Following the approval of Ballot Initiative 71 legalizing adult-use recreational cannabis in the District of Columbia, Congress prohibited its full implementation. Consequently, cannabis is legal to grow, possess and gift, but cannot be bought or sold, creating an unregulated gifting marketplace. With the shifting political winds on Capitol Hill, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser introduced the Safe Cannabis Act of 2019 with the goal of creating a regulated and taxed marketplace that favors cannabis entrepreneurs in the District.
State-sanctioned cannabis businesses are highly regulated and heavily taxed. The optimal business model is vertical integration from seed in the dirt to sale to the consumer. The act allows for vertical integration, but there exists a tension between supporting a robust medical program when recreational retail comes online, and the residency requirements for licensees.
History has shown that medical programs suffer when recreational markets open with patient attrition…Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.