DC’s unlicensed pot shops warned to get licensing paperwork in order

Unlicensed pot shops in D.C. have been warned to get the rest of their paperwork in order.

There are just seven licensed cannabis dispensaries around the District. But no matter where you are in the city, you don’t have to travel far to find a business willing to provide you with a wide array of marijuana and marijuana-based products.

While they exploit one loophole, they need to make sure that they’re not skirting any other city regulations.

Beginning next month, the Joint Cannabis Task Force will begin inspecting all of those other unlicensed pot shops operating in the city. In many cases, those businesses end up gifting various types of cannabis products to customers who also buy other items in those stores.

Previous efforts to impose regulations or even drive them out of business have stalled in the DC Council. In the meantime, they continue to operate while waiting for the federal prohibition on D.C.’s legalization of recreational sales to expire.

For now, the task force will start making sure other laws are being enforced. Representatives from DC’s Office of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, DC Health, DC Fire and EMS, and the Office of Tax and Revenue will be inspecting those businesses to make sure that all licensing paperwork is up to date.

Those businesses will also be checked to make sure that fire and occupancy codes are being met, or that cannabis products being gifted out are approved by DC Health.

The announcement made last week gives businesses 30 days to get everything in order before the inspections begin.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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