• Eli Hunt

New Laws to Help With Social Equity in Virginia Might be Quickly Dismissed


Did you know that having a medical marijuana card in Virginia means you’re doing your part for social equity?

Social equity and cannabis have been closely linked throughout the wave of legalization that has swept across the U.S. In many of the states that have decided to confirm the therapeutic benefits of this natural drug by legalizing it, the laws have included sections dedicated to increasing social equity for minorities and POC.

This is no less true in Virginia, where cannabis activists and legislators worked together to draft social equity language into the Commonwealth’s marijuana laws. Unfortunately, those social equity components may be eradicated in the not-so-distant future!

The New Governor and Marijuana Laws

Many cannabis activists watched the governor’s election last year with bated breath. If Glenn Youngkin, the Republican challenger, ended up winning, what would that mean for the future of cannabis in the Commonwealth?

Youngkin gave few signs during the election. He intimated at one point that he would let legalization stay in place, since it was already the law. Medical marijuana activists were relieved to know that Virginians could continue to benefit from the therapeutic benefits of this important drug. Given its efficacy in treating conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s and PTSD, it was important to ensure that medical marijuana could continue to transform patients’ lives.

Youngkin did, however, suggest that some changes might be made around retail sales.

Changes Suggested in the 2022 Session

These hints from the Right became more real once the 2022 legislative session began. Within a few weeks of the start of the session, Republicans had filed eight bills calling for amendments to the 2021 law that legalized adult possession and established a framework for retail sales.

Why? Concerns varied, from fears of a black market to resistance to social equity components in the legislation. One proposed amendment would strip the lone sentence dedicated to social equity in the original law.

Why Social Equity?

Cannabis activists and social activists had long seen eye to eye on how legalization could encourage social equity. Old marijuana laws, in the opinion of activists, had disproportionately harmed POC communities in Virginia. By writing in social equity provisions, marijuana laws could do some part in remedying these historic wrongs.

Many Republicans take a different view. They do not want social equity provisions in there, specifically ones that funnel retail sales opportunities towards minority entrepreneurs. They have also moved to change how profits from marijuana sales are handled, stating that they want the monies to return to the State instead of going into a fund that would support social equity initiatives.

Medical Marijuana in Virginia: Safe and Sound

Ideally, social equity provisions will live on in future amendments. Whatever structure retail sales takes on between now and 2024, however, what is clear is that medical marijuana is here to stay. More and more Virginians, including everyone from women to seniors, are getting their medical marijuana cards so that they can experience natural relief from medical conditions.

Go Natural With Your VA Marijuana Card Today!

Interested in medical marijuana and being part of the change that cannabis is bringing to the Commonwealth?


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


 

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