Best Places to Smoke Cannabis in DC 2023
Cannabis Aug 14
By Chad Frey 0 Comments

Whether you are visiting DC or you’re a lifelong resident, you may be excited to take advantage of the recreational cannabis legalization laws! However, these laws do not allow you to light up wherever you want in the city. There are places where cannabis use is allowed and where it definitely is not. It is important to do your homework on where to consume cannabis in DC. Luckily we compiled this easy list to help you figure out how to enjoy cannabis in our country’s capital!

Marijuana Decriminalization in DC

Although it remains a crime under federal law, it is not a criminal offense in D.C. for adults 21 years of age or older to:
  • Possess two ounces or less of marijuana
  • Grow within their primary residence up to six marijuana plants, no more than three of which are mature
  • Transfer one ounce or less of marijuana to another person as long as (1) no money, goods, or services are exchanged; and (2) the recipient is 21 years of age or older
  • Possess marijuana-related drug paraphernalia that is associated with possession or use that is not criminal under D.C. law
  • Consume marijuana on private property
Nonetheless, it remains a crime under D.C. law for anyone to:
  • Possess more than two ounces of marijuana
  • Smoke or consume marijuana in public spaces (parks, streets, alleys, sidewalks) or anywhere to which the public is invited – including restaurants and bars (even hookah bars and cigar lounges)
  • Sell any amount of marijuana to another person or buy any amount from another person
  • Operate a vehicle or boat under the influence of marijuana
  • Possess any amount of marijuana if under the age of 21
Marijuana Facts DC
Marijuana Facts DC

Understanding DC’s Cannabis Use Laws

Learning where to smoke and where not to is crucial to enjoying cannabis use in DC.

Unlike other states that allow for the smoking of cannabis alongside cigarette smoking areas, DC is more specific about where cannabis use is allowed. The exact law, according to Initiative 71 which was passed by DC lawmakers in 2014, it is illegal to “smoke or otherwise consume marijuana in public spaces or anywhere to which the public is invited.” Basically, anywhere that is not your primary residence is off-limits.

This law may seem limiting, but recent revisions have allowed people to find some options for smoking in DC. It is also true that, while still technically illegal, some public places are more tolerant of cannabis use than others.

How to Smoke and Consume Cannabis in DC

Here are some of the best ways that you can consume cannabis in the wonderful city of DC.

Cannabis-Friendly Businesses such as Bars and Lounges

Cannabis legalization is new to the USA, and the laws around it are in flux. Maybe someday the USA will have cannabis cafes and lounges like those found in Amsterdam. But there are some nascent cannabis-friendly businesses that allow use on the premises. This is because these places are technically private property, even though they are open to the public.

Do your research on 420-friendly bars and lounges near you, and be sure to always follow all of the venue’s rules and regulations. Don’t assume any establishment is cannabis friendly unless clarified and remember, politeness and courtesy go a long way.

Pop-Up Events

Did you know that DC has cannabis pop-up events? Now you do! Do some searching for DC cannabis events to find out when and where these events take place. These fun events actually predate legalization and go to show the good nature the area has towards cannabis use.

While every event is different, they tend to be similar to a flea market. Vendors set up tables selling clothing, jewelry, art, and cannabis gifts such as pipes and rolling papers. This was an easy and convenient way for DC residents to acquire cannabis right after legalization before brick-and-mortar locations could get their licenses. Now that these businesses exist, large pop-up events are a thing of the past, but there are still smaller pop-ups throughout the city. There are also other 420-friendly events such as paint classes, yoga sessions, and even cannabis-infused tasting courses.

Certain Parts of the City

Like all cities, DC has professional, closely monitored districts as well as ones where the rules on cannabis use are more lax. Some of the public places in DC where cannabis use is known to be tolerated include Adams Morgan, which is a hip center of nightlife in DC, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shopping as well as the Adams Morgan Art Walk. Other places that are colloquially known to be good smoke spots include Georgetown, specifically the Georgetown waterfront, which features a gorgeous view of the water. For those who like really quiet company, the Congressional Cemetery is known to be a spot where smokers aren’t bothered. Just remember to be respectful– both of the dead and of the living! Just to clarify, it is not advised that anyone ignore the law, and those that do are at their own risk.

Is it Legal to Smoke Weed in Public in DC?

Technically, no. According to the legalization initiative passed in DC, cannabis use is only allowed inside private property. While there are spots in DC you can get away with it, you definitely DO NOT want to get caught lighting up on federal land.

Washington, DC has its own laws about cannabis use. However, according to the U.S. Federal Government, Cannabis is a Schedule I drug and very much illegal. Federal land includes national parks, as well as many museums and up to 29% of the city. So be sure to do your homework and where you want to smoke. It is also illegal to smoke in a vehicle in Washington, D.C. as well as to drive under the influence.

What about Hotels?

These days large hotels and chain hotels have a general no-smoking policy that extends to cannabis as well as tobacco and anything else. However, if you are coming to visit the Washington DC area, you have lots of options for 420-friendly Air Bnbs. Some of these places include Chocolate City, where visitors have a 420-friendly guest suite, a private bathroom, a kitchenette, and free welcome gifts (420-themed, of course.) In nearby Petworth, there is Cannabis Karma Bud & Breakfast, which is exactly what it sounds like. Rooms include a Cannabis “minibar” of rolling papers, a grinder, and welcome snacks! There is also Botanical Animal Studio, perfect for a group getaway. This AirBnB can accommodate up to six guests and provides two pre-rolls free of charge. Additional cannabis products can also be ordered and provided ahead of time.

Cannabis in Washington DC

There is no better time to enjoy some cannabis in the nation’s capital! Just remember that the best place to smoke is a private residence, and to stay away from Federal land. Legal cannabis dispensaries are dotted throughout the city, and some research will be able to find the ones closest to you. So grab some friends and enjoy a high time in one of the best cities in the country!

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