Capitol Hemp: The Cornerstone of DC Cannabis Legalization

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by Guest Blogger, Capitol Hemp

Born out of the successful lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration to allow industrial hemp to be legally sold in America, co-owners Adam Eidinger and Alan Amsterdam, with the support of the Hemp Industry Association and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, opened the first Capitol Hemp store open on April 20, 2008 in the basement of 1802 Adams Mill Road, NW. Read more in the Washington Post

Over the next four years, Capitol Hemp became the Washington metropolitan area’s leading retailer of all products made of industrial hemp. In 2010, after the success of Capitol Hemp’s Adams Morgan store, a second Capitol Hemp store in Chinatown was opened. Read more in Popville

Unfortunately for hemp enthusiasts, the stores were simultaneously raided by the Metropolitan Police Department on the evening of October 26, 2011 under the false premise that Capitol Hemp was selling marijuana and illegal paraphernalia. Due to a plea agreement with prosecutors to avoid prosecution, both Capitol Hemp stores were forced to close a year later in the fall of 2012.  Read more in the Washington Post

At the time, many products sold lawfully throughout the District of Columbia could have been used to consume cannabis, but the sale of the product only became illegal if the vendor explicitly knew the product was going to be used in violation of the law. Capitol Hemp operated a zero-tolerance policy towards the sale of paraphernalia for illicit use. Under the terms of the plea, the owners never admitted guilt, and, after winning the fight to change the law, they are very proud to be lawfully operating a business in the District of Columbia once again.

Unknown-1During the nearly three years that Capitol Hemp was closed, co-owner Adam Eidinger founded the DC Cannabis Campaign, which introduced and passed Ballot Initiative 71 in Washington, DC.  Read more in the Washington Post

Ballot Initiative 71 allows adults in the District of Columbia to legally possess up to two ounces of cannabis outside their home, give up to an ounce of cannabis to other adults, and grow up to six cannabis plants at home. More importantly, Ballot Initiative 71 allows retailers in the District of Columbia to sell products that can be explicitly used for the consumption, processing, and cultivation of cannabis. Read more in the Washington Post

Visit the Capitol Hemp team in the Vendor Village at NCF and meet the DCMJ activists who led the fight to legalize cannabis in DC in the Dr. Bronner's Advocacy Village.