In Washington D.C., ambiguous and half-baked marijuana laws have led to a situation where possession is legal, and the sale of marijuana isn’t, but “gifting” is. The situation has led to a proliferation of ‘pop-up’ marijuana markets, where something else is sold, like stickers, motivational speeches, or a song, followed by a ‘gift’ of marijuana. And the whole process is perfectly legal.
As noted in High Times, “I-71 legalized recreational marijuana. This means that anyone over 21 can have 2 ounces of weed, grow six plants (three flowering at a time, technically), give 1 ounce of weed away without receiving payment, and smoke in a private home.”
“Since I-71 passed in 2015, legislators haven’t proposed a system for regulating and taxing marijuana,” the report continued. “This is largely due to federal, rather than district politics. Shortly after D.C. approved marijuana legislation, the federal government passed a law that prevents the D.C. city council from holding a hearing to reschedule marijuana.”
Washington D.C.’s unique political situation had stopped the district from finishing what it began when it legalized recreational marijuana, leading to ambiguity and the gifting loophole. And you’re not paying for marijuana, so the transaction technically isn’t illegal. You’re getting a gift, in a private place, like a home or a bar, where possession and consumption is allowed.
The pop-up markets are everywhere. “Pretty much every single night of the week, there’s a cannabis popup going on,” Nikolas Schiller, co-founder of marijuana advocacy organization DCMJ, told High Times.
So, how does a toker find a cannabis market in the nation’s capital? They go to Instagram. The easiest way is to look for accounts that list themselves as “Initiative 71 compliant” or advertise that “Nothing is for sale.” These are most likely weed gifters. As High Times says, “Most vendors suggest direct messaging them, and can confirm their location in advance.”