The D.C. Council unanimously approved a bill Tuesday to allow chronically ill patients to receive a doctor’s prescription to use marijuana and buy it from a city-sanctioned distribution center.
Under the bill, which passed without debate, a patient who suffers from HIV, glaucoma, cancer or a “chronic and lasting disease” may receive a doctor’s recommendation to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana in a 30-day period.
The patient would not be allowed to grow their own marijuana, but between five and eight pot distribution centers would be established in the city.
Those distribution centers would receive marijuana from privately run cultivation centers, where up to 95 marijuana plants could be grown at a given time. The distribution and cultivation centers, which could not be located within 300 feet of a school or preschool, would be operated by private or nonprofit organizations and businesses that would be licensed by the city.
The council will have to vote on it a second time next month. But it will likely be at least several months before the city’s medical marijuana program gets off the ground.