Marijuana pop-up events have been growing in popularity in Washington DC over the past month. That momentum has come to a grinding halt as DC cops crack down on the events. Over the weekend, 30 people were arrested at a marijuana pop-up.
Over the weekend, police officers broke up what was described as a “marijuana pop-up event.” According to local news source WTOP, cops arrived to carry out a search warrant. It’s unclear what, exactly, the warrant was for.
Police quickly moved to break up the event. They seized multiple pounds of weed and other cannabis products containing THC. Additionally, they took around $10,000 in cash. Police also reportedly found three firearms.
Police arrested 30 people in connection with the pop-up. Reports said there were around 28 vendors at the event. It’s still unclear how many people were participating as sellers, vendors, or attendees.
DC’s Thriving Pop-Up Scene
Marijuana pop-ups have become pretty popular in the nation’s capital. The pop-ups have typically functioned without being harassed by law enforcement, thanks to a legal loophole.
In the fall of 2014, DC residents voted to legalize cannabis. The new law went into effect in February 2015. Under the new law, it’s legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to two ounces of cannabis. Adults can also smoke weed in private, but public consumption is not allowed.
Additionally, it’s legal for people 21 and older to give up to one ounce of weed to another adult. Adult DC residents are also allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at home.
Although these laws technically don’t let people sell weed, the marijuana pop-up events function by “gifting” weed rather than selling it.
Vendors will sell non-marijuana products—like stickers, shirts, hats, or juice—and throw in some flower on the side, as a gift.
Since they are technically only selling the non-weed product, and giving the weed away to customers, vendors say they’re not actually violating any laws.
The Popularity of Pot Pop-Ups
Marijuana pop-ups have become so popular that DC locals tell High Timesthey’ve become an almost daily event.
Cannabis vendors who “gift” marijuana at pop-ups have established a working network of events and clients. In fact, residents in DC can easily find cannabis pop-ups being advertised on social media, especially Instagram.
Beyond the pop-ups, people have tried other methods for taking advantage of DC’s ambiguous weed laws. For example, some vendors offer home delivery. Of course, the product they’re actually selling is something like artwork, juice, or clothing. And after making a purchase, customers receive a little green on the side as a thank-you gift.