Washington D.C. will have to wait at least another year before it can tax and regulate an adult-use cannabis market, despite hopes that Democratic majorities in the House and Senate would lift the limitations placed on the city’s cannabis industry.
A rider that prevents D.C. from establishing a regulated cannabis market, commonly known as the Harris Rider, was left in the funding bill, H.R. 2471. It came as a surprise to some advocates because it was not included in funding packages put forth by the House and Senate. However, President Biden’s proposed budget did include the controversial provision.
D.C.’s City Council wants to regulate and tax the industry, and business owners want more security that their businesses will not be shut down. D.C. lawmakers are currently looking for a workaround, with both the City Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser proposing legislation that could make the existing gray market fully legal.