Deal Reached On Virginia Marijuana Legalization Bill Just Hours Before Deadline

MJ moment

Virginia lawmakers have reached a deal on a plan to legalize marijuana, with just hours left before the deadline to get legislation to the governor this session. The Senate and House approved differing reform proposals earlier this month, and negotiators have since been working to reconcile the bills in conference committee—a contentious process that at times appeared as if it would end without a deal. But on Saturday, according to a summary of provisions obtained by Marijuana Moment, lawmakers agreed to a final plan that will go to the floor of both chambers for simple up-or-down votes. If approved there, the compromise legislation will go to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who supports ending cannabis prohibition. Among the most pressing issues for lawmakers was the timeline for crafting regulations for the cannabis market. The Senate has pushed for a reenactment clause to be included which would extend the process into next session, whereas the House side wanted to complete legislative work during the current session, arguing that enough research has already been done to effectively decide the issue. But Senate negotiators won out, meaning that the legislature will revisit cannabis regulations and post-legalization penalty structures next session. Another major area of contention dealt with how the state would approach cannabis possession in the time between the bill’s signing and implementation of legal sales going into effect. Under both versions, the adult-use market wouldn’t launch until January 1, 2024 to give the state time to establish a regulatory agency to oversee the program. While the Senate had wanted to make the legalization of simple possession and home cultivation take effect starting on July 1 of this year, negotiators ultimately agreed to delay it to coincide with commercialization in 2024. In the meantime, under the deal, a new Virginia Cannabis…

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Source : Deal Reached On Virginia Marijuana Legalization Bill Just Hours Before Deadline

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