Text Resize

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Right Choice - Synthetic Drug Business Compliance

The Right Choice Campaign, Starting Summer 2014 

This July DCRA is kicking off the Right Choice Campaign, a coordinated approach by multiple District agencies to educate and engage the public and businesses about how we will enforce new regulations to stop synthetic drugs at the point of sale. 

District of Columbia Municipal Regulations Title 9, Chapter 17, adopted on April 25, 2014, prohibits the sale of synthetic drugs in the District of Columbia. 

Any business selling, allowing for sale, marketing, or found to be in possession of synthetic drugs may incur a fine or have their license(s) suspended or revoked and the business licensee prohibited from obtaining a new license for two (2) years.

Synthetic drugs are defined under this District of Columbia Municipal Regulations Title 9, Chapter 17, in § 999.1 as

  • Synthetic Drug – Any product possessed, provided, distributed, sold, and/or marketed with the intent that it be used as a recreational drug, such that its consumption or ingestion is intended to produce effects on the central nervous system or brain function to change perception, mood, consciousness, cognition and/or behavior in ways that are similar to the effects of marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines or Schedule 1 narcotics. Additionally, any chemically synthesized product (including products that contain both a chemically synthesized ingredient and herbal or plant material) possessed, provided, distributed, sold and/or marketed with the intent that the product produce effects substantially similar to the effects created by compounds banned by District or Federal synthetic drug laws or by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration pursuant to its authority under the Controlled Substances Act.

Business Owners May Request an Exemption

Prohibited products include but are not limited to those whose package labeling suggests:

  • Not for purchase by minors
  • Manufacturer and retailer are not responsible for misuse of this product
  • Not for human consumption
  • Must be 18 years or older to purchase
  • Legal in 50 states
  • 100% legal blend
  • Does not contain any chemical compounds prohibited by law
  • Contains no prohibited chemicals
  • Product is in accordance with State and Federal laws
  • Legal herbal substance
  • 100% chemical free
  • 100% synthetic free

If you have questions regarding this regulation or regulatory compliance, please contact the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Business Compliance Section at dcra.rightchoice@dc.gov.

To report suspected sales of synthetic drugs, please contact the Metropolitan Police Department at 311.

If you or someone you know needs immediate help after using synthetic drugs, please contact the

Department of Health help line at (888) 793-4376.