Last year, Virginia made history by becoming the first state in the South to legalize cannabis for adults. While adults can now legally possess and cultivate cannabis in the state, other aspects of the law — such as details for establishing a regulated cannabis market — don’t kick in until 2024. And, nearly all of the cannabis sales provisions are subject to further approval by the incoming legislature and governor.
Let your lawmakers know that you want them to expedite cannabis sales and preserve equitable legalization in Virginia!
The sooner Virginia implements legal sales, the sooner it can provide residents with safe, regulated access to cannabis and begin to repair the decades of harm cannabis prohibition has caused through strong equity provisions.
Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) has not been specific on equity provisions in the legislation he’d want to change, but stated, “All of that will be on the table. Again, I don’t look to overturn the bill, but I think we need to make sure that it works.”
To address the disproportionate harm caused to communities of color by decades of prohibition, it is imperative that Virginia’s legalization law maintains strong social equity provisions. You can check out MPP’s summary of Virginia’s legalization law here.
We also remain concerned about a provision in the law that criminalizes bringing small amounts of cannabis into Virginia for personal use. This provision requires re-enactment this year, and we will continue to push for it to be removed.
The legislature has just convened for its 2022 session. Now is a great time to reach out to your lawmakers and let them know you want them to stand strong on an equitable cannabis industry and expedite cannabis sales in the Commonwealth. Please share this message with your friends and family in Virginia and encourage them to do the same!