Va.: Decrim bill sent back to the governor; legislature rejects two amendments

Apr 23, 2020

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Va.: Decrim bill sent back to the governor; legislature rejects two amendments

Legislature approves medical cannabis improvements.

During an unprecedented one-day session — where delegates convened under a canopy and senators met in the Virginia Science Museum — the legislature considered Gov. Ralph Northam’s amendments to legislation — SB 2/HB 972 — to decriminalize simple cannabis possession in Virginia.

The legislature rejected two of the governor’s proposed amendments to the bill — an amendment to push back the due date of a legalization study and an amendment to remove the legislature’s provision that would treat the $25 civil citation as a misdemeanor for purposes of criminal procedure, including allowing those accused to demand a jury trial.

The legislation will now head back to the governor’s desk for final action. Help get decriminalization across the finish line by contacting the governor today and asking that he sign the bill into law!

If the bill is ultimately enacted, beginning on July 1, 2020, possession of one ounce of cannabis or less will be punishable by a civil fine of up to $25 instead of a criminal penalty and potential jail time. This is the lowest fine of any decriminalization law in the country.

You can check out a full summary of the legislation here.

In other news, Virginia made several improvements to its medical cannabis program this year — including formally legalizing CBD and THC-A products, expanding the definition of products a patient can possess, and expanding the number of dispensing facilities allowed in the state from five to 25. The changes will go into effect on July 1, 2020. A full summary of Virginia’s medical cannabis program can be found here.

Be sure to share the news with your friends and family in Virginia!