitted to the agency during the open application period. 

New licensees across all license categories are expected to become operational throughout 2024.

K&M Provides the Following Services in The District of Columbia:

K&M can help your medical cannabis business become operational and remain compliant.

The transition for applicants across all license categories – particularly unlicensed establishments – to the highly regulated medical cannabis market, can seem daunting. The application and licensing processes are not straightforward and even small errors can result in an application being denied or delayed in its review.  Once licensed, the mistakes or omissions in regulatory reporting requirements can result in civil fines or penalties.

If you have applied for a manufacturer, cultivator, retailer, internet retailer or courier license and/or if you have a conditional manufacturer or cultivator license and you need assistance navigating the District’s application and/or licensing process, contact K&M to find out how we can help.

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Contact K&M to Learn More About Medical Cannabis Legal Services and Licensing Opportunities in Washington, D.C. and adult-use cannabis licenses in Maryland.