Code of the District of Columbia

This section will be modified by the following acts when they become effective:

§ 7–731. Exclusive agency powers.

(a) Notwithstanding the licensing powers and responsibilities given to other District of Columbia agencies and officials in subchapters I-A and I-B of Chapter 28 of Title 47 of the District of Columbia Code, the Department of Health, as established by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1996, effective July 17, 1996 (part A of subchapter XIV of Chapter 15 of Title 1), shall be the exclusive agency to:

(1) Regulate allied health care professionals and social service professionals;

(2) Regulate occupational and professional conduct and standards for health care and social service professionals, including investigating, licensing, and enforcing applicable laws and regulations;

(3) Regulate actions that affect the physical environment and ensure compliance with applicable federal and District laws and rules that govern the uses and practices that affect the physical environment, including air resources management, water resources management, stormwater management, soil resources management, hazardous waste, pesticides, lead poison program implementation, asbestos program management, underground storage tank regulation, aquatic and wildlife resources management, medical waste management, low-level radioactive waste control, and toxic chemical control;

(4) Regulate health care facilities and social service facilities;

(5) Regulate food service establishments, including, but not limited to, retailers and wholesalers of food and food products, grocery stores, restaurants, food vendors, dairies, patent medicine outlets, ice cream manufacturers, candy manufacturers, bottling establishments, wholesale and retail seafood dealers, delicatessens, and bakeries;

(6) Regulate pharmacies and pharmacy personnel;

(7) Determine which drugs and other substances shall be classified as controlled substances, and identify persons and facilities that handle, manage, distribute, dispense, and conduct research with controlled substances;

(8) Regulate radiological and medical devices;

(9) Regulate the manufacture, distribution, and dispensing of controlled substances;

(10) Regulate the operation of barber shops, beauty salons, and body art establishments;

(11) Regulate swimming pools;

(12) Regulate massage and health spa establishments;

(13) Regulate animal disease control and rodent control; and

(14) Perform any other functions expressly described in Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1996, as construed in light of all documents formally made a part of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1996 pursuant to § 1-315.05.

(a-1)(1) The Department of Health shall conduct a minimum of 3 inspections per year of the environmental conditions at the Central Detention Facility. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “environmental conditions” shall include temperature control, ventilation, and sanitation.

(2) The Department of Health shall submit the report of each inspection conducted pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection to the Council and the Mayor within 30 days of the inspection.

(b) For the purpose of this section, the term “regulate” shall include all licensing, certification, investigation, inspection, permitting, registration, and enforcement functions, including the issuance of civil infractions, except that the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs shall continue to issue licenses for businesses engaged in functions as set forth in subsection (a)(3), (a)(5), (a)(10), (a)(11), and (a)(12) of this section.

(c) The Mayor shall establish fees to implement this section. All fines and fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited as nonlapsing funds in the Department of Health Regulatory Enforcement Fund to the credit of the administration within the Department of Health responsible for collecting the fees to support the activities of those programs, except that fines and fees collected pursuant to Chapter 21 of Title 8 shall be deposited in the Rodent Control Fund. After September 30, 2002, fines and fees generated through rodent control activities shall be deposited in the Department of Health Regulatory Enforcement Fund.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision in this section or any other District law, the Mayor may regulate the manufacture, cultivation, distribution, dispensing, possession, and administration of medical marijuana as authorized in Chapter 16B of this title.


(Oct. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 14-28, § 4902, 48 DCR 6981; Jan. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-62, § 2, 50 DCR 6574; July 27, 2010, D.C. Law 18-210, § 3(b), 57 DCR 4798; Oct. 23, 2012, D.C. Law 19-193, § 2, 59 DCR 10388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-733 and § 7-733.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-62 added subsec. (a-1).

D.C. Law 18-210 added subsec. (d).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-193 substituted “beauty salons, and body art establishments” for “and beauty salons” in (a)(10).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 2 of Department of Health Functions Clarification Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-60, June 6, 2001, 48 DCR 5701).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 4402 of Fiscal Year 2002 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-124, August 3, 2001, 48 DCR 7861).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3 of Central Detention Facility Monitoring Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-76, April 16, 2003, 50 DCR 3637).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3 of Central Detention Facility Monitoring Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-132, July 29, 2003, 50 DCR 6847).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Jail Improvement Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-188, October 24, 2003, 50 DCR 9495).

For temporary (90 day) addition of sections, see §§ 5013, 5015 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) addition of sections, see §§ 5013, 5015 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

For temporary (90 days) addition of D.C. Law 14-28, §§ 4941 to 4947 concerning Health Occupation Advisory Committees, see § 202(b) of the New Columbia Statehood Initiative, Omnibus Boards and Commissions, and Election Transition Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-481, Nov. 18, 2014, 61 DCR 12133, 20 STAT 4405).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 3 of Central Detention Facility Monitoring Temporary Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 15-30, October 4, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 9483).

Editor's Notes

For Not-for-Profit Hospital Corporation reporting requirements to Council, see § 5016 of D.C. Law 19-168.

For Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services reporting requirements to Council, see § 5015 of D.C. Law 19-168.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority Pursuant to the Department of Health Functions Clarification Act of 2001, see Mayor’s Order 2005-81, May 25, 2005 ( 52 DCR 5510).

Delegation of Authority Pursuant to the Department of Health Functions Clarification Act of 2001 to Regulate Barber Shops, Beauty Salons, and Massage and Spa Establishments, see Mayor’s Order 2006-10, January 27, 2006 ( 53 DCR 2711a).

Delegation of authority pursuant to D.C. Law 14-28, the Department of Health Functions Clarification Act of 2001, see Mayor’s Order 2007-63, March 8, 2007 ( 54 DCR 7789).