Virginia Senate Marijuana Committee Approves Amendments To Legalization Bill

MJ moment

A Virginia Senate subcommittee focused on marijuana policy met for a second time on Wednesday, agreeing to a set of amendments to a cannabis legalization bill that are expected to be formally adopted by a full committee on Friday. The Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Marijuana Subcommittee initially discussed the legislation a day earlier, on Tuesday, taking public testimony and debating issues such as which agency should regulate the legal cannabis program and whether local jurisdictions should have to opt in or out to allow marijuana businesses to operate. At the most recent meeting, members reached several agreements on amendments in concept that will be taken up by the full panel. They also moved to refer the revised legislation to the Judiciary Committee and then the Finance Committee before it advances to the Senate floor. The bill at hand was unveiled by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) last week and is being carried by top Senate and House leaders. It would create a system of regulated and taxed marijuana sales and production, and allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to four plants for personal use, two of which could be mature. One of the decisions the subcommittee made was to recommend that an independent agency be responsible for regulating the marijuana program, rather than the state’s existing alcohol control department as would be the case under the governor’s bill as introduced. That also means that the timeline for sales implementation would have to be pushed back to 2024 instead of 2023 to provide time to stand up a new regulatory body. “The committee feels that an independent agency is the right solution,” Chairman Jeremey McPike (D) said, adding that “this line of business is much different than the current…

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Source : Virginia Senate Marijuana Committee Approves Amendments To Legalization Bill

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