Marijuana-related legislation in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly Session

Click the bill title for the complete text and additional information.

Questions? Contact Virginia NORML at [email protected] or 804-464-7050 M-F 9-6.
  

   

Motions on bills

  

Lay the bill on the table  Suspends debate of the bill. It can be recalled from the table later, but this rarely happens.
Pass the bill by indefinitely  Ends debate of the bill. The bill has been killed and is dead for the session.
Report the bill  Sends the bill to the House or Senate for a floor vote.
Refer or Rerefer  Sends the bill to a Committee or Subcommittee.

 

Final Outcomes for Bills

  

0  CONTINUED  Bill will be taken up in the same Committee in the following year, but is done for this session  
0  DEFEATED  Bill was defeated by vote and will not pass this session  
4  INCORPORATED  Bill was incorporated into other similar and preferential bill  
1  LEFT IN COMMITTEE  Bill was not heard by the Committee  
8  SUCCEEDED  Bill passed both chambers by vote and has been sent to the Governor  
0  WITHDRAWN  Bill patron withdrew the bill  
0 IN CONFERENCE  Bill is in a committee of Senate and House members to reconcile a final version for approval  

 


 

Expungement

 

SUCCEEDED: HB 2113 Criminal records; establishes a process for automatic expungement, etc., report.

Chief patron: Del Charniele Herring D-46

Automatic expungement of criminal records; penalties. Establishes a process for the automatic expungement, defined in the bill, of criminal records for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have been nolle prossed or otherwise dismissed. The bill also provides a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for charges arising from mistaken identity or the unauthorized use of identifying information. The bill has staggered delayed effective dates in order to develop systems for implementing the provisions of the bill. As introduced, this bill was a recommendation of the Virginia State Crime Commission.

02/25/21  House: VOTE: Adoption (59-Y 39-N)

Take action: Send a message to Governor Northam in support

Next step: Governor approves, amends, or vetoes

 

INCORPORATED: SB 1283 Automatic expungement of criminal records.

Chief patron: Sen Joe Morrissey D-16

Automatic expungement of criminal records. Establishes a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for misdemeanors, certain felony convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have been nolle prossed or otherwise dismissed. The bill also provides a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for charges arising from mistaken identity or the unauthorized use of identifying information. The bill has staggered delayed effective dates in order to develop systems for implementing the provisions of the bill.

02/01/21 Senate: Incorporated by Judiciary (13-Y 0-N) (SB1339-Surovell)

 

INCORPORATED: SB 1372 Criminal records; establishes a process for automatic expungement for certain convictions, report.

Chief patron: Sen Lousie Lucas D-18

Automatic expungement of criminal records. Establishes a process for the automatic expungement, defined in the bill, of criminal records for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have been nolle prossed or otherwise dismissed. The bill also provides a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for charges arising from mistaken identity or the unauthorized use of identifying information. The bill has staggered delayed effective dates in order to develop systems for implementing the provisions of the bill.

02/01/21 Senate: Incorporated by Judiciary (14-Y 0-N) (SB1339-Surovell)

  

SUCCEEDED: SB 1339 Police and court records; expungement and sealing of records, Expungement Fee Fund created.

Chief patron: Sen Scott Surovell D-36

Expungement and sealing of police and court records; Expungement Fee Fund created; protection of public record information; penalties. Establishes a process for the sealing of police and court records, defined in the bill, of criminal records for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, and acquittals and for offenses that have been nolle prossed or otherwise dismissed. The bill also allows a person to petition for the expungement of the police and court records relating to convictions of marijuana possession, underage alcohol or tobacco possession, and using a false ID to obtain alcohol and for deferred disposition dismissals for possession of controlled substances or marijuana, underage alcohol or tobacco possession, and using a false ID to obtain alcohol.

The bill creates the Expungement Fee Fund, which is funded by all collected expungement fees. The bill provides that expungement fees shall not be refundable, but persons who are indigent or represented by court-appointed counsel shall not be required to pay such fees. The Fund is administered by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court and used to fund the costs of court-appointed counsel.

The bill requires a business screening service, which is a business that conducts criminal history records searches, must register with the Department of State Police to receive expungement orders and must follow reasonable procedures to ensure it maintains accurate information. The bill directs the Attorney General to enforce these requirements, authorizing it to file suit for damages and a civil penalty of up to $2,500.

With the exception of the provisions regarding the Expungement Fee Fund, and the funding provisions of such fund, the bill has delayed effective date of July 1, 2022. The bill directs the Department of Criminal Justice Services to adopt emergency regulations to implement the provisions of the bill. The provisions of the bill are contingent on funding in a general appropriation act. This bill incorporates SB 1283 and SB 1372.

02/25/21  Senate: House substitute agreed to by Senate (25-Y 14-N)

Take action: Send a message to Governor Northam in support

Next step: Governor approves, amends, or vetoes

 


 

Legalization

  

INCORPORATED: HB 1815 Marijuana; legalization of cultivation, manufacture, sale, possession, and testing, penalties.

Chief patron: Del Steve Heretick D-79

Marijuana; legalization of cultivation, manufacture, sale, possession, and testing; penalties. Establishes a regulatory scheme for the regulation of marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, and retail marijuana stores by the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The bill also grants localities the authority to enact ordinances establishing additional licensing requirements for marijuana establishments located within such locality and allows the home cultivation of marijuana for personal use under certain circumstances. The bill imposes a tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products sold by a retail marijuana store at a rate of 9.7 percent (for a total sales tax of 15 percent) and provides that 67 percent of the revenues collected from the tax be deposited into the general fund and 33 percent of the revenues be deposited into a "Retail Marijuana Education Support Fund" to be used solely for purposes of public education. Finally, the bill establishes several new criminal penalties related to marijuana, as well as modifies some existing criminal penalties.

01/26/21  House: Subcommittee recommends incorporating (HB2312-Herring) by voice vote

 

SUCCEEDED: HB 2312 Marijuana; legalization of simple possession; penalties.

Chief patron: Del Charniele Herring D-46

Marijuana; legalization; retail sales; penalties. Eliminates criminal penalties for simple possession of marijuana, modifies several other criminal penalties related to marijuana, and provides for an automatic expungement process for those convicted of certain marijuana-related crimes to have such crimes automatically expunged by July 1, 2026. The bill creates the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (the Authority) and establishes a regulatory structure for the cultivation, manufacture, wholesale, and retail sale of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products, to be administered by the Authority. The bill contains social equity provisions that, among other things, provide support and resources to persons and communities that have been historically and disproportionately affected by drug enforcement. The bill has staggered effective dates and allows retail marijuana sales to begin on January 1, 2024. This bill incorporates HB 1815. See H. B. 2312 General Laws Substitute PDF text.

02/27/21  Senate: Conference report agreed to by Senate (20-Y 19-N)

Take action: Send a message to Governor Northam in support

Next step: Governor approves, amends, or vetoes

 

LEFT IN COMMITTEE: HB 2315 Local referendum on the legalization of marijuana.

Chief patron: Del Danny Marshall R-14

Local referendum on the legalization of marijuana. Provides that the qualified voters of a locality or supervisor's election district of a county may file a petition with the circuit court of the county or city asking that a referendum be held on the question of whether the legalization of marijuana should be prohibited within that jurisdiction. The petition shall be signed by qualified voters equal in number to at least 10 percent of the number registered in the locality or supervisor's election district on January 1 preceding its filing or at least 100 qualified voters, whichever is greater. The question on the ballot shall be:

"Shall the legalization of marijuana be prohibited in __________ (name of locality or supervisor's election district of county)?"

The referendum shall be ordered and held and the results certified, and thereupon the court shall enter of record an order certified by the clerk of the court to be transmitted to the governing body of the locality. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the legalization of marijuana shall be prohibited within the locality or supervisor's election district of a county on or after 30 days following the entry of the order if a majority of the voters voting in the referendum have voted "Yes." The bill shall become effective on July 1, 2023.

The bill also directs the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to evaluate the potential retail sale of marijuana products in localities that have not prohibited the legalization of marijuana. DHCD specifically shall study the details of who should be allowed to establish such retail operations, the procedure to be followed by localities, and where the retail establishments shall be permitted. The study shall be conducted between July 1, 2022, and November 30, 2022, with the goal of making recommendations and proposing legislation to the 2023 Session of the General Assembly.

02/05/21  House: Left in Courts of Justice

 

INCORPORATED: SB 1243 Marijuana; legalization of cultivation, manufacture, sale, possession, and testing; penalties.

Chief patron: Sen Joe Morrissey D-16

Marijuana; legalization of cultivation, manufacture, sale, possession, and testing; penalties. Establishes a regulatory scheme for the regulation of marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, and retail marijuana stores by the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The bill also grants localities the authority to enact ordinances establishing additional licensing requirements for marijuana establishments located within such locality and allows the home cultivation of marijuana for personal use under certain circumstances. The bill imposes a tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products sold by a retail marijuana store at a rate of 9.7 percent (for a total sales tax of 15 percent) and provides that 67 percent of the revenues collected from the tax be deposited into the general fund and 33 percent of the revenues be deposited into a "Retail Marijuana Education Support Fund" to be used solely for purposes of public education. The bill establishes several new criminal penalties related to marijuana as well as modifies some existing criminal penalties. The bill requires the automatic expungement of records relating to the arrest, charge, conviction, adjudication or civil offense of a person for a misdemeanor violation of distribution or possession with intent to distribute marijuana and for a violation of possession of marijuana by July 1, 2022, or if, on July 1, 2022, the person who is the subject of the arrest, charge, conviction, adjudication, or civil offense has not completed all terms of sentencing and probation, including satisfaction of all court costs and fines and all orders of restitution, by three months after the date of completion of all terms of sentencing and probation. Finally, the bill permits any person who is convicted or adjudicated delinquent of a felony violation of distribution or possession with intent to distribute marijuana or charged with such violation which charge is deferred and dismissed, to petition for expungement of such charge, conviction, or adjudication under certain circumstances.

01/22/21  Senate: Incorporated by Rehabilitation and Social Services (SB1406-Ebbin) (9-Y 3-N)

 

SUCCEEDED: SB 1406 Marijuana; legalization of simple possession; penalties.

Chief patrons: Sen Adam Ebbin D-30 and Sen Louise Lucas D-18

Marijuana; legalization; retail sales; penalties. Eliminates criminal penalties for simple possession of marijuana, modifies several other criminal penalties related to marijuana, and provides for an automatic expungement process for those convicted of certain marijuana-related crimes. The bill creates the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (the Authority) and establishes a regulatory structure for the cultivation, manufacture, wholesale, and retail sale of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products, to be administered by the Authority. The bill contains social equity provisions that, among other things, provide support and resources to persons and communities that have been historically and disproportionately affected by drug enforcement. The bill has staggered effective dates and allows retail marijuana sales to begin on January 1, 2024. Certain provisions of the bill do not become effective unless reenacted by the 2022 Session of the General Assembly. This bill incorporates SB 1243. See S. B. 1406 Rehabilitation Substitute PDF text.

02/27/21  Senate: Conference report agreed to by Senate (20-Y 19-N)

Take action: Send a message to

Next step: Governor approves, amends, or vetoes

 


 

Medical

  

SUCCEEDED: HB 1862 Employee protections; medicinal use of cannabis oil.

Chief patron: Del Dan Helmer D-40

Employee protections; medicinal use of cannabis oil. Prohibits an employer from discharging, disciplining, or discriminating against an employee for such employee's lawful use of cannabis oil pursuant to a valid written certification issued by a practitioner for the treatment or to eliminate the symptoms of the employee's diagnosed condition or disease. The bill provides that such prohibition does not (i) restrict an employer's ability to take any adverse employment action for any work impairment caused by the use of cannabis oil or to prohibit possession during work hours or (ii) require an employer to commit any act that would cause the employer to be in violation of federal law or that would result in the loss of a federal contract or federal funding.

02/25/21  House: Senate amendments agreed to by House (79-Y 18-N)

Take action: Send a message to Governor Northam in support

Next hearing: Governor approves, amends, or vetoes

 

SUCCEEDED: HB 1988 Cannabis oil; processing and dispensing by pharmaceutical processors.

Chief patron: Del Dawn Adams D-68

Board of Pharmacy; pharmaceutical processors; processing and dispensing cannabis oil; report. Effects numerous changes to the processing and dispensing of cannabis oil by pharmaceutical processors in the Commonwealth. The bill allows written certifications for use of cannabis oil to include an electronic practitioner signature. The bill also eliminates the requirement that a pharmacist have oversight of the cultivation and processing areas of a pharmaceutical processor, instead requiring pharmaceutical processors to designate a person to oversee cultivation and production areas; removes the requirement that a cannabis dispensing facility undergo quarterly inspections, instead requiring that inspections occur no more than once annually; and allows pharmaceutical processors to remediate cannabis oil that fails any quality testing standard. The bill requires pharmaceutical processors to maintain evidence of criminal background checks for all employees and delivery agents of the pharmaceutical processor. The bill directs the Board of Pharmacy to promulgate regulations implementing the provisions of the bill and regulations creating reasonable restrictions on advertising and promotion by pharmaceutical processors by July 1, 2021, and directs the Board of Pharmacy to solicit input from stakeholders and appropriate agencies of the Commonwealth in order to develop recommendations for legislative action to permit the acceptance of cannabis products by hospices and hospice facilities in the Commonwealth and report its findings and recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions and the Senate Committee on Education and Health by October 1, 2021.

2/23/21  House: VOTE: Adoption (94-Y 0-N 1-A)

Take action: Send a message to Governor Northam in support

Next step: Governor approves, amends, or vetoes

 

SUCCEEDED: HB 2218 Pharmaceutical processors; permits processors to produce & distribute cannabis products.

Chief patron: Del Cliff Hayes D-77

Pharmaceutical processors; cannabis products. Permits pharmaceutical processors to produce and distribute cannabis products other than cannabis oil. The bill defines the terms "botanical cannabis," "cannabis product," and "usable cannabis." The bill requires the Board of Pharmacy to establish testing standards for botanical cannabis and botanical cannabis products, establish a registration process for botanical cannabis products, and promulgate emergency regulations to implement the provisions of the bill. The bill allows the Board of Pharmacy to assess and collect a one-time botanical cannabis regulatory fee from each pharmaceutical processor, not to exceed $75,000, to cover costs associated with the implementation of the provisions of the bill, including costs for new personnel, training, promulgation of regulations and guidance documents, and information technology.

02/22/21  House: VOTE: Adoption (90-Y 7-N 2-A)

Take action: Send a message to Governor Northam in support

Next step: Governor approves, amends, or vetoes

 

SUCCEEDED: SB 1333 Pharmaceutical processors; permits processors to produce & distribute cannabis products.

Chief patron: Sen Louise Lucas D-18

Pharmaceutical processors; cannabis products. Permits pharmaceutical processors to produce and distribute cannabis products other than cannabis oil. The bill defines the terms "botanical cannabis," "cannabis product," and "usable cannabis." The bill requires the Board of Pharmacy to establish testing standards for botanical cannabis and botanical cannabis products, establish a registration process for botanical cannabis products, and promulgate emergency regulations to implement the provisions of the bill. The bill allows the Board of Pharmacy to assess and collect botanical cannabis regulatory fees to cover costs associated with the implementation of the provisions of the bill, including costs for new personnel, training, promulgation of regulations and guidance documents, and information technology.

02/23/21 Senate: House substitute agreed to by Senate (34-Y 5-N)

Take action: Send a message to Governor Northam in support

Next step: Governor approves, amends, or vetoes