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The rule also does not specify which type of cannabis the dispensaries must discount. D.C. marijuana clinics carry multiple strains of the plant, some more expensive than others.

Dispensary owners sympathize with low-income patients, but “a 20 percent discount is not insignificant” as a challenge to business sustainability, said Mike Cuthriell, president of the Metropolitan Wellness Center dispensary in Southeast. While he believes discounts are beneficial to patients, Mr. Cuthriell expressed concerns about the ratio of low-income patients to those who are not.

Capital City Care dispensary already offers discounts for seniors, veterans and low-income patients.

“Capital City Care is happy to do its part to ensure that all qualified patients have access to the medicine,” spokesman Scott Morgan said.