D.C. Mayor-Elect Announces Support for Legalizing Cannabis Sales

D.C. Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser.

D.C. Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser.

On Tuesday, voters in Washington D.C. approved an initiative to legalize the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, and the private cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, for those 21 and older. Unlike legalization initiatives approved in Alaska and Oregon this election (and Washington and Colorado in 2012), D.C.’s Initiative 71 doesn’t allow for cannabis retail outlets, or for cannabis to be distributed through any other means.

However, at her first press-conference since winning the election, Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser announced that she supports legalizing cannabis sales, and that district lawmakers will “turn our attention to it”.

“We’ll turn our attention to it, look at the experiences of other states to make sure we’re not making mistakes that have already been made, and put a system in place,” says Bowser. “I see no reason why we wouldn’t follow a regime similar to how we regulate and tax alcohol.”

The D.C. Council recently held a hearing on Bill 20-466, Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act, which would allow for the distribution of cannabis through district-licensed outlets. According to financial officials testifying at the hearing, a legal cannabis market in D.C. would be worth over $130 million.

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