Lawmakers approved Gov. Ralph Northam’s amendments to move the date for legal possession and home grow from 2024 to this summer, making the state the 17th to legalize for adult use.
After last-minute debate over differences between the House and Senate versions, lawmakers came to an agreement. Advocates promise to push for legal home grow and possession to take effect ahead of sales, set to start in 2024.
On Friday, both the House and the Senate approved adult use legislation backed by Gov. Ralph Northam. Now, on a tight deadline, they must agree to a final version to pass for his signature.
A subcommittee focused on cannabis legalization voted in favor of the amended bill, advancing it.
Lawmakers formed a Marijuana subcommittee last week to fast-track debate on a legalization bill backed by the governor. The group held the first of two meetings this week.
With two hearings next week, Virginia lawmakers are on a fast-track to legalize.
This week, top lawmakers introduced legislation that would implement Northam’s legalization proposal.
A Cannabis Legalization Bill Has Dropped in Virginia. But It’s Unlikely to Be the One to Cross the Finish Line.
When Governor Ralph Northam called for legalization last month, he said Virginia’s plan would “lead with social equity.” The bill introduced this week makes no mention of it.
In November, just months after signing cannabis decriminalization legislation, Governor Ralph Northam said that 2021 is the “time to legalize marijuana in Virginia.”
Virginia’s governor and attorney general have been steadily working on cannabis law reform since last year.
Virginia has been on a path toward legalization for the past year, but the governor’s call could put the state on a fast track.
Virginia lawmakers recently passed cannabis and criminal justice reforms, but Mark Herring says there’s much more to be done.
The governor and attorney general have put the state on a path toward legal adult use, starting with eliminating penalties for possession.
“It is clear to me that it is time for a new, smarter approach to cannabis in Virginia. And the question that we're here to answer today is: what does that look like?"
With the state AG’s support, the chances for cannabis reform in 2020 just got stronger. But legalization may have to wait.