With only six licensed medical dispensaries, Washington D.C. is not typically regarded as a cannabis destination. But when you combine the ability to easily self-certify for the district’s medical program with 20.7 million domestic visitors who spent $8.1 billion in 2022, you can understand why it should be up there with places like Denver and Las Vegas.
While the law in D.C. reads medical-only sales with adult use decriminalized, the fine print allows for enough finessing that adults 21 and over can essentially walk into a dispensary and purchase cannabis with or without a doctor’s recommendation. The U.S. capital also has reciprocity for individuals with a valid patient registration issued by one of 38 U.S. states and territories.
The non-D.C. resident medical cannabis patient registration process is incredibly simple for domestic and international visitors who are at least 21 years old. However, it does require $30 and a small amount of consumer initiative, which can be off-putting for a tourist in town with a full schedule. Because of this, many D.C. dispensaries have to come up with ways to make the application process streamlined, intuitive, and full of incentives with excellent customer service, attractive discounts, and a wide variety of high-quality products within arm’s reach.
We dug through the major review platforms including Google, Leafly, Weedmaps, and Yelp to identify the top-rated dispensaries in Washington D.C., accounting for the total review score, positive comments, and number of reviews. All six of these shops have earned high marks on some review platforms, but a few businesses appear much better at finding ways to motivate consumers to write about their positive experiences, offering a tangible list of successful tips and examples for any dispensary owner to consider implementing.
- 1st on Leafly
- 2nd on Weedmaps
- 4th on Google
- 6th on Yelp
Located in D.C.’s Historic Anacostia, this minority- and women-owned dispensary was the first to open its doors to the tourist-heavy region. Similarly to Cannabliss, Anacostia Organics focuses on community outreach and connection, regularly displaying art by local artists and participating in cannabis industry conferences and organizations for advocacy in D.C.
The dispensary also hosts consumer events, helps patients obtain their medical cards, and puts out “The Cannabis Conversations”—a podcast that discusses medical cannabis education, led by Linda Mercado Greene, owner and chief executive officer at Anacostia Organics.
- 2nd on Google
- 5th on Weedmaps
- 5th on Yelp
- 6th on Leafly
Cannabliss dispensary was founded in 2019. The medical shop offers products and card application assistance to residents and visitors alike. Cannabliss was the first D.C. dispensary opened and operated by a Black man, and it has deep roots in its surrounding community.
Consumers who like to give back flock to Cannabliss for its engaging block parties, which include music, art, fashion, food, and, of course, tons of cannabis. Dedicated to D.C.’s cultural development, Cannabliss consistently involves local vendors in its community outreach initiatives. The store also hosts events that inform the public about industry equity, representation, and opportunities for industry work in the region.
- 2nd on Yelp
- 3rd on Leafly
- 5th on Google
- 6th on Weedmaps
Just like most successful dispensaries in D.C., Capital City Care doesn’t discriminate against medical cardless customers. The shop offers instant temporary cards for anyone 21 and older, awarding you 30 days of access for $30. As an added incentive, first-time patients receive a 25 percent discount and the chance to join Capital City Care’s five-percent kickback loyalty program.
Consumer reviews praise Capital City Care’s customer service, product variety, and cannabis education. That last piece is particularly notable when it comes to patient feedback; while the staff seems to be well-stocked with plant knowledge, the dispensary’s website boasts a wide array of cannabis educational content, allowing consumers to arm themselves with knowledge from home before setting foot in the shop.
- 2nd on Yelp
- 3rd on Weedmaps
- 4th on Leafly
- 6th on Google
D.C. dispensaries seem to consistently provide convenient ways to acquire a medical card, and Herbal Alternatives is no different. This popular D.C. medical shop provides a thorough how-to breakdown for card applications on its website, ensuring anyone seeking access to cannabis has both the knowledge and the avenue to do so.
Herbal Alternatives also offers consumers the ability to preview daily menus; pre-order flower, pre-rolls, concentrates, topicals, accessories, and edibles online; and educate themselves on the ins and outs of Washington’s cannabis regulations.
- 1st on Yelp
- 3rd on Google
- 4th on Weedmaps
- 5th on Leafly
The National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC) offers tons of incentivizing perks for D.C. residents and curious tourists. Locals can either order delivery or visit the shop to claim a free two-year medical cannabis card, while visitors can access a temporary medical card and same-day delivery within the D.C. region.
NHHC makes dispensary purchases as convenient as possible with options for delivery and curbside pickup as well as daily deals and promos. The store is located in the heart of the Dupont Circle Metro Station, making NHHC an ideal pitstop for tourists on the go or commuters on their way home. Reviewers have noted the staff’s incredible knowledge and helpfulness when it comes to D.C.’s potentially confusing medical program.
- 1st on Google
- 1st on Weedmaps
- 2nd on Leafly
- 3rd on Yelp
After witnessing the physical relief her sick father experienced with cannabis, Takoma Wellness Center founder and owner Stephanie Kahn was inspired to open a dispensary that would grant patients access to high-quality medical marijuana in a safe, consistent, and professional environment.
Today, Takoma has a revolving menu of over 600 cannabis products, and the staff connects with its customers through affordability. D.C. residents are able to obtain a free medical card that is valid for up to two years, and non-residents can purchase a 30-day access pass for $30 with a $30 reimbursement guaranteed with the first purchase. The shop attracts its fair share of deal-hunters with over 50 percent of the menu regularly on sale. The location offers free parking and outdoor pickup windows for consumers with a limited amount of shopping time.