New Possession Penalties in Virginia: Medical Marijuana Still the Safest Option!
Big changes are afoot for some of the laws governing how citizens of the Commonwealth can walk around with cannabis in public! If you have a medical marijuana card, you already know that you are getting some of the safest and best products in Virginia. How can you make sure that you are staying within the new laws when it comes to possession? Read on.
Recriminalizing Personal Possession
During the first stages of legalization of marijuana in Virginia, the Assembly worked to include language that would significantly reduce criminal penalties associated with marijuana. This was done, in part, to counterbalance the effects of the War on Drugs and act in support of increased social equity in the Commonwealth.
The new Youngkin administration, which has a different idea of the future of cannabis in VA, is a little less sympathetic to these original ideas! Just this month, the Virginia General Assembly approved a budget bill that includes language recriminalizing personal possession of over four ounces of cannabis in public in the Commonwealth. This bill creates two new misdemeanors and is set to go into effect as soon as the governor signs off on it.
Old vs. New Rules
Until this bill, possession of more than one ounce and up to one pound of marijuana by any adult in Virginia 21 years or older resulted in nothing more than a $25 civil penalty. Now, under this new legislation, any Virginian found to be in public possession of more than four ounces and less than one pound will be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by a $500 fine. Any subsequent offenses will be upgraded to Class 2 misdemeanors and could potentially result in 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $1000!
Today, the Virginia General Assembly voted to approve the budget bill which contains language to recriminalize personal possession of over four ounces of marijuana in public. The language, which creates two new misdemeanors, will take effect immediately upon Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s signing of the budget.
What This Means for Medical Marijuana Users
Using medical marijuana is still the safest way to enjoy the natural benefits of cannabis in Virginia. Thanks to work from cannabis advocates, possession of marijuana in one’s own home for personal use is not subject to these new felonies. Home growers have some good news, too— minor infractions against home growing laws, such as failing to label a plant accurately will be subject to no more than a $25 civil penalty under the new law.
What Does This Mean for Products Like Edibles?
This is where there is a good deal of “gray area” in the new legislation. “Marijuana” as used in the law describes a number of other products, including edibles and concentrates. Medical marijuana users who prefer these types of products may have a harder time understanding whether or not they are carrying an amount that respects the law. The law has NOT defined equivalent possession amounts for these products, making it easy for Virginians who want to respect the law to accidentally run afoul of it. Carrying only very small amounts of these items in public in Virginia is the best bet for the well-intentioned citizens of the Commonwealth until the Cannabis Control Authority Board of Directors defines possession amounts for these products.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card and Enjoy the Best Product Virginia Has to Offer!
You can have a good summer with your medical marijuana provided you respect the rules and act with discretion! Summer is here, so go out and enjoy, provided you have your medical marijuana card with you!
Your first step is consulting with a doctor who can give you the recommendation you need to access this natural product.
Schedule an appointment with an online VA medical marijuana doctor today to start gaining access to safe and legal cannabis products, including tinctures, flower, concentrates and more for your loved one or patient!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness
safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on
education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by
providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.