New Governor, Reenactment Clause Could Mean Changes to Virginia’s Adult-Use Cannabis Law


<![CDATA[Virginia made history last year when it became the first state in the South to fully legalize cannabis, but a new governor and a reenactment clause in the law could bring changes to the original statute that the General Assembly approved in April.“Virginia’s legalization law … was somewhat unique,” Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), told Cannabis Business Times. “Virginia can pass laws that require reauthorization, meaning they don’t take effect unless the Legislature votes for them again.”Outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam signed the state’s adult-use legislation into law last spring, after the General Assembly approved amendments to expedite the cannabis possession and home grow provisions, which took effect July 1.Under the current law, adults 21 and older can legally possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis in public and can cultivate up to four plants at their primary residence for personal use.Commercial sales are slated to start Jan. 1, 2024, under the statute, but until then, selling or purchasing cannabis outside Virginia’s medical program remains illegal.“We hear every day from Virginians frustrated that even though cannabis is legal for adults 21 [and older], they cannot shop at the already operational medical dispensaries unless they are registered patients,” said NORML Development Director JM Pedini, who also serves as the executive director of the Virginia chapter. “In addition to expediting sales through existing operators, it is imperative that the commonwealth speed up the licensing of new cannabusinesses. Delaying such only emboldens illicit-market activity, whereas a regulated marketplace can best provide for consumer and public safety.”While the July 1, 2021, effective date for legal possession and home grow cannot be altered by the General Assembly, O’Keefe said almost all the regulatory details about legalizing and regulating commercial sales, issuing business licenses, and taxation require reauthorization and will only…

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Source : New Governor, Reenactment Clause Could Mean Changes to Virginia’s Adult-Use Cannabis Law

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