New Budget Bill Could Allow Washington, D.C. to Launch Legal Cannabis Sales
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New Budget Bill Could Allow Washington, D.C. to Launch Legal Cannabis Sales

The Harris Rider, which has been included in budget legislation for the past seven years, has blocked the city government from regulating adult-use sales.

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October 21, 2021

A new budget bill could allow Washington, D.C. to launch legal cannabis sales.

The Harris Rider, which has been included in budget legislation for the past seven years, has blocked the city government from regulating adult-use sales, but that language has been omitted from this year’s Senate appropriations bill, according to Forbes.

Washington, D.C. voters legalized the personal cultivation and possession of cannabis in 2014, the news outlet reported, but Congress has since used budget legislation to bar the city government from legalizing commercial adult-use sales.

RELATED: D.C. Gears Up for Adult-Use Cannabis Sales

The Harris Rider, named for its author, Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris, prohibits D.C. from legalizing and regulating adult-use cannabis, although the city launched legal medical cannabis sales in 2013, according to Forbes.

President Joe Biden’s budget proposal, which was released in May, included the Harris Rider, the news outlet reported, but it was left out of appropriations legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives over the summer. The Senate Appropriations Committee also omitted the Harris Rider from its version of the 2022 appropriations bill, which was released Oct. 18, Forbes reported.

If the Harris Rider does not resurface during the legislative process, Washington, D.C. officials could take steps to regulate commercial adult-use cannabis sales.