February 4, 2021

Virginia Marijuana Legalization Bills Sail Through Committees As Key Friday Deadline Nears

February 4, 2021
Image of a butterfly on an outdoor marijuana plant.

Marijuana legalization in Virginia took a step forward over the weekend, as two proposals to legalize cannabis in the state received enough votes in key committees to proceed ahead to floor votes.

This is  part of a legalization plan that the state Democrats have proposed mid-January.

Having been approved by five committees and subcommittees over the past weekend, the proposal must be passed by the state Senate and House of Delegates by Friday. 

“Our bill on cannabis legalization is continuing to make its way through the process. It passed (the) House Courts committee & is moving to Appropriations next week. Proud to serve as Chief patron on this ground breaking legislation that is (a) huge step towards justice in the Commonwealth.”, tweeted Virginia senate majority leader Charniele Herring on January 31.

Virginia Law and Cannabis Legalization

Since legalizing limited THC-content cannabis in 2018, Virginia has been progressing towards the legalization of recreational cannabis. This past year, the state continued in this direction by decriminalizing the possession of cannabis in April 2020. 

The legalization bid that passed through Virginia’s state committees this past weekend is one that had been drafted in November 2020. Although the current version of the proposal has had several edits and revisions since, the end goal is the same: the full legalization of both medical and recreational use of cannabis.

“Our goal was to craft the best regulatory framework we can to legalize adult use of marijuana in a safe and equitable manner,” said Paul Krizek (D), who chairs the Virginia House of General Laws ABC and Gaming Subcommittee.

What’s Next for Marijuana Legalization in Virginia?

Having been approved by the aforementioned committees, Virginia’s marijuana legislation will move to the House of Delegates and Virginia’s Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee.

As their plans currently stand, the sale of cannabis should be fully legal by 2024.

The Weed Blog will continue to provide updates on the status of marijuana legalization in Virginia as information is released to the public.

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