Posted on July 30, 2013 by News Admin
Legal medical cannabis is being sold just blocks from the White House doors.
After a long, drawn-out wait, Capital City Cannabis opened for business yesterday, making it Washington D.C.'s first medical marijuana dispensary. "It's so exciting to welcome patients into Capital City Care for the first time," general manager David Guard said in a prepared statement. "Every day we hear from people who are suffering from serious illnesses and need another option for treating their symptoms. It's an honor to be able to help them improve their quality of life and provide care to this large under-served population."
The shop, located on N. Capitol Street, NW just north of New York Avenue, is only 2.5 miles from the White House and the rest of the city center. Patients with certain qualifying conditions including cancer, glaucoma, muscle spasms and HIV/AIDS will be able to purchase cannabis at the shop.
The first patient to legally purchase cannabis was an AIDS patient by the name of Alonzo. He stopped by, spent some time looking over the product then walked out with a half-ounce of herb - the first legal bag of weed in Washington D.C. in more than 75 years, according to the Washington Post. In all, it was about $250 for the half-ounce, which he broke down into three bags of Blue Dream, Jack Herer and Master Kush.
"Capital City Care is a life-affirming resource staffed with sensitive and compassionate providers," Alonzo said in a clearly prepared statement according to WUSA 9. "They are not only knowledgeable about the benefits of cannabis, but through their advocacy on our behalf have made this resource a reality. Visiting the dispensary for the first time was an experience I'll remember forever."
The shop represents a battle that has been long and drawn out in our nation's capitol. Voters approved medical cannabis in 1998, but the U.S. Congress (which has to approve changes to D.C. law) prevented that from happening for nearly 11 years. In 2009 the city began the process of registering and licensing patients but it's been a lengthy four years to get dispensaries off the ground as many lawmakers feared federal intervention (and federal jail time) for implementing the will of the voters.
Even Capital City Care has had to postpone their opening while the city got their stuff together. When we last reported on the dispensary, they were expecting to open in late April.
One other patient also stopped by the shop on opening day, which represents a market share for Capital City of about 22 percent of all patients. According to D.C. health officials, only nine people have been issued a registry card as of this week. More people are expected to join the program and nearly two-dozen doctors have requested medical cannabis patient registry forms.
Unfortunately, Washington D.C. does not allow for reciprocity with other state medical marijuana programs. So medical cannabis patients from any of the 50 state surrounding the city are still sadly considered criminals.
The opening is sure to get more publicity over the next few weeks, which might actually get politicians to pay attention to the fact that medical cannabis is almost literally at their doorsteps.
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