New Cannabis Legislation Discussed

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C met on Jan. 10 via WebEx. Commissioners Christy Kwan (6C01), Leslie Merkle (6C02, secretary), Commissioner Jay Adelstein (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04, chair), Commissioner Joel Kelty (6C05, treasurer), Commissioner Patricia Eguino (6C06) and Tony Goodman (6C07, vice chair) were in attendance.

Commissioners discussed the implications of the new Medical Cannabis Enforcement Emergency Amendment Act of 2024. The new law authored by Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) would work to close loopholes in the current legislation pertaining to the Alcohol Beverage Cannabis Administration (ABCA)’s enforcement as I-71 “gifting” shops work to transition to “regulated, legitimate businesses.”

“It was evident that there wasn’t a way to hold the other businesses accountable,” Jen DeMayo, constituent services coordinator for Councilmember Allen said. “New Leaf (located at 416 H St NE) was right there trying to become a legitimate business, but not everyone has taken advantage of this opportunity.”

Allen introduced the legislation on Jan. 9, where it was swiftly approved by the council. It awaits DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) signature.

While appreciative of the efforts to address “gaping gaps in the current legislation,” Commissioner Kelty expressed concerns about implementation of areas of outdoor marijuana consumption such as a summer garden.

“Many of the commercially zoned businesses directly abut residences and so outdoor smoking is going to create a problem,” Kelty said.  The commission took no vote on this matter.

The Commission Voted To:

• re-elect all current ANC officers to continue their roles through 2024.

• approve the 2024 commission meeting schedule including the following public meeting dates: Feb. 14, March 13, April 10, May 12, June 12, July 10, Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11.

ANC 6C will meet next on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. via WebEx. Visit anc6c.org to learn more about the commission and register to attend the meeting.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.