While marijuana laws are largely in place across the country, Virginia is one of the few states that has not legalized the plant. However, the state’s lawmakers have indicated that they want to legalize it in the earliest possible time. The new law will allow adults over 21 to purchase cannabis for recreational purposes. The state will also be required to establish a social equity program to ensure fair licensing.
While cannabis remains illegal in public areas, it is legal for adults 21 years old and older to possess an ounce of cannabis. In addition, the new Virginia law makes it illegal to drive with “an open container of marijuana,” but the term is defined differently than it is for alcohol. Until regulations are in place, people will not be able to purchase marijuana in a dispensary or locally owned store.
The Virginia Legislature is currently considering legislation that will legalize marijuana. Last year, the House passed a bill on strict party lines – Democrats supported legalization and Republicans opposed it – but the legislation was defeated in the Senate. This year, the House Republican majority has divided on the issue. However, the majority has refused to dock two marijuana bills filed by its own members. In addition, it faces criticism from pro-legalization groups who say the legislation ignores their commitments to racial justice.
Another change pushed by Del. Price is the passage of the “Clean Slate Act” in the state. This bill allows those who have convictions for marijuana possession seven years ago and those who have convictions with intent to distribute marijuana to others to receive an expungement. While this legislation does not eliminate marijuana crimes, it does eliminate the “social equity” provision that has prohibited those who commit these crimes from receiving a license.
Virginia Marijuana Laws and Local Dispensaries
Legalization of marijuana in Virginia has created both a lucrative business opportunity and a health risk for consumers. The state’s four medical marijuana dispensaries must undergo rigorous testing before selling marijuana to the public. The same is true for local retailers who sell marijuana products. The state has no legal guidelines governing the distribution of marijuana products. It is also illegal for people to sell marijuana to others without a doctor’s prescription.
The law also allows adults to cultivate up to four plants at home for personal use. If more than four plants are grown, the penalties range from fines to felony charges. The Virginia Mercury notes that there is some confusion over what happens if four plants produce more than an ounce of marijuana. Under-21s cannot possess weed and must enter a substance abuse treatment program if they are caught with it.
The state has legalized cannabis for recreational use, although the federal government remains opposed to the practice. However, several states have legalized marijuana and have different restrictions. Some states, like New Mexico, allow adult use of marijuana for personal use but only in limited amounts and for adults over 21. Other states, like New Jersey, have legalized CBD oil derived from marijuana with extremely low levels of THC.