The Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (Director), pursuant to
authority set forth in the Second Omnibus Regulatory Reform Amendment Act of 1!, effecti"e
April #$, 1, as amended (D%C% &a' 1#(#)1* D%C% Official Code + ,-(#!.1%#$ (#$1# Repl%)),
hereby gi"es notice of the adoption, on an emergency basis, of the follo'ing amendments to
Chapter (/rohibition on the Sale of Synthetic Drugs), Title 1- (0usiness, Occupations, and
/rofessions) of the District of Columbia 1unicipal Regulations (DC1R)%
The rulema2ing pro"ides enforcement penalties for businesses engaged in the sale, possession, or
manufacture of synthetic drugs% The penalties 'ould include business license suspensions and
business license re"ocations%
This emergency rulema2ing is necessary to bring enforcement regulations in line 'ith Section
3$1 of the District of Columbia4s Omnibus Criminal Code Amendments Act of #$1#, effecti"e
5une 1, #$13 (D%C% &a' 1(3#$* )$ DCR 33$ (1arch 1., #$13)), 'hich added synthetic
drugs, such as synthetic mari6uana and 7bath salts8, to the District of Columbia4s schedule of
controlled substances% This rulema2ing supports "arious 9ederal Drug :nforcement
Administration and Department of 5ustice regulations that ma2e it illegal to buy, sell, or possess
Schedule ; controlled substances such as <#=Spice, synthetic drugs, or their e>ui"alents because
these substances pose an imminent ha?ard to public health, safety and 'elfare%
This emergency rulema2ing 'as adopted 5une ., #$1,, and became effecti"e on that date% The
emergency rulema2ing shall remain in effect for up to one hundred and t'enty (1#$) days, until
October 3, #$1,, unless earlier superseded by publication of a @otice of 9inal Rulema2ing in the
D.C. Register% The Director also gi"es notice of intent to ta2e final rulema2ing action to adopt
these rules in not less than thirty (3$) days after the date of publication of this notice in the D.C.
Chapter 9 (Prohibition on the Sae o! S"ntheti# Dr$%&' o! Tite () (*$&ine&&+ O##$pation&+
an, Pro!e&&ion&' o! the DCMR i& a-en,e, a& !oo.&/
Se#tion 90(+ E1EMPTIONS+ i& a-en,e, to rea, a& !oo.&/
$1%1 The products prohibited for sale under this chapter shall not apply toA
(a) Any herbal or plant material containing synthetic chemicals or chemical
compounds 'hichA
(1) Re>uire a prescription*
(#) Are appro"ed by the 9ood and Drug Administration*
(3) Are dispensed in accordance 'ith District and federal la'* and=or
(,) Are sub6ect to the 6urisdiction of a federal entity%
(b) Any material containing synthetic chemicals or chemical compounds
(1) Re>uire a prescription*
(#) Are appro"ed by the 9ood and Drug Administration* and=or
(3) Are dispensed in accordance 'ith District and federal la'%
$1%# A business sub6ect to + $$%1 that belie"es any of its products should not be
sub6ect to prohibition shall submit a re>uest for an eBemption on a form pro"ided
by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)%
$1%3 ;n its re>uest for eBemption, the business shall pro"ide a basis for the eBemption,
including a description of the product(s) and an affirmation by the business
licensee that, to the best of the business licensee4s 2no'ledge, the product(s) are
not used by consumers to achie"e a high, euphoria, relaBation, mood
enhancement, hallucinogenic effect or other mind or body(altering effect%
$1%, ;f an eBemption re>uest is granted, DCRAA
(a) 1ay conduct on(site inspections of the business* and
(b) Shall re>uire the business licensee to maintain purchase and sales records
for any products that ha"e been issued an eBemption, 'hich the licensee
shall pro"ide upon re>uest by any official from DCRA, the D%C%
1etropolitan /olice Department, or the D%C% Department of Cealth%
$1%. ;f DCRA denies an eBemption re>uest, the business licensee may submit to the
DCRA Director or designee a re>uest for reconsideration% The DCRA Director or
designee shall ha"e fifteen business (1.) days to issue a 'ritten determination on
the re>uest for reconsideration%
$1%) ;n determining 'hether to issue an eBemption under this section, DCRA may see2
recommendations from the D%C% 1etropolitan /olice Department, the D%C%
Department of Cealth, or other go"ernment agencies ha"ing eBpertise 'ith
synthetic drugs%
Se#tion 902+ PROOF OF INTENT+ i& a-en,e, to rea, a& !oo.&/
$3%1 Any reasonable e"idence may be utili?ed to demonstrate that a product4s
mar2eted and=or intended use causes it to fit the definition of a synthetic drug
including, but not limited to, any of the follo'ing e"identiary factorsA
(a) The product is not suitable for its mar2eted use (such as a crystalline or
po'der product being mar2eted as 7glass cleaner8)*
(b) The indi"idual or business pro"iding, distributing, displaying or selling the
product does not typically pro"ide, distribute, or sell products that are used
for that product4s mar2eted use (such as li>uor stores, smo2e shops, or
gas=con"enience stores selling 7plant food8)*
(c) The product contains a 'arning label that is not typically present on
products that are used for that product4s mar2eted use including, but not
limited to, 7@ot for human consumption8, 7 @ot for purchase by minors8,
71ust be 1! years or older to purchase8, 71$$D legal blend8, or similar
(d) The product is significantly more eBpensi"e than products that are used for
that product4s mar2eted use% 9or eBample, $%. grams of a substance
mar2eted as 7glass cleaner8 costing E.$%$$, 1 gram of potpourri costing
E1$%$$, or $%. grams of incense costing E1.%$$*
(e) The product resembles an illicit street drug (such as cocaine,
methamphetamine, mari6uana, or schedule 1 narcotic)* or
(f) The business licensee or any employee has been 'arned by DCRA or has
recei"ed a criminal incident report, arrest report or e>ui"alent from any
la' enforcement agency that the product or a similarly labeled product
contains a synthetic drug%
Se#tion 903+ RE4OCATION OF *USINESS LICENSE+ i& a-en,e, to rea, a& !oo.&/
$,%1 Any business licensee "iolating this chapter may recei"e a @otice of ;nfraction%
$,%# DCRA may issue a notice of intent to suspend or re"o2e the licensee4s basic
business license for "iolating this chapter%
$,%3 9ollo'ing an ad6udication that is ad"erse to the business licensee, DCRA shall
suspend or re"o2e the basic business license% ;n ad6udicated cases 'here a notice
of intent to re"o2e 'as issued, the basic business license shall be re"o2ed
pursuant to D%C% Official Code + ,-(#!,,(a(1)(1), and the licensee shall be
ineligible to apply for a ne' basic business license for a substantially similar
business for t'o (#) years%