Washington DC Process


Effective July 6, 2022, DC residents who are at least 21 years of age may self-certify on their state application that they will use cannabis purchased from a licensed dispensary for medical purposes in lieu of securing a recommendation from their healthcare provider.


Congratulations! You've been approved by a Leafwell healthcare provider. The next step is to apply to DC Cannabis Program.

This must be done within 30 days of your approval.

Note - these instructions are for both new patients and renewals.

  • If you are a new patient, select 'Initial' under 'Application Type'
  • If you are renewing your card, select 'Renewal' under 'Application Type'. 

Screenshot 2021-05-06 at 10.07.22

Before you start your application, gather the following information and documents: 

  • Recommendation (expires 90 days after issuance)
  • Social Security Number
  • 2x Photos (a selfie works - head and shoulders, taken against a plain, light color wall)
  • One (1) copy of government-issued photo identification (driver's license, passport or state ID)
  • One (1) proof of DC residency (driver's license, utility bill, voter's registration card, lease/deed/tax bill) 
    • Note that your REAL ID can serve as your government ID and proof of residency
  • Reduced fee applicants only: If you are low income, you are eligible for a lower fee ($25), and you can prove this using one of the following documentation: medicaid card, food stamp card, tax return, SNAP, unemployment status

    Here's what to do once you've been approved by a Leafwell healthcare professional.

    1. Obtain your recommendation from your Leafwell.co account. We will email it to you. You will use the recommendation number on your certificate from your Leafwell healthcare provider to apply. Keep it as a reference until you receive your "card".
    2. Use the link in your approval email to begin the application
      Using the correct link is important. Failure to use the correct portal will cause your application to be rejected without further notice.

      https://abra.dc.gov/page/medical-cannabis-patients provides all five (5) portals. Use the portal based on your healthcare professional’s specialization. 

      Alternatively, here are all the healthcare providers currently certifying with Leafwell. Match the name on your recommendation and click below to reach the correct portal:
      1. Lisa M. Boynes-Sindass
      2. Maria Mainolfi 
      3. Karina Dahlerus
      4. Lewis Jassey
    1. Complete the application on ABRA - All individuals must submit a Medical Cannabis Patient Application (adult or minor version) with all required documentation. 
      1. Fill out all required information and upload relevant documents. 
      2. Optional - if you are registering a caregiver, upload this form to the application.
      3. Select intended fee payment option
      4. Click submit
      5. Upon submission, you will be sent a confirmation of receipt email.
      6. If your application is given initial approval, you will be sent a second email detailing payment options within three (3) business days. (If you don't receive an email, check your spam/junk folder)
        1. To ensure prompt receipt, please add the state’s email address (medicalcannabis@dc.gov) to your safe senders list, address book, or contact list

          *Please note incomplete applications cannot be saved and returned to later.
          ** If you did not receive your link, you can click here and select the correct form
    2. Receive both a digital approval letter and physical card via mail within 10-14 business days.
      1. Your certificate will be valid for two years from the date of issue.

      Other FAQS

      How do I self certify?

      Patients aged 65 years or older can self certify.

      To self-certify by Mail or In-Person, select and complete the fillable PDF Medical Cannabis Patient Adult Application: in the Recommendation Information section, enter the information shown below.

      • Recommendation Number* - "650000"
      • Recommending Healthcare Professional First Name* - "Self Certify"
      • Recommending Healthcare Professional Last Name* - "Self Certify"

      Select and complete the fillable PDF Self-Certification Form and attach to the application. Mail or bring in-person to ABRA's office at 2000 14th Street NW, Suite 400 South, Washington, DC  20009.

      Can I use an expired driver’s license? 

      Yes, if the driver’s license expired after February 28, 2020 until September 9, 2021.

      What form of payment can I use? 

      1. Credit and Debit cards (recommended)
      2. Check or money order (must select this option on the application and your application will require more  time to process) 

      Can I submit a paper application? 

      Yes, but this process can take 4-6 weeks. 

      Why is it important to use the URL provided on the recommendation? 

      Your application is submitted under a specific portals based on the healthcare professional’s specialization (Physician, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse/Nurse Practitioner, Dentist, Physician  Assistant, Naturopathic Physician). The correct URL will be a clickable button in your approval email from Leafwell.

      What will happen if I use/submit my application to the incorrect application portal?

      Your application will be rejected and without further notice to the patient. 

      Why do I need to apply each year? 

      Patient circumstances may have changed, such as proof of income or address.

      When do I pay? 

      ABRA will email you a payment link in three (3) business days. 

      What government agency handles the medical cannabis program? 

      ABRA.gov – Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration 

      How much is the card? 

      $100 – regular payment 

      $25 – low-income patients (if approved by ABRA) Upload proof on the application; failure to do so will  result in a $100 card fee. 

      $100 – replacement fee 

      $100 – caregiver’s card 

      I can’t find my payment link. 

      Look in your spam or junk folders. If you can’t find the email, you must make a request to ABRA to resend.