Marijuana-related legislation in the 2023 Virginia General Assembly Session

 

How to use this tracker:

   

This page will assist you in tracking, understanding, and taking action on cannabis-related bills moving through the 2023 Virginia General Assembly.

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

The date of last action on the bill follows the summary. We usually update this at night and try to include what the next anticipated action will be.

When a bill is docketed, the hearing information will follow the last action.

Questions? Contact Virginia NORML at [email protected] or join us Fridays at 4PM (session permitting) for Live with Virginia NORML, now streaming on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

   

What the motions on bills mean:

  

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  
3  DEFEATED  Bill was defeated by vote and will not pass this session  
1  INCORPORATED  Bill was incorporated into other similar and preferential bill  
0  LEFT IN COMMITTEE  Bill was not heard by the Committee or otherwise failed to advance  
0  SUCCEEDED  Bill passed both chambers by vote and has been sent to the Governor  
2  WITHDRAWN/STRICKEN  Bill patron withdrew the bill  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  

 

    


 

Adult-use

 

DEFEATED: HB 1464 Cannabis control; retail market; transitional sales; penalties.

Chief patron: Del Keith Hodges (R)

Cannabis control; retail market; transitional sales; penalties. Establishes a framework for the creation of a retail marijuana market in the Commonwealth, which would be administered by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. The bill allows the Authority to begin issuing marijuana licenses on July 1, 2024. The bill allows, beginning July 1, 2023, certain pharmaceutical and industrial hemp processors, pending establishment of the retail market, to cultivate, manufacture, and sell cannabis products to persons 21 years of age or older.

01/31/23  House: Committee on General Laws votes to lay the bill on the table

Virginia NORML notes: This is a skinny bill similar to those filed in 2022 permitting adults 21+ to shop at existing medical dispensaries without certification beginning July 1, 2023 and contains provisions for the licensure of new cannabis companies.

 

DEFEATED: HB 1750 Cannabis control; retail market; transitional sales; penalties.

Chief patron: Del Michael Webert (R)

Cannabis control; retail market; transitional sales; penalties. Establishes a framework for the creation of a retail marijuana market in the Commonwealth, which would be administered by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. The bill allows the Authority to begin issuing marijuana licenses on January 1, 2024, but provides that no marijuana sales may occur prior to January 1, 2025.

01/31/23  House: Committee on General Laws votes to lay the bill on the table

Virginia NORML notes: This bill is similar to the one filed by Del Webert in 2022 and seeks to license adult-use cannabis retailers beginning 1/1/24 with sales beginning no sooner than 1/1/25.

 

HB 1881 Virginia Cannabis Control Authority; limits powers of Boards of Directors.

Chief patron: Del Nick Freitas (R)

Virginia Cannabis Control Authority; Board of Directors; powers and duties; limitations. Imposes limits on the powers of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority by prohibiting the Board from granting, suspending, or revoking licenses for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, or testing of marijuana and marijuana products in a manner that allows for the creation of a monopoly or otherwise lessens competition in the marijuana industry in the Commonwealth. The bill also provides that all citizens of the Commonwealth shall have equal access to apply to the Board for any such license and prohibits the Board from setting the fee for such license in excess of $1,000.

01/31/23  House: Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (6-Y 2-N)

Virginia NORML notes: This bill was amended to refer only to industrial hemp.

 

SB 1133 Cannabis control; retail market; transitional sales; regulated hemp products; penalties.

Chief patron: Sen Adam Ebbin (D)

Cannabis control; retail market; transitional sales; regulated hemp products; penalties. Establishes a framework for the creation of a retail marijuana market in the Commonwealth, which would be administered by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. The bill allows the Authority to begin issuing marijuana licenses on July 1, 2024, and allows, beginning July 1, 2023, certain pharmaceutical processors, pending establishment of the retail market, to cultivate, manufacture, and sell cannabis products to persons 21 years of age or older. The bill transitions from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to the Authority the authority to regulate the testing, labeling, packaging, and advertising of regulated hemp products, as defined in the bill.

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill is similar to the one filed by Sen Ebbin in 2022 and seeks to license adult-use cannabis retailers beginning 7/1/24 with adult-use sales beginning at existing medical dispensaries beginning 7/1/23.

 

SB 1366 Virginia Cannabis Incubator Project.

Chief patrons: Sen Jennifer McClellan (D) Sen Barbara Favola (D)

Virginia Cannabis Incubator Project. Establishes a framework for the creation of the Virginia Cannabis Incubator Project in the Commonwealth. The bill creates a regulatory structure for such Incubator Project to be administered by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. The bill has a delayed effective date pending legalization of the manufacture, sale, and distribution of cannabis in the Commonwealth.

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill requires substantial technical amendments.


Advertising

 

HB 2428 Marijuana; advertising restrictions, penalties.

Chief patron: Del Tony Wilt (R)

Marijuana; advertising restrictions; penalties. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to advertise in or send any advertising matter into the Commonwealth regarding marijuana or marijuana products other than those that may be legally sold or to engage in advertising activities in violation of the provisions of the Cannabis Control Act or regulations of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. The bill provides that for violations of certain distance and zoning restrictions on outdoor advertising, as set forth in the bill, the Board must give the advertiser written notice to take corrective action and that, if such corrective action is not taken within 30 days, the advertiser is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The bill establishes numerous restrictions on marijuana advertisements, including provisions that prohibit advertisements from (i) targeting minors; (ii) being placed near schools, playgrounds, and certain other places; (iii) being displayed at a sporting event or on a billboard; (iv) being misleading, deceptive, or false; (v) referencing the intoxicating effects of marijuana; or (vi) promoting overconsumption or consumption by minors.

Virginia NORML notes: This bill comports with alcohol restrictions and permits reasonable advertising for medical cannabis. Virginia NORML supports this bill.

 

SB 1233 Marijuana; advertising restrictions; penalties.

Chief patron: Sen Mark Obenshain (R)

Marijuana; advertising restrictions; penalties. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to advertise in or send any advertising matter into the Commonwealth regarding marijuana or marijuana products other than those that may be legally sold or to engage in advertising activities in violation of the provisions of the Cannabis Control Act or regulations of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. The bill provides that for violations of certain distance and zoning restrictions on outdoor advertising, as set forth in the bill, the Board must give the advertiser written notice to take corrective action and that, if such corrective action is not taken within 30 days, the advertiser is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The bill establishes numerous restrictions on marijuana advertisements, including provisions that prohibit advertisements from (i) targeting minors; (ii) being placed near schools, playgrounds, and certain other places; (iii) being displayed at a sporting event or on a billboard; (iv) being misleading, deceptive, or false; (v) referencing the intoxicating effects of marijuana; or (vi) promoting overconsumption or consumption by minors.

01/18/23  Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (38-Y 0-N)

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill comports with alcohol restrictions and permits reasonable advertising for medical cannabis. Virginia NORML supports this bill.


Budget

 

HB 1400 Budget Bill

Chief patron: Del Barry Knight (R)

Item 397 Cannabis Regulation and Enforcement (30800) Out of the amounts appropriated in this item, $8,200,000 the first year and $11,200,000 the second year from the general fund is provided for the startup and general operations of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. Included in these amounts, $3,000,000 the second year from the general fund is provided for low-interest and zero-interest loans to assist applicants and licensees, to be distributed by the Authority consistent with existing law.

12/15/22  House: Referred to Committee on Appropriations

Virginia NORML notes:  The budget includes necessary funding for the Cannabis Control Authority.

 

SB 800 Budget Bill

Chief patron: Sen Janet Howell (D) Sen George Barker (D)

Item 397 Cannabis Regulation and Enforcement (30800) Out of the amounts appropriated in this item, $8,200,000 the first year and $11,200,000 the second year from the general fund is provided for the startup and general operations of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. Included in these amounts, $3,000,000 the second year from the general fund is provided for low-interest and zero-interest loans to assist applicants and licensees, to be distributed by the Authority consistent with existing law.

12/15/22  Senate: Referred to Committee on Finance and Appropriations

Virginia NORML notes:  The budget includes necessary funding for the Cannabis Control Authority.


Consumer Safety

 

HB 1973 Tetrahydrocannabinol; industrial hemp, regulated hemp products.

Chief patron: Del Jay Leftwich (R)

Tetrahydrocannabinol; industrial hemp; regulated hemp products. Establishes provisions for the registration of a retail facility for regulated hemp products, as defined in the bill, establishes product packaging, labeling, and testing requirements for such products, and creates a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for certain violations relating to such products. The bill requires any person who manufactures an industrial hemp extract, as defined in the bill, or food containing an industrial hemp extract to obtain a permit from the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services and creates a Class 1 misdemeanor and a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for certain violations. The bill clarifies that any substances containing a concentration of total tetrahydrocannabinol, as defined in the bill, of more than 0.3 percent, including a hemp product or industrial hemp extract, are included in the definition of marijuana and also clarifies that the definition of marijuana does not include any substance containing tetrahydrocannabinol that has been placed by the Board of Pharmacy into one of the schedules set forth in the Drug Control Act. The bill increases the civil penalty for certain actions relating to sales of cigarettes and hemp products from $50 to $500. The bill also removes tetrahydrocannabinol from the Schedule I list of controlled substances and permits the Board of Pharmacy to schedule, deschedule, or reschedule a tetrahydrocannabinol isomer, except delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or salts of such isomer in accordance with the provisions of the bill.

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill intends to enact consumer protection mechanisms for currently unregulated cannabinoid products, introduced by Del Leftwich on behalf of the Youngkin Administration. However, the bill fails adequately capture all intoxicating cannabinoids and maintains the existing loopholes permitting the sale of intoxicating products. Virginia NORML has recommended technical amendments.

 

HB 2294 Marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol; hemp products; civil penalty.

Chief patron: Del Terry Kilgore

Marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol; hemp products; civil penalty. Modifies the definition of "marijuana" in drug laws, the Cannabis Control Act, and the Drug Control Act to (i) include any substance containing (a) a total tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that exceeds 0.3 percent or (b) more than one milligram of tetrahydrocannabinol per 100 grams of total product weight and (ii) exclude certain hemp products. The bill defines "tetrahydrocannabinol" to include any naturally occurring or synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol, including its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, and removes references in the Code to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. The bill directs the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations that require hemp products not intended for human consumption, orally or by inhalation, to include a bittering agent that renders the products unpalatable. The bill creates a $5,000 civil penalty for persons that willfully commit a second or subsequent violation of certain provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act related to products containing tetrahydrocannabinol.

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill intends to enact consumer protection mechanisms for currently unregulated cannabinoid products. Virginia NORML has provided technical amendments.

 

SB 903 Tetrahydrocannabinol; industrial hemp, regulated hemp products.

Chief patron: Sen Emmett Hanger (R)

Tetrahydrocannabinol; industrial hemp; regulated hemp products. Establishes provisions for the registration of a retail facility for regulated hemp products, as defined in the bill, establishes product packaging, labeling, and testing requirements for such products, and creates a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for certain violations relating to such products. The bill requires any person who manufactures an industrial hemp extract, as defined in the bill, or food containing an industrial hemp extract to obtain a permit from the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services and creates a Class 1 misdemeanor and a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for certain violations. The bill clarifies that any substances containing a concentration of total tetrahydrocannabinol, as defined in the bill, of more than 0.3 percent, including a hemp product or industrial hemp extract, are included in the definition of marijuana and also clarifies that the definition of marijuana does not include any substance containing tetrahydrocannabinol that has been placed by the Board of Pharmacy into one of the schedules set forth in the Drug Control Act. The bill increases the civil penalty for certain actions relating to sales of cigarettes and hemp products from $50 to $500. The bill also removes tetrahydrocannabinol from the Schedule I list of controlled substances and permits the Board of Pharmacy to schedule, deschedule, or reschedule a tetrahydrocannabinol isomer, except delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or salts of such isomer in accordance with the provisions of the bill.

ACTION ALERT


02/02/23 Senate: Finance and Appropriations

4:30PM Shared Committee Room B, Pocahontas

WATCH VIDEO


Virginia NORML notes:  This bill intends to enact consumer protection mechanisms for currently unregulated cannabinoid products, introduced by Sen Hanger on behalf of the Youngkin Administration. Virginia NORML has provided technical amendments.

 

SB 1393 Hemp products; license and label requirements.

Chief patron: Sen Lynwood Lewis (D)

Hemp products; license and label requirements. Requires the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt certain regulations relating to industrial hemp and industrial hemp extracts intended for inhalation, as defined in the bill, that include labeling requirements, batch testing requirements, and tolerances for contaminants of such products. The bill requires any manufacturer of a hemp product, wholesale supplier that sells hemp products, or retail establishment that sells hemp products to register with the Board and pay an annual fee for a license to sell such products and also requires hemp products sold or offered for sale to have certain information included on the label. The bill updates the definition of industrial hemp to match the definition in federal law.

ACTION ALERT


02/02/23 Senate: Finance and Appropriations

4:30PM Shared Committee Room B, Pocahontas

WATCH VIDEO


Virginia NORML notes:  This bill attempts to regulate industrial hemp products intended for inhalation but fails to provide any meaningful measurements for the amount of allowable intoxicating cannabinoids.


Criminalization

 

INCORPORATED: HB 1445 Issuing citations; certain traffic offenses and odor of marijuana, exclusion of evidence.

Chief patron: Del Scott Wyatt (R)

Issuing citations; certain traffic offenses and odor of marijuana; exclusion of evidence. Removes provisions prohibiting a law-enforcement officer from stopping a motor vehicle for operating (i) with an expired registration sticker prior to the first day of the fourth month after the original expiration date; (ii) with defective and unsafe equipment; (iii) without tail lights, brake lights, or a supplemental high mount stop light; (iv) without lighted headlights displayed when so required; (v) with certain tinting films, signs, posters, stickers or decals; (vi) with objects or other equipment suspended so as to obstruct the driver's view; or (vii) with an expired inspection prior to the first day of the fourth month after the original expiration date, as well as the accompanying exclusionary provisions. The bill also authorizes a law-enforcement officer to lawfully stop, search, or seize a person, place, or thing or a search warrant to be issued based solely on the odor of marijuana if such odor creates a reasonable suspicion of a violation of the law prohibiting driving while intoxicated.

01/23/23  House: Incorporated by Courts of Justice (HB1380-Campbell, R.R.) by voice vote

Virginia NORML notes: HB1445 has been incorporated into HB1380 which does not authorize a law-enforcement officer to lawfully stop, search, or seize a person, place, or thing or a search warrant to be issued based solely on the odor of marijuana if such odor creates a reasonable suspicion of a violation of the law prohibiting driving while intoxicated. Thus, this bill is no longer an issue for Virginia NORML. HB1390 is not likely to advance in the Senate.

 

HB 1922 Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol; distribution; penalty.

Chief patron: Del John McGuire (R)

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol; distribution; penalty. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to sell, give, distribute, or possess with intent to sell, give, or distribute delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, except as authorized in the Drug Control Act. The bill directs the Department of Forensic Science to determine the proper methods for detecting delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol in substances.

02/01/23  House: Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations (4-Y 3-N)

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill would enact criminal penalties for the sale of delta-8 THC products, but does not extend such penalties to the myriad of other synthesized cannabinoid products available in the Commonwealth. NORML's preferred policy position for such products is regulation, not criminalization.

 

HB 2384 Marijuana; search and seizure; driving or operating a motor vehicle, etc., while intoxicated.

Chief patron: Del Les Adams

Marijuana; search and seizure; driving or operating a motor vehicle, etc., while intoxicated; marijuana presumption; saliva drug screening. Removes certain offenses, described in the bill, from the prohibition of searches without a search warrant for the odor of marijuana and establishes a presumption of intoxication if a person has a blood concentration equal to or greater than 0.003 milligrams of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per liter of blood. The bill establishes a process for preliminary analysis of a person's saliva to screen for the presence of drugs in the saliva, similar to the process utilized for a person's blood alcohol content.

ACTION ALERT


02/01/23 House: Read first time


Contact Del Les Adams directly and tell him you oppose this bill, that per se thresholds for THC impairment are not supported by science, and that multiple Supreme Courts across the country have overturned such laws.

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill would criminalize most anyone who consumes a cannabis product and drives, whether intoxicated or not. Proposed per se thresholds for THC are not evidence-based and may result in inadvertently criminalizing adults who previously consumed cannabis several days earlier but are no longer under the influence. Upon further review, this bill appears to establish a zero-tolerance standard. This legislation was introduced at the request of the Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys (VACA), which spoke in support of the bill on 1/23/23 in House Courts of Justice Subcommittee 1.

A 2019 report issued by the Congressional Research Service similarly concluded: “Research studies have been unable to consistently correlate levels of marijuana consumption, or THC in a person’s body, and levels of impairment. Thus, some researchers, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, have observed that using a measure of THC as evidence of a driver’s impairment is not supported by scientific evidence to date.”

Reports by both AAA and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reject the use of per se thresholds as predictors of cannabis-induced driver impairment. (AAA testified in opposition to this bill on 1/23/23 in House Courts of Justice Subcommittee 1).

The study, “The failings of per se limits to detect cannabis-induced driving impairment: Results from a simulated driving study,” appears in Traffic Injury Prevention (2021). Further information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet, Marijuana and Psychomotor Performance.

This bill would also repeal the prohibition on using marijuana odor as the sole reason to stop, search, or seize a person, place, or thing. 


Employment

 

DEFEATED: HB 1873 Employee protections; medicinal use of cannabis oil.

Chief patron: Del Dan Helmer (D)

Employee protections; medicinal use of cannabis oil. Amends the provision that prohibits an employer from 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, with certain exceptions, by specifying that such use must conform to the laws of the Commonwealth and by excluding the employees of the Commonwealth and other public bodies from such protections.

01/26/23 House: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (4-Y 3-N)

Virginia NORML notes: This bill has a drafting error. Virginia NORML has reviewed the substitute and supports the bill with amendments, which would specifically extend employment protections to state and municipal employees. 


Expungement

 

SB 1402 Criminal records; expungement and sealing of records.

Chief patron: Sen Scott Surovell (D)

Criminal records; expungement and sealing of records; repeal. Repeals the statute providing for the limitation on the dissemination of criminal history record information related to the possession of marijuana and the statute related to automatic sealing for mistaken identity or unauthorized use of identifying information. The bill also repeals the provisions related to the automatic and petition-based expungement of former marijuana offenses and instead provides for the sealing of such offenses. The bill also removes the provisions related to the automatic sealing of underage possession of alcohol offenses and instead provides for petition-based sealing of such offenses.

The bill creates an electronic, name-based criminal history record search to be used when an expungement or sealing petition is filed and requires the court to maintain a copy of a sealing order and send an electronic notification, rather than an order as current law requires, to the Department of State Police after an offense is sealed. The bill also allows courts and attorneys for the Commonwealth to access sealed records in instances where the court or parties failed to strictly comply with sealing procedures or an order for sealing was entered contrary to law and clarifies that a petition for sealing can only include offenses that arose out of the same transaction or occurrence. The bill makes additional changes to the processes for expungement and sealing, including updates to the process of forwarding a petitioner's criminal history record to the court and maintaining expungement pleadings under seal. The bill provides a petition process by which the person who was charged with an offense that was ordered to be expunged may request access to such expunged court or police record.

The repeal of the statute related to the limitation on the dissemination of criminal history record information related to the possession of marijuana and various other provisions of the bill have a delayed effective date of the earlier of (i) the date on which the processes to seal criminal history record information and court records pursuant to Chapters 524 and 542 of the Acts of Assembly of 2021, Special Session I, become effective or (ii) July 1, 2025. This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia State Crime Commission.

02/01/23  Senate: Reported from Judiciary with amendments (15-Y 0-N)

Virginia NORML notes:  This is a technical clean-up bill at the request of the Virginia Crime Commission. 


Medical

 

HB 1598 Medical cannabis program; transition from Board of Pharmacy to Virginia Cannabis Control Authority.

Chief patron: Del Roxanne Robinson (R)

Medical cannabis program; transition from Board of Pharmacy to Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. Transfers oversight and administration of the Commonwealth's medical cannabis program from the Board of Pharmacy to the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority.

ACTION ALERT


02/02/23  House: Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions

Committee votes unanimously to report 19-0

WATCH VIDEO


Virginia NORML notes:  This is a technical bill to enact moving the regulation of the medical cannabis program to the Cannabis Control Authority. It moves current medical cannabis Code § 54.1-3442.5 through 54.1-3442.8 to Title 4.1 in new a chapter numbered 16. An action alert in support is forthcoming.

 

HB 1846 Medical marijuana program; product, registration, dispensing, and recordkeeping requirements.

Chief patron: Del Chris Head (R)

Medical marijuana program; product, registration, dispensing, and recordkeeping requirements; advertising. Allows pharmacists who are employed by a pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility to issue written certificates for cannabis products if the pharmacist (i) is acting as the agent of a practitioner, (ii) is acting pursuant to policies established by a practitioner who has contracted with a pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility to serve as the medical director of such pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility, and (iii) has verified the patient's diagnosis with a practitioner with whom the patient has a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship. The bill amends and adds numerous provisions regarding the Commonwealth's medical marijuana program, including provisions related to recordkeeping, product registration, expiration dates, allowable deviations, dispensing, packing, labeling, and advertising. The bill requires pharmaceutical processors and cannabis dispensing facilities to collect and provide to the Board of Pharmacy by July 1, 2024, data regarding implementation of the bill. The bill also requires the Board of Pharmacy to make certain amendments to its regulations.

Virginia NORML notes:  This is the standard operational improvements bill filed annually for the medical cannabis program. An action alert in support is forthcoming.

 

HB 2368 Medical marijuana program; product requirements; certifications; reporting.

Chief patron: Del Dawn Adams (D)

Medical marijuana program; product requirements; certifications; reporting. Requires cannabis product and botanical cannabis labels to be complete, accurate, easily discernable, and uniform among different products and brands and that each label, which shall be included on the product and on the pharmaceutical processor's website, include (i) the product name, (ii) all active and inactive ingredients, (iii) the total percentage and milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol included in the product and the number of milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in each serving, (iv) the amount of product that constitutes a single serving and the amount recommended for use by the practitioner or dispensing pharmacist, (v) information regarding the product's purpose and detailed usage directions, and (vi) child and safety warnings in a conspicuous font. The bill also requires that no less than 50 percent of all cannabis products offered for sale by a pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility (a) contain cannabidiol as its primary cannabinoid and (b) have low levels of or no tetrahydrocannabinol. The bill provides that a patient's registered agent shall not be required to register with the Board of Pharmacy when such registered agent is listed on the patient's written certification pursuant to the patient's request and in the discretion of the practitioner based on medical need. The bill also requires that, in the case of cannabis products, the Prescription Monitoring Program include only the information specified in law, which is amended by the bill.

ACTION ALERT


02/02/23  House: Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions

Committee votes to report unanimously 19-0


WATCH VIDEO


Virginia NORML notes:  This bill would improve product labeling, increase product selection, and allow the certifying practitioner to add the patient's registered agent to the certificate.

 

WITHDRAWN: HB 2369 Medical marijuana program; dispensaries.

Chief patron: Del Dawn Adams (D)

Medical marijuana program; dispensaries. Removes the requirement that a cannabis dispensing facility be owned, at least in part, by a pharmaceutical processor and increases from five to 12 the number of cannabis dispensing facility permits the Board of Pharmacy may issue per year in each health service area.

02/02/23  House: HWI sub: Subcommittee #3

Delegate withdrew the bill

WATCH VIDEO

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill would increase from 5 to 12 the number of medical cannabis dispensing facilities (retail only) allowed in each Health Service Area.

 

SB 788 Medical cannabis program; transition from Board of Pharmacy to Virginia Cannabis Control Authority.

Chief patron: Sen Barbara Favola (D)

Medical cannabis program; transition from Board of Pharmacy to Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. Transfers oversight and administration of the Commonwealth's medical cannabis program from the Board of Pharmacy to the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority.

01/31/23  Senate: Passed Senate (31-Y 8-N)

Virginia NORML notes:  This is a technical bill to enact moving the regulation of the medical cannabis program to the Cannabis Control Authority. It moves current medical cannabis Code § 54.1-3442.5 through 54.1-3442.8 to Title 4.1 in new a chapter numbered 16. An action alert in support is forthcoming.

 

SB 1090 Board of Pharmacy; permit to operate pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility.

Chief patron: Sen Adam Ebbin (D)

Board of Pharmacy; permit to operate pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility. Increases the limit on the number of permits that the Board of Pharmacy (the Board) may issue or renew in any year from one to two pharmaceutical processors for each health service area established by the Board of Health. The bill also allows the Board to issue or renew permits in any year for up to five cannabis dispensing facilities per pharmaceutical processor for each health service area. Under current law, the Board may issue up to five cannabis dispensing facilities for each health service area. With the exception of pharmaceutical processors permitted prior to July 1, 2023, the bill prohibits a pharmaceutical processor from receiving more than one permit from the B oard.

ACTION ALERT


02/02/23  Senate: Committee on Education and Health

Committee voted to report 11-Y 1-N 3-A

WATCH VIDEO


Virginia NORML notes:  This bill would permit the licensing of one additional vertically integrated pharmaceutical processor per Health Service Area.

 

SB 1337 Medical marijuana program; product, registration, dispensing, and recordkeeping requirements.

Chief patron: Sen Siobhan Dunnavant (R)

Medical marijuana program; product, registration, dispensing, and recordkeeping requirements; advertising. Allows pharmacists who are employed by a pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility to issue written certificates for cannabis products if the pharmacist (i) is acting as the agent of a practitioner, (ii) is acting pursuant to policies established by a practitioner who has contracted with a pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility to serve as the medical director of such pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility, and (iii) has verified the patient's diagnosis with a practitioner with whom the patient has a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship. The bill amends and adds numerous provisions regarding the Commonwealth's medical marijuana program, including provisions related torecordkeeping, product registration, expiration dates, allowable deviations, dispensing, packing, labeling, and advertising. The bill requires pharmaceutical processors and cannabis dispensing facilities to collect and provide to the Board of Pharmacy by July 1, 2024, data regarding implementation of the bill. The bill also requires the Board of Pharmacy to make certain amendments to its regulations.

ACTION ALERT


02/02/23  Senate: Committee on Education and Health

Committee voted to report 10-Y 2-N 3-A

WATCH VIDEO


Virginia NORML notes:  This is the standard operational improvements bill filed annually for the medical cannabis program. An action alert in support is forthcoming.

 

SB 1533 Medical marijuana program; additional cultivation facility.

Chief patron: Sen Creigh Deeds (D)

Medical marijuana program; additional cultivation facility. Allows each pharmaceutical processor that has obtained a permit to operate a pharmaceutical processing facility from the Board of Pharmacy to establish one additional location for the cultivation of cannabis plants, which must be located within the same health service area as the pharmaceutical processing facility.

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill would permit the each existing medical cannabis licensee to establish one additional cultivation facility in their HSA.


Parental Rights

 

STRICKEN: HJ 526 Study; Department of Social Services; marijuana possession or use as justification for removal.

Chief patron: Del Jeff Bourne (D)

Child abuse and neglect; custody and visitation; possession or use of marijuana. Provides that a child shall not be considered an abused or neglected child, and no person shall be denied custody or visitation of a child, based solely on the fact that the child's parent or other person responsible for his care, or the person petitioning for custody or visitation of the child, possessed or consumed marijuana in accordance with applicable law. The bill directs the Board of Social Services to amend its regulations, guidance documents, and other instructional materials to ensure that such regulations, documents, and materials comply with, and that investigations and family assessments are conducted by local departments of social services in accordance with, the provisions of the bill.

01/16/23  House: Stricken from House calendar

Virginia NORML notes:  The patron withdrew the bill and it was stricken from the calendar. 

 

SB 1214 Child abuse and neglect; custody and visitation; possession or use of marijuana.

Chief patron: Sen Louise Lucas (D)

Child abuse and neglect; custody and visitation; possession or use of marijuana. Provides that a child shall not be considered an abused or neglected child, and no person shall be denied custody or visitation of a child, based solely on the fact that the child's parent or other person responsible for his care, or the person petitioning for custody or visitation of the child, possessed or consumed marijuana in accordance with applicable law. The bill directs the Board of Social Services to amend its regulations, guidance documents, and other instructional materials to ensure that such regulations, documents, and materials comply with, and that investigations and family assessments are conducted by local departments of social services in accordance with, the provisions of the bill.

Virginia NORML notes:  Virginia NORML has requested amendments to this bill to include medical cannabis. 


Sentencing

 

SB 1523 Marijuana related offenses; modification of sentence.

Chief patron: Sen Louise Lucas (D)

Modification of sentence for marijuana related offenses. Creates a process by which persons convicted of certain felony marijuana-related offenses committed prior to July 1, 2022, who remain incarcerated or on community supervision on July 1, 2023, may receive an automatic hearing to consider modification of such person's sentence. The bill also allows persons convicted of any felony offense committed prior to July 1, 2022, who remain incarcerated or on community supervision on July 1, 2023, and whose sentence may have been enhanced because of a previous felony marijuana offense or without the involvement of marijuana such felony offense conviction or felony sentence enhancement would not have been possible, as the involvement of marijuana was necessary to satisfy the elements of the charged offense or the sentence enhancement, to petition the circuit court for modification of such person's sentence. The bill requires such petition to be filed by July 1, 2025. The provisions of this bill sunset on July 1, 2026.

01/20/23  Senate: Referred to Committee on the Judiciary

 

 

Virginia NORML notes:  Virginia NORML has provided amendment language to include the Code sections for medical cannabis.


Taxation

 

HB 1547 Cannabis; deconforms from federal law. licensees.

Chief patron: Del Jeffrey Campbell (R)

Conformity with the Internal Revenue Code; cannabis licensees. Deconforms from federal law, as it applies to Virginia medical and recreational cannabis licensees, the prohibition on a deduction for any amount paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business if such trade or business consists of trafficking in a controlled substance prohibited by federal law.

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill would allow medical and future adult-use cannabis businesses licensed in Virginia to utilize tax deductions for ordinary and necessary expenditures. As this would reduce overall costs, thus providing potential to reduce costs for consumers.

 

HB 1563 Sales and use tax; agricultural exemptions.

Chief patron: Del Buddy Fowler (R)

Sales and use tax; agricultural exemptions. Provides a sales and use tax exemption for property used to produce agricultural products for market in an indoor, closed, controlled-environment commercial agricultural facility. The property exempted includes (i) internal structural components required to create the necessary growing environment for plants, including watering systems, towers for growing plants, and lighting and air systems, and (ii) transparent elements of external structural components of such facilities, including windows, walls, and roofs, that allow sunlight in for the commercial production of agricultural products. The exemption shall not apply to property used in producing cannabis.

01/26/23  Senate: Referred to Committee on Finance and Appropriations

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill would provide tax exemptions for properties producing agricultural products while specifically excluding properties producing cannabis from such exemptions.

 

SB 1095 Cannabis; deconforms from federal law. licensees.

Chief patron: Sen Adam Ebbin (D)

Conformity with the Internal Revenue Code; cannabis licensees. Deconforms from federal law, as it applies to Virginia medical and recreational cannabis licensees, for the prohibition on a deduction for any amount paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business if such trade or business consists of trafficking in a controlled substance prohibited by federal law.

01/27/23  Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)

Virginia NORML notes:  This bill would allow medical and future adult-use cannabis businesses licensed in Virginia to utilize tax deductions for ordinary and necessary expenditures. As this would reduce overall costs, thus providing potential to reduce costs for consumers. This bill requires technical amendments.