Looking into the Legalization of Cannabis in Virginia

5 months ago   •   3 min read

By Juana Know Staff

Many states have legalized cannabis over the years. Each of these states has either legalized recreational or medical cannabis. For medical cannabis, you need a prescription and recommendation from a doctor.

Recently, Virginia went ahead to legalize cannabis. As of July 1st, Cannabis will be legal in the state. The retail sales in the state will commence from January 1st, 2024.

Charniele Herring, the house majority, sponsored the cannabis legalization bill. He was confident that the time has come for the state to legalize cannabis.

New Virginia Cannabis Law and Penalties Related to Cannabis

The new Virginia cannabis law states that 21 years or older, people are the only ones supposed to be in possession of the drug. They are not allowed to have more than one ounce at one instance. If you’re caught with more than one ounce, you will be fined $25. If you’re caught with over one pound, you can be fined $250,000 and serve a jail term of a minimum of 10 years. What a hefty penalty! Fortunately, by being on the right side of the law, you won’t have to worry about some of these issues.

Although the sale of cannabis is still illegal, the state has declared that adults can be given up to one ounce of the drug. If you’re under 21 years of age and you’re caught with cannabis, you’ll be fined $25. Also, you would have to partake in drug treatment. People are also not supposed to smoke in public as per the Virginia cannabis policy.

Open Cars and Containers

The Virginia cannabis policy has taken into account some of the issues that would come about when cannabis is legalized include charging people who are driving under the influence. The only issue is that a blood or breath test cannot be carried out to determine whether or not a driver is under the influence. As a result, if an open container is found in your car, the authorities will assume you’re driving under the influence of cannabis.

An open container, in this case, is any packaging material that contains cannabis. The only exception is if the packaging material is sealed and the materials within are yet to be accessed.

We had earlier said the retails sales will start in 2024. In the meantime, if you have some legal cannabis with you in a container or a bag, you should store it in the truck. It should not exceed one ounce.

Can You Grow Your Own Cannabis?

You may ask yourself; retail sales cannot begin until 2014; how can I get some cannabis? You can grow your own. Also, someone else can issue you a certain amount as a gift.

In one household, you’re not supposed to have more than four plants. The only condition is that cannabis should not be visible to the public. As a result, minors won’t be able to access cannabis.

There should be a tag with the name of the cultivator, their identification details, and an indicator the cannabis is meant for personal use for each plant. If you’re caught with more than four plants, you will be eligible to pay a fine of not less than $250. If you have at least 50 cannabis plants, you’re eligible for felony charges.

There is the debate that one cannabis plant can produce more than one ounce of marijuana, which means four plants will produce huge amounts of the drug. In this case, the rule about possessing one ounce or less only applies in public.

Looking into Past Convictions

The criminal records of the people who were initially convicted because of cannabis possession would be sealed. A judge will oversee the petition and determine whether such individuals should be resentenced.

Social Equity and Retail Sales

The main reason the retail sales will commence in 2024 is that the state leaders need enough time to come up with rules & regulations that will govern the marketplace effectively. Some of the outstanding questions currently are about how licenses will be acquired and whether the cannabis stores will be located.

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