Richmond, VA: Following today’s legislative approval of Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s amendments to Senate Bill 1406 and House Bill 2312, Virginia becomes the first southern state to legalize the possession and use of marijuana by adults.
Senate Bill 1406, introduced by Senator Adam Ebbin (D-30) and Senate President Pro Tempore Senator Louise Lucas (D-18), and House Bill 2312, patroned by House Majority Leader Delegate Charniele Herring (D-46), establish a statutory timeline for the legalization of the commercial marijuana market in Virginia. The measure also permits for the personal possession and cultivation of cannabis by those ages 21 or older.Read more
Governor Ralph Northam announced amendments today to legislation (Senate Bill 1406 | House Bill 2312) establishing a statutory timeline for the legalization of marijuana possession, use, cultivation, and retail sales. Governor Northam recommended that provisions in the legislation legalizing the personal possession and personal cultivation of cannabis by adults take effect on July 1, 2021 rather than on January 1, 2024 -- the enactment date initially approved by lawmakers.
Should the legislature vote to approve the amendment, those ages 21 and older would be permitted to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to cultivate up to four cannabis plants per household without penalty later this year. The legislature is set to reconvene on April 7 to accept or reject the proposed amendments.Read more
Governor Ralph Northam has signed House Bill 1862 into law, which provides employment protections for state-registered medical cannabis patients.
The new law prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or otherwise discriminating against employees for their lawful use of medical cannabis while away from the job. The measure does not restrict an employer’s ability to impose sanctions upon employees if they are under the influence of cannabis while at work, nor does it limit an employers ability to restrict employees from possessing cannabis while at work. The new law takes effect July 1, 2021.Read more
Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation, House Bill 2218 and Senate Bill 1333 amending the state’s medical cannabis access law to allow for the production and dispensing of botanical cannabis products. The measure takes effect July 1, 2021 and products are anticipated to be available as early as September.
Under the state’s existing medical marijuana law, licensed cultivators were required to process cannabis into non-herbal formulations, such as oils and tinctures. The new measure expands the pool of legal products to include those composed either of “cannabis oil or botanical cannabis.”Read more
Members of the Virginia Senate and the House of Delegates approved legislation today, Senate Bill 1406 and House Bill 2312, to legalize cannabis possession, personal cultivation, and retail sales for adults 21 and older. The bills now head to the governor for his approval, amendment, or veto.
Commenting on the passage of the bills, NORML Development Director Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the Executive Director of Virginia NORML, said, “The advancement of this legislation is another historic step for cannabis justice in Virginia. Stakeholders, the administration, and the legislature have dedicated hundreds of hours to craft legislation that is just and equitable, and that will replace the failed policy of cannabis prohibition with one that promotes Virginia’s economy as well as Virginians’ public health and safety.”
Pedini added: “This effort remains a work in progress and our efforts in Virginia are far from over. NORML is dedicated to continuing our work with lawmakers and regulators to advance legislative reforms that are most closely aligned with the views of the majority of Virginians who desire a safe, legal cannabis market. In particular, we hope to expedite the timeline with which Virginia adults will no longer face either criminal or civil penalties for the personal possession and cultivation of cannabis.”
Virginia House of Delegates and Senate lawmakers have passed House Bill 2218 and Senate Bill 1333 amending the state’s medical cannabis program to allow for the production and dispensing of botanical cannabis. The bills await action from Governor Ralph Northam, who is expected to sign the measure into law.
Under the Commonwealth's existing medical cannabis law, licensed cultivators are required to process cannabis into extraction-based formulations, such as oils and tinctures. The new measure expands the pool of legal products to include those composed either of "cannabis oil or botanical cannabis."Read more
Members of the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate, for the first time ever, separately approved a pair of adult-use marijuana legalization measures today.
Senate Bill 1406 and House Bill 2312 legalize the responsible use and personal cultivation of cannabis by adults ages 21 and older, provide for the automatic expungement process of certain marijuana-related offenses, and establish a regulatory framework for commercial cannabis production, manufacturing, testing, and retail sales. The bills also earmark a portion of revenue to pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk youth as well as for public health programs.Read more
Marijuana-related legislation has been front and center during Virginia’s short 2021 General Assembly, which began January 13. With the crossover deadline (when bills must be transmitted to the opposing chamber) fast approaching this Friday, multiple pieces of legislation addressing adult-use legalization, the expungement of past records, medical cannabis access expansion, and employment protections are advancing quickly. Below is a summary of where these various legislative efforts currently stand.Read more
We are thrilled to provide a direct line to the policymakers, researchers, and advocates who are championing cannabis policy reform in the Commonwealth, especially in light of the opportunities the 2021 Virginia General Assembly session presents for proposed legislation.Read more
Virginia House and Senate lawmakers have concurred with Governor Ralph Northam’s proposed amendments to legislation filed during a special legislative session, Senate Bill 5029 and House Bill 5058, that severely limits the ability of police to engage in warrantless searches solely on the basis of the smell of marijuana. The new law will be effective March 1, 2021.Read more