Washington D.C. Council Member David Gross has filed an ordinance that would legalize cannabis retail outlets in the district.
The Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2017 is co-sponsored by Council Members Robert White and Brianne Nadeau. It would establish a system of licensed and regulated cannabis retail outlets; they would be supplied by cannabis cultivation centers, which would also be licensed.
“It would be a violation of federal law to move this bill forward,” acknowledges Grosso. “But I believe, quite passionately, that is what is called for in the District of Columbia when our rights are trampled on a regular basis.”
In 2014 DC voters legalized the possession (and also personal cultivation) of cannabis through the passage of initiative 71; it won handily with 70% voting in favor.
“D.C. has spoken when it comes to marijuana policy and it’s our obligation as the city’s elected leaders to carry out the will of the people,” says Grosso. “I think we ought to go ahead and violate the federal law.”
According to estimates, if were to legalize cannabis by next year, the district’s annual market for the plant would be nearly $100 million by 2020.