Top Virginia Officials Submit Marijuana Legalization Recommendations To Governor And Lawmakers

MJ moment

A working group comprised of four Virginia cabinet secretaries and other top officials submitted recommendations to the governor and lawmakers on Monday about how to best implement a legal marijuana program in the state. With Gov. Ralph Northam (D) officially on board with the policy change—a development that came earlier this month as a legislative commission offered separate recommendations on the subject—the group’s new analysis provides an early look at what that regulated cannabis system could look like. The report, which was required as part of a cannabis decriminalization bill that was enacted earlier this year, was authored by the governor-appointed secretaries of the state departments of agriculture and forestry, finance, health and human resources and public safety and homeland security. “We will advance new laws to make sure that our Commonwealth legalizes marijuana the right way,” Northam said in a press release. “Virginia has studied the experience of other states and this report lays out a path forward that leads with social equity, public health, and public safety.” The panel—which also includes the state attorney general, State Police captain, commissioners of various agencies, the head of Virginia NORML and other advocates and officials—made 20 recommendations on adult-use legalization. That includes suggestions that a single agency should be created to regulate the program, retail marijuana sales should be taxed to generate revenue but the rate shouldn’t be so high that people remain in the illicit market and the state should look into ways to allow cannabis businesses to access banking services, including state-chartered financial institutions. Additionally, the group advised that Virginia should consider “undoing the harms of criminalization” by expunging prior marijuana convictions, administering social equity licenses for the cannabis industry and using funds for community reinvestment, among other policies. Local jurisdictions should have input on where marijuana businesses are…

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Source : Top Virginia Officials Submit Marijuana Legalization Recommendations To Governor And Lawmakers

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