Virginia Marijuana Legalization FAQs

What is legal?

Possession for personal use by adults 21+ at their residence
 Public possession by adults 21+ of up to one ounce
Personal cultivation of up to 4 plants per household by adults 21+ at their primary residence
Adult-sharing of up to one ounce in private without remuneration
Purchases by medical cannabis patients at Virginia medical dispensaries

What is NOT legal?

X Possession with intent to distribute
X Public consumption
X Public possession over 1 ounce  
X Possession or consumption by anyone under 21
X Possession on school grounds or school bus
X Consumption in a motor vehicle while being driven (passenger or driver)
X Open container in a vehicle
X Sharing or offering in public
X Selling or purchasing cannabis outside of the medical program
X Selling or purchasing cannabis seeds or cannabis products
X Gifting schemes (gift with purchase, public giveaway events, paid entry consumption events)

Personal cultivation guidelines

  • Four plants per household
  • Cultivation is only permitted at the individual's primary residence
  • Tag each plant with owner’s name, driver’s license/state ID number, and for personal use
  • Plants must not be visible from a public way without the use of aircraft, binoculars, or other optical aids
  • Prevent access by those under 21
  • Cultivation is permitted indoors or outdoors, but may be restricted in rental housing 


Transportation guidelines

  • Never drive while impaired
  • No driver or passenger may consume or possess an open container of cannabis while a vehicle is being operated
  • Transport cannabis in a completely sealed (preferably locked) container in the trunk of any passenger vehicle, or in the area behind the last upright seat of a passenger van, station wagon, hatchback, sport utility vehicle or any similar vehicle out of reach of the driver


Adult-sharing guidelines

  • Adults 21+ may share up to one ounce of cannabis in private, much like they could share a bottle of wine
  • Cannabis may not be offered to or shared with anyone in public
  • There may not be any exchange of goods or services (no gifting schemes)


How much marijuana can I possess at home in Virginia?

Possession in their residence of cannabis for personal use by adults 21+ is not subject to penalty. Possession with intent to distribute in any amount in any location is illegal.

How much marijuana can I possess in public in Virginia?

Up to one ounce of cannabis may be possessed in public by adults 21+. Until the Cannabis Control Authority promulgates equivalent possession amounts for edibles and concentrates, all cannabis products are defined as marijuana.

This does not, however, apply to medical cannabis products dispensed by Virginia medical dispensaries, as such products are defined as botanical cannabis, cannabis oil, or cannabis product.

My plants will produce more than one ounce. Is that legal?

Possession in their residence of cannabis for personal use by adults 21+ is not subject to penalty. Possession with intent to distribute in any amount in any location is illegal.

How much concentrate/edible can I possess?

Until the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority is able to enact such regulations, there will be no equivalent possession limits specified. Virginia Code defines the limit for legal possession on their person or in public by adults 21+ as one ounce of marijuana until such regulations can be enacted. Public possession of over 4 ounces and up to one pound is a misdemeanor. Personal possession at home by adults 21+ is not subject to penalty. Possession with intent to distribute in any amount is illegal.

Where can I buy cannabis in Virginia?

Legal retail sales are only permitted by licensed dispensaries to medical patients. Find a practitioner and get certified for the medical cannabis program.

Can I order cannabis from a legal state?

No. It is not legal to import or transport cannabis across state lines.

Can I buy seeds in Virginia?

No. Retail sales are not yet legal in Virginia. The definition of “marijuana” includes seeds today and will on July 1 as well.

§ 4.1-600. Definitions.

"Marijuana" means any part of a plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, its seeds or resin; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds, its resin, or any extract containing one or more cannabinoids. "Marijuana" does not include (i) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalk, or oil or cake made from the seed of such plant, unless such stalks, fiber, oil, or cake is combined with other parts of plants of the genus Cannabis; (ii) industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is possessed by a person registered pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 or his agent; (iii) industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is possessed by a person who holds a hemp producer license issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to 7 C.F.R. Part 990; (iv) a hemp product, as defined in § 3.2-4112; (v) an industrial hemp extract, as defined in § 3.2-5145.1; or (vi) any substance containing a tetrahydrocannabinol isomer, ester, ether, salt, or salts of such isomer, ester, or ether that has been placed by the Board of Pharmacy into one of the schedules set forth in the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) pursuant to § 54.1-3443.

Can I order seeds online?

It is not legal to do so, even if the site claims it to be for novelty purposes.

Can my business give away or sell seeds or clones?

No, "Adult sharing" does not include instances in which (i) marijuana is given away contemporaneously with another reciprocal transaction between the same parties; (ii) a gift of marijuana is offered or advertised in conjunction with an offer for the sale of goods or services; or (iii) a gift of marijuana is contingent upon a separate reciprocal transaction for goods or services.

Is it legal to give away seeds, plants, or cannabis in public?

No, offering cannabis in public is illegal.

§ 4.1-1108. Consuming marijuana or marijuana products, or offering to another, in public place; penalty.

A. No person shall consume marijuana or a marijuana product or offer marijuana or a marijuana product to another, whether accepted or not, at or in any public place.

B. Any person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25 for a first offense. A person who is convicted under this section of a second offense is subject to a $25 civil penalty and shall be ordered to enter a substance abuse treatment or education program or both, if available, that in the opinion of the court best suits the needs of the accused. A person convicted under this section of a third or subsequent offense is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Can I open a consumption venue for cannabis?

No. "Public place" means any place, building, or conveyance to which the public has, or is permitted to have, access, including restaurants, soda fountains, hotel dining areas, lobbies and corridors of hotels, and any park, place of public resort or amusement, highway, street, lane, or sidewalk adjoining any highway, street, or lane.

Can I be fired for testing positive?

Yes. Limited employment protections are only extended to registered medical cannabis patients.

§ 40.1-27.4. Discipline for employee's medicinal use of cannabis oil prohibited.

A. As used in this section, "cannabis oil" means the same as that term is defined in § 54.1-3408.3.

B. No employer shall discharge, discipline, or discriminate 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 pursuant to § 54.1-3408.3.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B, nothing in this section shall (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, (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, or (iii) require any defense industrial base sector employer or prospective employer, as defined by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, to hire or retain any applicant or employee who tests positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in excess of 50 ng/ml for a urine test or 10 pg/mg for a hair test.

Will I lose my guns?

The ability to own a firearm depends upon how an individual answers the background check question related to marijuana use.