Virginia Senate Votes Against Governor’s Amendment to Criminalize Possession of Cannabis

Virginia Senate Votes Against Governor’s Amendment to Criminalize Possession of Cannabis
High Times

The Virginia Senate recently sent Senate Bill 591 to the Rehabilitation and Social Services committee, and will not be considered further now that the 2022 legislative session concluded, as of March 12. A final vote was made on April 27, with a 20-20 vote, and a tie-breaker vote from Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears. If passed, the bill would have prohibited cannabis edibles “in the shape of a human, animal, vehicle, or fruit,” as well as ban Delta-8 THC products. Additionally, the bill included penalties for anyone who was in possession of more than two ounces of cannabis. Former Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation to legalize cannabis in April 2021, which went into effect starting July 1, 2021. Northam ended his run as governor in January 2022, and was replaced by current Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin. SB-591 was introduced by Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. which initially received support, especially in relation to preventing cannabis edibles from being appealing to children. “It was the right thing to do,” supporter Senator Adam Ebbin said about the bill’s original text. However, ARLnow reported that when the bill was sent to Youngkin’s desk for a signature, he sent it back with numerous amendments that altered the bill’s regulations regarding CBD, Delta-8 THC products and adding penalties for possession over the legal limit. “The governor’s amendments were ill-constructed, poorly thought out, and left lots of loopholes,” Ebbin said. “The original bill was better.” “The government’s proposed penalties for personal possession of two ounces of marijuana were more punitive than the laws that were in place prior to Virginia’s enactment of decriminalization in 2020,” he added. Ebbin’s own bill, Senate Bill 391, was also proposed in the 2022 legislative session, and was passed in the Senate but did not pass in the House. His bill opened…

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Source : Virginia Senate Votes Against Governor’s Amendment to Criminalize Possession of Cannabis

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