- Jennifer Betz
Virginia Could Legalize Adult-Use Marijuana by July 1 - Legal Dispensaries Still a Long Way Off
Fate of the Adult-Use Marijuana Bill Passed in February 2021 Still Up in the Air
The clock is ticking for Governor Northam to sign the adult-use marijuana bill that has been on his desk since the end of February, 2021, when it passed in both the Virginia House and Senate. Northam has until the end of March to give the greenlight, but he and other lawmakers—including House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn—are calling for amendments that must pass another vote.
The original legislation gives ample time for dispensaries to get up and running safely and securely. Possession legalization for adult-use marijuana in Virginia would coincide with the opening of the first recreational dispensaries in Virginia in 2024.
Northam and other Democrats believe that the timeline extends too far into the future, and that adults in Virginia should be allowed to possess marijuana sooner. Their argument is that everyone knows legal dispensaries are coming, and it doesn’t make sense that people would continue to be fined until they open.
Marijuana possession is already decriminalized in Virginia, and anyone caught with an ounce or less is now subject to a $25 fine rather than criminal charges. Northam and Filler-Corn both want to do away with the fine, and simply make it legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana with no penalties, starting on July 1, 2021.
Filler-Corn is also calling for amendments that address the rising concern about social equity. She intends to introduce amendments that call for resentencing opportunities for people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses, automatic sealing of marijuana records related to nonviolent offenses beginning July 1, and legal cultivation of a limited number of personal-use cannabis plants.
Despite the fact that the news surrounding adult-use legalization is moving quickly, the future of the current legislation is in question. Northam has yet to sign the bill on his desk or offer up the proposed amendments, with only two days left to act. Additionally, the amendments must pass yet another vote once they are formally submitted.
Protect Yourself for Now With a Virginia Marijuana Card
After everything is finalized, dispensaries will still need time to get up and running before it will be legal to distribute adult-use cannabis. In the meantime, the best way to stay protected is to get a Virginia marijuana card if you have one of the many qualifying conditions.
A medical marijuana card gives you legal access to cannabis sold in a number of dispensaries across the state, and you won’t face the $25 possession fine as long as you comply with the regulations set forth by the current program.
At Virginia Marijuana Card, we are here to help. Give us a call at (888) 633-5808 or make an online evaluation appointment today!
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 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!
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