This week a brand new medical marijuana dispensary opened on U Street NW in Washington DC.
While this may seem like great news, customers in D.C. are however facing obstacles when buying marijuana.
Insurance companies are not covering the cost of the drug and it can’t be purchased with a credit card.
“It’s not the least expensive thing to purchase, so I have to carry cash. My last purchase was $95,” said former D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander.
She added, “It’s inconvenient; I would like to see the day when we can charge this like everything else, like your pharmaceutical drugs.”
Co-owner of the new dispensary Capital City Care said owning a cannabis company comes with its own set of challenges due to state and federal regulations.
“It’s the banking laws, from a federal level,” George Denardo said. “So the banks are federally insured, and since this is against federal regulations most credit cards will not accept medical cannabis as a valid transaction.”
Legislation is being discussed that would allow banks to consider medical marijuana like any other legal drug.
D.C. Delegate Elanor Holmes Norton remarked, “I’m very pleased that half the Republicans voted with us on that bill, which makes me believe we can even get that bill through the Senate.”