DC's Reefer Rent Parties

  • February 15th 2017

by Nena Perry-Brown

A few months ago, UrbanTurf reported on a Facebook group that had sprung up in the aftermath of cannabis legalization in DC, offering its members a space to find or advertise apartment rentals that were accepting of marijuana smokers or growers.

Now, another cottage industry has popped up to take advantage of the regulatory vacuum left by Congress blocking the city’s ability to enforce a recreational framework.

One of the founders of the Facebook group posted last month that they were working with a handful of homeowners in the District to throw “420 parties”. These parties are hosted in houses throughout the city and typically accommodate several hundred people over the course of a few hours. Guests donate $5 at the door to gain entry; some hosts have been able to host more than one party per weekend or even two in a day.

The parties feature five to seven vendors who sell ancillary products or may offer cannabis-derived products like edibles for a donation. The vendors typically set up individual tables in a room indoors or in a backyard tent. And, as with any party, there is usually a DJ and a separate indoor or outdoor seating area to lounge and enjoy what you have been gifted (or what you brought with you).

“These house parties seem to be in the ever expanding grey area that is Adult Use in DC,” offers Professor Shad Ewert of Anne Arundel Community College, where he teaches a course on cannabis entrepreneurship.

“The DC [Metropolitan Police Department] has taken a very much hands off approach to Adult Use unless you get too noisy and call too much attention to yourself (see the example of the Kush Gods),” Ewert wrote to UrbanTurf. “My greater concern as a homeowner would be for the guests leaving the party after they have indulged….if there were a car accident or if someone was injured, I believe the homeowner would face the same consequences had they hosted a party and one of their guests left after indulging in too much alcohol and the same results occurred.”

Kevin, owner of edibles vendor Wake n Bake Goodz DC, has not vended at a house party but has participated in compliant events at clubs and other commercial venues. “I’ve been to house parties,” Kevin shares, although he is hesitant to vend there until a regulatory framework for selling marijuana products is established under Initiative 71. “They’re real mellow and a lot of [the parties] are mostly networking.”

Although Initiative 71 legalized home consumption, not all District residents are able to take advantage of this, and with the council having taken public pot clubs off of the table, more venues will likely continue to operate in a legal gray area for the foreseeable future.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dcs_reefer_rent_parties/12183.

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