Virginia Marijuana Legalization Bills Clear Procedural Floor Hurdles Ahead Of Friday Deadline

MJ moment

Bills to legalize marijuana in Virginia cleared key procedural floor votes on Thursday, setting them up for final passage in their originating chambers on Friday. In both the House of Delegates and Senate, lawmakers advanced the reform legislation on second reading. Members of the House agreed to adopt a substitute version that was approved by the Courts of Justice Committee last week. The Senate advanced its version of the legalization bill later in the day after adopting a Judiciary Committee substitute and amendments from the Finance and Appropriations Committee. Both pieces of legislation were subject to multiple committee and subcommittee hearings in recent weeks, with legislators debating and making revisions to their proposals. Legislators focused on a number of issues, such as qualifications for social equity cannabis licensees, local control over how and where marijuana businesses can operate, home cultivation rights, vertical integration rules for the market and timelines for implementing the end of prohibition. Both the House and Senate had cleared the bills on first reading on Wednesday. Now the companion pieces of legislation head to votes on final passage in their respective chambers, with votes expected Friday—a critical mid-session “crossover” deadline to transmit bills from the originating body to the other chamber. All of this comes after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and top lawmakers unveiled their legalization proposal last month. House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D) gave her chamber a comprehensive overview of the bill’s main components during Thursday’s session, emphasizing the social equity, public safety and regulatory components of the legislation. “It will promote diverse participation in the newly created cannabis industry, and the bill is structured for reinvesting in communities harmed by prohibition,” the lawmaker said. — Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 500 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress…

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Source : Virginia Marijuana Legalization Bills Clear Procedural Floor Hurdles Ahead Of Friday Deadline

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