Virginia Marijuana Legalization FAQs

What is legal?

Possession by adults 21+ of up to one ounce in public
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
Continued participation in the medical cannabis program which allows purchase at Virginia dispensaries

What is NOT legal?

X Public consumption
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

  • 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 
  • Cultivation is only permitted at the individual's primary residence

 

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)

 

Where can I buy cannabis in Virginia?

Legal retail sales are only permitted by licensed dispensaries to registered 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. (Effective July 1, 2021)

"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 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. "Marijuana" does not include (i)  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 or (ii) a hemp product, as defined in § 3.2-4112, containing a tetrahydrocannabinol  concentration of no greater than 0.3 percent that is derived from industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is grown, dealt, or processed in compliance with state or federal law. 

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.

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

The law states "a person 21 years of age or older may lawfully possess on his person or in any public place not more than one ounce of marijuana." There is no law specific to what an adult 21+ may possess in private not on their person for personal use.

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 will define 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.

§ 4.1-600. Definitions. (Effective July 1, 2021)

"Marijuana products" means (i) products that are composed of marijuana and other ingredients and are intended for use or consumption, ointments, and tinctures or (ii) marijuana concentrate.

§ 4.1-604. Powers and duties of the Board. (Effective July 1, 2021)

The Board shall have the following powers and duties:

1. Promulgate regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and § 4.1-606;

2. Control the possession, sale, transportation, and delivery of marijuana and marijuana products;

§ 4.1-1100. Possession, etc., of marijuana and marijuana products by persons 21 years of age or older lawful; penalties. (Effective July 1, 2021)

"Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person 21 years of age or older may lawfully possess on his person or in any public place not more than one ounce of marijuana or an equivalent amount of marijuana product as determined by regulation promulgated by the Board."

What about paraphernalia?

While the new definition "marijuana paraphernalia" became effective July 1, 2021, the removal of "marijuana" from § 18.2-265.1 requires reenactment by the 2022 General Assembly in order to become law. The legislative intent, however, was not to legalize the responsible use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis by adults 21 and older while still criminalizing devices used to do so.

§ 4.1-600. Definitions. (Effective July 1, 2021)

"Marijuana paraphernalia" means all equipment, products, and materials of any kind that are either designed for use or are intended for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, strength testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body marijuana.

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.