You can only do something the first time once. For the first time, Virginia is implementing rules and regulations that will allow the creation of a regulated medical marijuana industry in Virginia. The executive director of Virginia NORML traveled to Norfolk for a presentation on the ins and outs of the new law.
Decriminalize Norfolk hosted the discussion March 27, 2017 at the beautiful Slover Library in Downtown Norfolk. An architectural art piece, the library was a fitting venue on discussions of the regulatory architecture of the emerging cannabis market.
The event was attended primarily by patients, potential investors, and local political activists. All were there to learn what the new laws will mean for Virginians interested in the nascent market - the patients searching for relief, investors seeking new ventures, and activists seeing the fruits of their reform efforts.
Virginia NORML’s executive director, Jenn Michelle Pedini, was introduced by their new communications director, Daniel Rouleau, who also spoke briefly about the reform efforts of Decriminalize Virginia Beach. The group hopes to mirror the success of Decriminalize Norfolk in calling the City Council to action with reasonable reform of current marijuana policies.
Topics ranged from the way the bill was passed, the implications of the legislation for a new industry, and some of the specific requirements for application and entrance into the tightly regulated market. Audience questions were reflective of their purpose for attending. How will patients gain access to treatment? How will medical marijuana businesses, called “pharmaceutical processors,” seek licensure by the State? What are the next steps to expanding patient access? With years of expertise in lobbying and an intricate knowledge of the current rule-making, the executive director answered each of these questions with examples from experiences interacting the legislature.