FAQ About Weed Laws in Virginia
Good news for Virginians aged 21 and over: Recreational cannabis is now legal in the state! This change in legislation was approved by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Glenn Youngkin in 2021.
As of July 2021, adults are allowed to possess and use a small amount of marijuana, as well as cultivate a few plants in their homes as long as they adhere to local regulations. However, before retail sales can be implemented, the General Assembly has to reenact parts of the measure.
So what does this mean? Well, it means that you can now enjoy responsibly consuming cannabis without worrying about facing legal consequences. But remember that laws pertaining to cannabis remain subject to change so make sure you stay up to date with the latest regulations.
Who can possess, purchase, or otherwise use cannabis in Virginia?
Adults who are at least 21 years old can possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use, which is only allowed in private residences (unless prohibited by the property owner). Eligible adults may also transfer one ounce or less of cannabis between other eligible adults, which is known as “adult sharing.”
Who cannot possess, purchase, or otherwise use cannabis in Virginia?
However, possession of more than one ounce—but not more than one pound of cannabis—carries a civil fine of up to $25. Possession of more than one pound of marijuana is a felony offense.
Whether it’s an individual or business, selling and distributing cannabis is also illegal. Anyone under 21 years of age is prohibited from possessing, consuming, or purchasing marijuana.
What happens to the criminal records of individuals convicted of simple possession?
On July 1, 2021, Virginia State Police’s systems will automatically seal all records of arrests, charges, and convictions involving misdemeanor possession with intent to distribute marijuana from public view.
In 2020, criminal records involving simple possession of cannabis were sealed.
By July 1, 2025, all records for simple possession and misdemeanor possession with intent to distribute in state and private databases will be automatically sealed.
When will sales of cannabis start?
Legal sale of marijuana will not begin until January 1, 2024. The Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) needs ample time to hire staff, create regulations, and execute initiatives regarding safety and equity.
Furthermore, many regulation sections of the bill must be approved again by the 2022 General Assembly prior to becoming law.
When can I apply for a marijuana business license?
If the 2022 General Assembly session leads to the reenactment of the licensing provisions, then you may be able to apply for a cannabis business license in 2023. More guidance and instructions on how to start a marijuana business will be released prior to the beginning of the application period.
Do I need to take any steps before applying for a license in 2023?
Currently, no. Starting this summer, the CCA will have the next two years to hire staff, start the regulatory process, and begin directly engaging with stakeholders.
Do I have to pay an application fee?
Although the new law establishes application fees to start a cannabis business, it depends on the type of business you apply for and your application status.
For instance, if you or a business qualifies as a “social equity applicant,” then you may qualify for waived or reduced fees, as well as technical support via a Business Equity & Diversity Support Team at the CCA.
Again, the details of the license process need to be approved again by the 2022 General Assembly before becoming law.
Will profits from marijuana taxes be invested in the community?
Yes, the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund will use 30 percent of all tax profits to address disproportionate enforcement of drug laws and economic disinvestment within Virginia.
Can I apply for a medical marijuana license to sell?
No. As of June 8, 2021, only five companies are allowed to cultivate, process, and dispense medical marijuana to registered patients under Virginia’s medical cannabis pharmaceutical process program.
Can I grow weed in Virginia?
Yes. As of July 1, 2021, adults who are 21 years of age or older can legally grow cannabis on their premises for only personal use.
How many marijuana plants can you grow in Virginia?
As of July 1, 2021, adults who are at least 21 can grow up to four (4) marijuana plants per household for personal use. Growing more than four weed plants can result in serious criminal penalties.
How can I legally grow cannabis at home?
If you are interested in cultivation, you must make sure your plants are out of public view, persons younger than 21 cannot access your plants. You must label each plant with your name, driver’s license or ID number, and note that the plant is for personal use.
Where can I purchase seeds or clones for home cultivation?
Again, legal sale of any part of the marijuana plant, including seeds and clones, will not start until January 1, 2024. Keep in mind, it is against federal law to transport cannabis across state lines.
If you are interested in starting or investing in a cannabis business in Virginia, contact Virginia Cannabis Lawyers™ today at (540) 401-5564 to learn how we can help you! Our legal team has more than two decades of legal experience in the cannabis industry.
We Are The Only Virginia Hemp Lawyers™
The Virginia Hemp Lawyers™ is the first firm in Virginia that specializes in the hemp and cannabis business. With 20 years of legal experience in criminal and business law, we can provide the legal guidance you need.
We Have Experience
Attorney Tyson Daniel has formed several of his own companies and knows what it takes to run a successful business. He is well known in the cannabis industry and is Vice President of Cannabizva.
We Understand The Cannabis Business
As a business owner, we understand that your inventory is the main blood line of your business. We will make sure that you are legally compliant to sustain basic business operations.
We Think About Your Business
Our experience can help up avoid any setbacks. Through experience, we are able to anticipate when set backs will arise and how to best handle them.