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  • Eli Hunt

Cannabis Oversight Commission Gets Republican Thumbs Up, No Timeline for Legal Recreational Sales

What’s next for recreational marijuana in Virginia? That’s the big question a lot are asking in the Commonwealth right now. While those with medical marijuana cards can rest assured that they will continue to have access to quality medical marijuana in the Commonwealth, those waiting with bated breath for recreational marijuana may be in a period of ‘wait and see’ for a while yet as a new Republican administration takes power.

In these early days, however, a few positive signs are coming out of early meetings and discussions around the issue. The future for recreational sales may be just as bright as it is for medical marijuana in Virginia!

A First Discussion, Post-Election, Brings the Positive

A meeting of a key commission last week convened to discuss various methods for initiating recreational sales before the current start date of January 2024. The Cannabis Oversight Commission, tasked with overseeing the implementation of HB 2312 and SB 1406, sat down for the first time since the Republican win in early November.

A Single Republican Thumbs Up on Recreational Marijuana Sales

In this first workgroup meeting of the Cannabis Oversight Commission since the election, the single Republican on the Commission had some positive things to say. Delegate James Morefield indicated that he would compromise on legal sales with Democrats on the Commission. The law is already “on the books,’ he stated, suggesting that reversal of recreational sales may not be on the Republican agenda.

What remains to be seen is how exactly sales will be structured. Morefield indicated that he would want things to move quickly to avoid further complications, a positive sign for activists who believe that waiting too long will only create more problems for the cannabis industry in Virginia.

Dispensaries Stepping In?

Some suggestions coming out of the commission have legal sales happening as soon as July 1 of next year. This, however, would only be possible if medical dispensaries were allowed to step in and add recreational sales to their current medical marijuana business models. The dispensaries currently approved by the state to sell medical marijuana are the only businesses with the infrastructure in place to take on recreational sales so quickly. These companies are also already closely regulated, allowing legislators an easy fix when it comes to structuring rules around recreational sales.

An added plus? Taking this approach might lower the price of cannabis for medical marijuana users. Prices for medical marijuana in Virginia have been unusually high this year, making this a hot button issue for many in the community.

The Path Forward for Recreational Use

Moving forward on recreational sales in Virginia will require hammering out several key issues in addition to who takes over sales. Up for debate between Republican and Democratic officials are some complex questions, including those related to social equity. Legislators also still need to finalize a start date for recreational sales and define exactly how tax revenue from recreational sales will be used, as well.

All this waiting creates unnecessary complications, according to Virginia NORML. Maintaining a gray area when it comes to recreational marijuana only gives black market sales more momentum, working against and even eliminating many of the benefits of legalization.

Whether or not dispensaries take on recreational sales, it is clear that medical marijuana will continue sure and steady as these other issues are addressed.

Get Your VA Marijuana Card to Get Legal Access to Cannabis Dispensaries Now!

Recreational use still has a few things to work out for the time being. In the meantime, medical marijuana will continue to be the best way forward for Virginians who want to take advantage of the myriad benefits of using cannabis for better health and quality of life.

Schedule an appointment with an online medical marijuana doctor today, to start gaining access to safe, legal cannabis products, including tinctures, flower, concentrates and more.


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Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.

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