Republican members of the Home Normal Legal guidelines Subcommittee halted any additional development right now of Senate Invoice 1133, which sought to provoke retail marijuana gross sales to adults age 21 and older starting this July. Although the invoice handed the Senate with bipartisan assist, Subcommittee members rejected the measure on a 5 to three occasion line vote.
NORML Growth Director JM Pedini mentioned that right now’s vote “whereas completely anticipated, continues to be disappointing, and spotlights Home Republicans’ continued failure of management on hashish coverage.” Pedini famous that members of the GOP-led Home additionally didn’t advance a number of hashish retail gross sales payments out of their very own chamber.
Virginia’s legalization regulation, enacted in 2021 at a time when Democrats managed the Home, Senate, and Governorship, referred to as for retail hashish gross sales to start no later than January 1, 2024. Absent passage of extra laws this yr establishing guidelines and rules for state-licensed retailers, gross sales won’t be permitted to start. Lawmakers have now missed the window to take action.
“With out entry to a regulated market, shoppers gained’t know whether or not they’re getting a secure, examined product or one contaminated with probably harmful adulterants,” mentioned NORML’s Pedini, who additionally serves as Virginia NORML Govt Director.
Beneath state regulation, adults 21 and older could legally possess as much as one ounce of marijuana in public and domesticate as much as 4 crops per family for private use. Nonetheless, retail gross sales in Virginia are presently permitted solely to certified medical sufferers.
“This vote is one other big disappointment for Virginians, the vast majority of whom favor swift entry to retail gross sales,” added Pedini. “Laws offering regulatory oversight is one of the simplest ways for the Commonwealth to guard hashish shoppers. By failing to take legislative motion, lawmakers are electing to proceed driving shoppers to the unregulated, underground market.”
Laws to enhance Virginia’s medical hashish program continues to be nonetheless pending within the Home of Delegates and Senate.
Extra data is out there from Virginia NORML.