At Toker's Guide we've been navigating the DC weed scene for decades even before the advent of Initiative 71 (gifting) or medical marijuana. Nowadays we've turned finding and reviewing the best (and ONLY the best) weed in the Washington DC area into our full-time family owned business - it's literally what we do. 🤗
Use the links below for a super quick, but thorough, reference quide on how to safely and successfully find the best recreational and medical weed in DC. Then check out our Recent Reviews to see what we're toking on right now and where to get it!
How to Buy Weed in DC
Buying weed in DC may seem a bit confusing at first. After all, there are numerous options to choose from including recreational storefronts, medical marijuana dispensaries, and recreational delivery services.
What's the difference between recreational and medical? Though recreational options often have greater variety and sometimes have the hot new item in the market, the medical dispensaries have better all around quality. That's not to say that you can't get great weed from the recreational places - you definitely can. It's also not to say that everything at the medical dispensaries is going to be the best - some of the flower can end up old and less desirable.
My point is that the medical dispensaries are held to a higher standard and require testing to exclude any potentially harmful contaminants. Recreational weed stores and services in Washington DC are currently only held to the standards of their operators and customer base because there are no regulations imposing standards (or processes) for quality.
This of course begs the question:
Is Weed Legal in DC?
The simple answer is: Yes, weed is legal in Washington DC. The more complicated answer is that it's more complex than that. Medical marijuana has been legal in DC since 2011, and in 2014 an effort called Initiative 71 (i-71) was approved by voters allowing for legal possession of marijuana. It's within the language of this i-71 that things get a little tricky.
While allowing for possession of up to two ounces of marijuana, as well as cultivation of up to three marijuana plants, i-71 also permitted the gifting of up to one ounce of cannabis. This gifting clause has created an entire "gifting economy" for recreational cannabis in DC.
Today, as of April 2023, this gifting economy has grown to have many weed storefronts and weed delivery services and this is the "recreational weed" that we speak of in this guide. Each of them has a product that they sell - such as stickers or t-shirts or paintings for example - and a menu of cannabis gifts to choose from.
In the coming months, however, some shakeups will be coming to the DC market due to the DC Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill that was signed into law in March. As a result many of these i-71 gifting shops will be applying to become licensed medical cannabis dispensaries. It's still uncertain how many licenses the newly renamed Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABC) will allow, but we'll be finding out more toward the end of the year when the enforcement action is supposed to begin on unlicensed shops and services.
To learn more about the legality of weed in DC and how it came to be, check out our article on the History of Legal Weed in DC.
How to Get Recreational Weed in DC?
So now that you know the legality situation with weed in DC, let's get down to brass tacks and talk about how it works in terms of obtaining recreational "gifts". First off, let's be clear, there are No Sales, it is ONLY Gifts, and you must be 21 years old or older to order. If you ask to "buy" weed from a service, expect to get turned away or ignored. However, on the plus side, you do not need any type of card or registration to received cannabis gifts from DC stores and services.
Next, you need to decide if you want to receive a delivery or visit a storefront. As a part of this decision you should also consider what type of product you want to purchase. Perhaps you want a painting done by a canine artist? Maybe you got that last time and this time you want a t-shirt? If you care about getting more than a sticker or cookies, there are a wide variety of options out there including on-demand motivational speeches.
With storefronts, one of the advantages is getting to view the cannabis gifts in person before you order a product. Note that when you're in person you'll want to be careful with your lingo and respectful of COVID restrictions posted by the storefront. Otherwise, expect a similar retail experience to what you might find in dispensaries out west. You can find more information on DC weed stores, their locations, and reviews of their gifts on our DC Storefronts page. Or just scroll down to our What are Recreational Storefronts section.
Want to stay at home (in the District of course) and receive your product and accompanying gift without leaving your stoop? In this case, Delivery is the way to go. It works very similar to storefronts, except you must select your gift and place your order online or over the phone. You can find more information on DC weed delivery services, their menu links, and reviews of their gifts on our DC Delivery Services page. Or just scroll down to How DC Weed Delivery Works.
How DC Weed Delivery Works
From a recreational or i-71 perspective DC weed delivery services work very much as you would expect. You find a service online (check our DC Delivery Services page for example) and view their gift menu to determine if they have what you're looking for, or figure out what you want from their awesome options. As mentioned above, you'll also want to note and make sure you're interested in the product they are selling in addition to the gifts they list.
Once you decide to move forward with a service and an order, most services require you to verify your identity and age in a digital way (over text or email). Typically this is done by sending a selfie with you holding up your ID. After you've been through the ID check the first time, you shouldn't need to do it again on subsequent orders.
Next you'll provide your address and your order. Note that some services have all this fully automated and your order can be completed entirely online, but others are not this sophisticated. Also note that many delivery services will allow for "pick-up" at a curbside location within the district (think restaurants, coffee shops, bars, etc.), so being a DC resident or having an abode here isn't necessarily required for delivery.
What Are Recreational Storefronts?
Washington DC recreational storefronts are Initiative 71 compliant (think "gifting") brick-and-mortar establishments who sell some assortment of random products and gift cannabis in a retail setting. In most cases, they are very similar to a shopping experience you might have at a smoke shop, head shop, or west coast style dispensary. However, you cannot "buy" weed there, it can only be gifted to you. Here's how it works:
First find a store online (check our DC Storefronts page for example), see if their location is ideal for you, and then view their gift menu to determine if they have what you're looking for. You'll also want to note and make sure you're interested in the products they are selling in addition to the gifts they list.
When you arrive at the store you've decided to visit, they may require you to register or fill out some information, but they will at least check your ID to ensure you are over 21 years of age. However, you do not need any type of marijuana card or recommendation for these businesses.
Then, they will direct you to their assortment of gifts and, for first time customers, many times this takes place while they're explaining how their system works. When you've decided on a gift or gifts that you like, let them know without telling them you want to buy it. During checkout continue to be careful not to reference purchasing any of the cannabis items on hand and only allude to payment being for their actual products.
How to Get DC Medical Marijuana
To access DC medial marijuana you will need a medical marijuana card from any state, or a valid medical recommendation from a licensed physician. That said, it's currently easier than ever to get your medical marijuana card and to access medical weed in Washington DC. We'd also like to point out, with excitement, that the variety and caliber of products has never been better!
At present, there are a wide array of ailments and issues for which cannabis-literate doctors can now write recommendations. There are also a good number of online services who can assist you in scheduling your medical marijuana visit or teledoc appointment and streamline the process for submission to the relevant state regulatory bodies. One that we have used and recommended with great success is Veriheal.
For more information on DC medical dispensaries along with their locations and product reviews check out our DC Medical Marijuana page or scroll down to see our list of the best DC medical dispensaries below.
How to Find the Best Weed in DC in 2023
Here at Toker's Guide we make finding the best weed in Washington DC as easy as possible by providing our users with up-to-date, connoisseur-level reviews of the best cannabis we can find. Of course, this includes both the DC i-71 recreational storefronts and delivery services as well as the medical marijuana dispensaries and the products that go into them.
While there are a tremendous amount of new vendors popping up all the time, our audience appreciates our discerning approach for good reason. For the safest, most enjoyable experience we advise sticking to only those businesses that we list and review on our platform.
For your convenience we've listed our best DC Storefronts, Delivery Services, and Medical Marijuana Dispensaries along with links to their respective pages below.
Best DC Recreational Storefronts in 2023
Here are our current top three (3) DC Recreational Storefronts (i-71) for 2023 as of April 5th. Click into them to view more information and see our reviews of their best gifts! Or, check out the full list on our DC Recreational Storefronts page.
Best DC Weed Delivery in 2023
Here are our current top three (3) DC Recreational Weed Delivery Services (i-71) for 2023 as of April 5th. Click into them to view more information and see our reviews of their best gifts! Or, check out the full list on our DC Delivery Services page.
Best DC Medical Dispensaries in 2023
Here are our current top three (3) DC Medical Marijuana Dispensaries for 2023 (as of April 5th). Click into them to view more information and see our reviews of their best gifts! Or, check out the full list on our DC Medical Marijuana page.