(Washington, D.C.) September 22, 2022 The i-71 Committee releases new public opinion polling today that shows consensus support for i-71 gifting shops or “legacy operators” among D.C. voters.

The research, conducted by renowned President Obama pollster Cornell Belcher’s brilliant corners Research & Strategies, between September 6th and September 12th, included 610 telephone interviews with likely D.C. voters. Respondents were asked about their views of cannabis regulation, Initiative 71, the D.C. Council’s priority issues, the At-Large D.C Council race, and what they want their elected officials to address. Overall, this research shows that District voters overwhelmingly support Initiative 71 and legacy operators. The majority of voters said they would like the D.C. Council to reform current laws so that legacy operators can participate in a regulated cannabis market, rather than a complete shutdown of the gifting economy.

Key findings include:

“The key takeaway here is this: If the D.C. Council shuts down i-71 stores, it will push the cannabis industry back to the streets,” said Terrence White, Chairman of the i-71 Committee. “That will lead to more gun violence centered around cannabis sales in our city and lead to an increase in the number of non-violent drug offenses interfacing with law enforcement. It’s also abundantly clear District voters do not want D.C. Councilmembers to act and punish our stores. It’s not perfect right now, but punishment will only cause more problems, and we’re here to find solutions.”

The data is clear, D.C. residents think the D.C. Council should focus on the issues that matter most to their constituents, and regulating the i-71 shops is not one of them. On the heels of a competitive At-Large race, these findings also suggest that a majority of D.C. voters are prepared to vote against Councilmembers who support legislation that shuts down i-71 businesses, including ⅔ of Bonds and Silverman supporters and nearly 60% of McDuffie supporters.

We hope that District officials will listen to their constituents and start working with groups like The i-71 Committee to find actual solutions on this matter.

A copy of the topline memo can be found here:
The polling results can be found here:

About the i-71 Committee

The i-71 Committee is a not-for-profit coalition of citizens, industry leaders and stakeholders who are committed to working alongside the DC Council to pass equitable, fair, and socially conscious cannabis legislation. In the 2014 election, DC voters successfully passed Initiative 71 (i-71), which permitted DC residents 21 and up to carry up to two ounces of marijuana and allowed for them to possess and cultivate up to three marijuana plants. However, due to DC’s lack of statehood and impositions made by Congress, the city has not been able to mandate the expenditure of city funds for Initiative 71. The i-71 Committee is helping to ensure that local stakeholders have their voices represented in any cannabis legislation, both locally and federally while showcasing the importance of providing protections for current i-71 businesses.





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