2017 Virginia Legislative Session

Marijuana-related bills in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly:

 

 

Expungement

 

SB 796 Police and court records; expungement of certain offenses

Chief Patron: Sen Ryan McDougle-R

Senate Patrons: Rosalyn Dance-D, Jennifer McClellan-D

Allows a person to petition for expungement of convictions and deferred disposition dismissals for marijuana possession, underage alcohol possession, and using a false ID to obtain alcohol when the offense occurred prior to the person's twenty-first birthday; all court costs, fines, and restitution have been paid; and five years have elapsed since the date of completion of all terms of sentencing and probation.

 


Decriminalization

 

Crime Commission Decriminalization Study Request

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment formally submitted to Delegate Rob Bell a request that the Virginia State Crime Commission undertake a study examining a future change to the Code of Virginia regarding criminal penalties related to possession of small amounts of marijuana. 

Study request accepted by Virginia State Crime Commission and is currently being executed. Expected completion October 2017.

 

HB 1906 Marijuana; decriminalization of simple marijuana possession

Chief Patron: Del Steve Heretick-D

Senate Patrons: Sen Kaye Kory-D 

House Patrons: Del Lynwood Lewis-D

Decriminalizes marijuana possession and provides a civil penalty of no more than $250 for a first violation and $1,000 for a second or subsequent violation. Under current law, a first offense is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum 30-day jail sentence, and subsequent offenses are a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill creates a rebuttable presumption that a person who possesses no more than one-half ounce of marijuana possesses it for personal use and provides that the existing suspended sentence and substance abuse screening provisions apply only to criminal violations or to civil violations by a minor. The bill decreases the penalty for distribution or possession with intent to sell more than one-half but not more than five pounds of marijuana from a Class 5 felony to a Class 6 felony.

 

SB 908 Marijuana, decriminalization of simple possession

Chief Patron: Sen Louise Lucas-D

Decriminalizes marijuana possession and provides a civil penalty of no more than $250 for a first violation and $1,000 for a second or subsequent violation. Under current law, a first offense is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum 30-day jail sentence, and subsequent offenses are a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill creates a rebuttable presumption that a person who possesses no more than one-half ounce of marijuana possesses it for personal use and provides that the existing suspended sentence and substance abuse screening provisions apply only to criminal violations or to civil violations by a minor. The bill decreases the penalty for distribution or possession with intent to sell more than one-half but not more than five pounds of marijuana from a Class 5 felony to a Class 6 felony.

 

SB 1269 Marijuana; decriminalization of simple marijuana possession

Chief Patron: Sen Adam Ebbin-D

Decriminalizes simple marijuana possession and provides a civil penalty of no more than $100 for a first violation, $250 for a second violation, and $500 for a third or subsequent violation. Current law imposes a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum 30-day jail sentence for a first offense, and subsequent offenses are a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill provides that the suspended sentence/substance abuse screening provisions and driver's license suspension provisions apply only to criminal violations or to civil violations by a juvenile. The bill provides that a court may suspend a driver's license for a civil violation committed by an adult. A civil violation will be treated as a conviction for prohibitions on the purchase or transport of a handgun and disqualification for a concealed handgun permit.

 


Driver's License

 

HB 2051 Driver’s license; marijuana possession

Chief Patron: Del Les Adams-R

House Patron: Del Matthew Farris-R

Revises the existing provision that a person loses his driver's license for six months when convicted of or placed on deferred disposition for a drug offense to provide that the provision does not apply to deferred disposition of simple possession of marijuana. The exception applies only to adults; juveniles will still be subject to license suspension. The provisions of the bill are contingent upon written assurance from the U.S. Department of Transportation that Virginia will not lose any federal funds as a result of implementation of the bill.

Signed by the Governor 3/24/17; Effective 7/1/17

 

SB 784 Marijuana offenses, driver’s license forfeiture

Chief Patron: Sen Adam Ebbin-D

Senate Patrons: Sen Bill Stanley-R, Sen Janet Howell-D

House Patrons: Del Mark Levine-D

Revises the existing provision that a person loses his driver's license for six months when convicted of or placed on deferred disposition for a drug offense to provide that the provision does not apply to deferred disposition of simple possession of marijuana. The exception applies only to adults; juveniles will still be subject to license suspension. The provisions of the bill are contingent upon written assurance from the U.S. Department of Transportation that Virginia will not lose any federal funds as a result of implementation of the bill. 

 

SB 1091 Driver’s license; marijuana possession

Chief Patrons: Sen Adam Ebbin-D, Sen Bill Stanley-R

Revises the existing provision that a person loses his driver's license for six months when convicted of or placed on deferred disposition for a drug offense to provide that the provision does not apply to deferred disposition of simple possession of marijuana. The exception applies only to adults; juveniles will still be subject to license suspension. The provisions of the bill are contingent upon written assurance from the U.S. Department of Transportation that Virginia will not lose any federal funds as a result of implementation of the bill.

Signed by the Governor 3/24/17; Effective 7/1/17


Medical Marijuana

 

HB 1637 Possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes; Crohn’s disease

Chief Patron: Del Glenn Davis-R

House Patrons: Del Christopher Peace-R, Del Sam Rasoul-D

Provides an affirmative defense in a prosecution for the possession of marijuana if the marijuana is in the form of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil possessed pursuant to a valid written certification issued by a practitioner of medicine or osteopathy licensed by the Board of Medicine for purposes of treating Crohn's disease or alleviating such patient's symptoms. The bill provides that a practitioner shall not be prosecuted for distribution of marijuana for the treatment of or for alleviating the symptoms of Crohn's disease.

 

HB 1799 Cannabidiol; Board of Pharmacy to deschedule or reschedule upon certain publication

Chief Patron: Del John O’Bannon-R

Directs the Board of Pharmacy to initiate action to deschedule or reschedule cannabidiol or any product containing cannabidiol that has been approved as a prescription medication by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 360bb and 21 U.S.C. § 355 within 30 days of publication in the Federal Register of an interim final rule.

Signed by the Governor 3/13/17; Effective 7/1/17

 

HB 2135 Medical marijuana; written certification

Chief Patron: Del Mark Levine-D

Provides an affirmative defense in a prosecution for the possession of marijuana if the marijuana is in the form of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil possessed pursuant to a valid written certification issued by a practitioner of medicine or osteopathy licensed by the Board of Medicine for purposes of treating Crohn's disease or alleviating such patient's symptoms. The bill provides that a practitioner shall not be prosecuted for distribution of marijuana for the treatment of or for alleviating the symptoms of cancer.

 

HJ 578 Study; Jt Commission on Health Care; study of the long-term effects of marijuana use

Chief PatronDel Robert Marshall-R

House Patrons: Del David Albo-R, Del John Bell-D, Del Dickie Bell-R, Del Jennifer Boysko-D, Del Betsy Carr-R, Del Chris Collins-R, Del Nick Freitas-R, Del Charniele Herring-D, Del Kaye Kory-D, Del Steve Landes-R, Del Dave LaRock-R, Del Scott Lingamfelter-R

Directs the Joint Commission on Health Care to study the long-term effects of marijuana use on individuals and populations. In conducting its one-year study, the Joint Commission shall review scientific studies, including studies of individuals in states that have legalized or decriminalized the use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, and other sources to determine the long-term effects of marijuana use on individuals. 

 

SB 831 Marijuana; manufacture or possession, accommodation to another individual, penalty

Chief Patron: Sen Bill DeSteph, Jr. (R)

Provides that a person who proves that he manufactured marijuana or possessed marijuana with the intent to manufacture marijuana only as an accommodation to another individual who is not an inmate in a correctional facility, and without the intent to profit from such manufacture or possession with the intent to manufacture or to induce the recipient or intended recipient of the marijuana to use or become dependent upon marijuana, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Currently, manufacturing marijuana or possessing marijuana with the intent to manufacture marijuana is a felony punishable by imprisonment of five to 30 years regardless of the person's intent.

 

SB 841 Marijuana; possession or distribution for medical purposes, affirmative defense for treatment

Chief Patron: Sen Barbara Favola (D)

Senate Patrons: Sen Lynwood Lewis (D)

House Patrons: Del Kathleen Murphy (D)

Provides an affirmative defense to prosecution for possession of marijuana if a person has a valid written certification issued by a practitioner for cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for treatment of, or to alleviate the symptoms of, cancer, human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Tourette syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, or complex regional pain syndrome. Under current law, only the treatment of intractable epilepsy is covered by the affirmative defense.

 

SB 1027 Cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil; permitting of pharmaceutical processors to manufacture and provide

Chief Patron: Sen David Marsden (D)

Senate Patron: Sen Adam Ebbin (D), Sen Monty Mason (D)

House Patrons: Del Betsy Carr (D), Del James LeMunyon (R), Del Vivian Watts (D)

Authorizes a pharmaceutical processor, after obtaining a permit from the Board of Pharmacy (the Board) and under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, to manufacture and provide cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil to be used for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. The bill sets limits on the number of permits that the Board may issue and requires that the Board adopt regulations establishing health, safety, and security requirements for permitted processors. The bill provides that only a licensed practitioner of medicine or osteopathy who is a neurologist or who specializes in the treatment of epilepsy may issue a written certification to a patient for the use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil. The bill also requires that a practitioner who issues a written certification for cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil, the patient issued such certification, and, if the patient is a minor or incapacitated, the patient's parent or legal guardian register with the Board. The bill requires further that a pharmaceutical processor shall not provide cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil to a patient or a patient's parent or legal guardian without first verifying that the patient, the patient's parent or legal guardian if the patient is a minor or incapacitated, and the practitioner who issued the written certification have registered with the Board. Finally, the bill provides an affirmative defense for agents and employees of pharmaceutical processors in a prosecution for the manufacture, possession, or distribution of marijuana. This bill contains an emergency clause.

Signed by the Governor 3/16/17; Effective 3/16/17

 

SB 1298 Marijuana; possession or distribution for medical purposes, affirmative defense for treatment

Chief Patron: Sen Jill Vogel (R) 

Senate Patron: Sen Barbara Favola (D)

Provides an affirmative defense to prosecution for possession of marijuana if a person has a valid written certification issued by a practitioner for cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for treatment of, or to alleviate the symptoms of, cancer, glaucoma, human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's disease, nail patella, cachexia or wasting syndrome, multiple sclerosis, or complex regional pain syndrome. Under current law, only the treatment of intractable epilepsy is covered by the affirmative defense.

 

SB 1403 Board of Pharmacy to deschedule or reschedule cannabidiol upon publication of an interim final rule

Chief Patron: Sen Siobhan Dunnavant (R)

Directs the Board of Pharmacy to initiate action to deschedule or reschedule cannabidiol or any product containing cannabidiol that has been approved as a prescription medication by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 360bb and 21 U.S.C. § 355 within 90 days of publication in the Federal Register of an interim final rule.

Signed by the Governor 3/13/17; Effective 7/1/17

 

SB 1452 Possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes; affirmative defense for treatment

Chief Patron: Sen Louise Lucas (D)

Senate Patron: Sen Adam Ebbin (D)

Provides an affirmative defense to prosecution for possession of marijuana if a person has a valid written certification issued by a practitioner for cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for treatment of, or to alleviate the symptoms of, cancer. Under current law, only the treatment of intractable epilepsy is covered by the affirmative defense.