Virginia Senates Votes For Recreational Marijuana Sales This Upcoming September
There’s big news for the Commonwealth— the Virginia senate voted to move the retail start date up to September. If you have a medical marijuana card in Virginia, you may have been following the debate closely. If not, here are all the details on this new development!
Senate Bill 391
On February 15, 2022, the Virginia Senate passed Senate Bill 391 in a bipartisan vote. The bill defined regulation for the retail sale of cannabis in the Commonwealth to adults 21 and older, with a possible start date of September 15, 2022. This start date put the retail timeline far ahead of schedule; the original framework had retail sales starting in 2024 at the earliest.
The bill still has to pass in the Virginia House of Delegates, where it will face much more resistance. Republican legislators already made moves to nullify some of the provisions in the original cannabis legislation, making the future of retail sales not quite as rosy as some might expect. Republicans filed eight bills calling for amendments to the 2021 law that legalized adult possession.
Their reservations vary, but sme claim that they fear a black market will surface, while others are resistant to social equity components.
Why All Marijuana Activists Aren’t Happy
You might think that marijuana activists would be jumping for joy at the announcement, but that’s not the case. While some are excited that the start date has moved up, not everyone is happy, because many activists are concerned that this move is intended to funnel cannabis businesses away from minority and women owners. As it currently exists, this new bill would funnel initial retail sales to the already established regional dispensaries. The argument is that these businesses already understand the protocols and have safeties in place, but activists respond that will shortchange communities that the original legislation sought to protect.
Social Equity - Built Into the Original Marijuana Legislation
In the original cannabis legislation drafted in Virginia, activists and politicians on the Left were careful to include provisions that funneled cannabis business opportunities toward minority entrepreneurs. This was part of larger social equity goals that were intended to correct some of the injustices minority communities experienced during the War on Drugs in Virginia.
Many Republicans in the state legislature were against these provisions, as Governor Youngkin himself expressed unease about these social equity provisions. He signaled that shifts in retail sales were probably on the horizon, and with these moves, it seems clear that Republicans are determined to redesign the face of retail sales in the Commonwealth.
What Does This Mean for Medical Marijuana?
Never fear— medical marijuana is safe and will continue to be available to registered citizens of Virginia! With a medical marijuana card, you have a surefire way to avoid all the confusion over retail, for one. And you get access to a vetted, curated and safe product that has been cultivated specifically to deliver big on therapeutic benefits.
Start the Process with a Medical Marijuana Card Today!
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!
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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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