Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaking at a campaign rally.

Kate Wellington

Virginia Gov. Expected to Sign Cannabis Reform Bills

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is expected to sign three cannabis-related bills that would allow pharmacies to produce and sell cannabis extract oils for epilepsy treatments, and eliminate a state statute that automatically suspends the driver’s license of adults convicted of low-level cannabis possession, according to a WTKR report.

Under SB.1027, “pharmaceutical processors” would be able to obtain a permit from the state Board of Pharmacy to produce CBD and THC-A cannabis oils for epilepsy treatment under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Patients would be able to get certification to possess and use the oils from a physician.

Maggie Ellinger-Locke, legislative council for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the measure is “a far cry from an effective medical marijuana program” but “a step in the right direction.”

“Virginia will only be the second state in the nation that has this type of program, the first being Missouri,” she said in the report.

Under HB.2051 and SB.1091 a judge would be allowed to impose a driver’s license suspension for cannabis convictions, however it would no longer be mandated. Juveniles would still be subject to an automatic six-month suspension.

Ellinger-Locke said the cannabis law reforms move the state more in line with the rest of the nation.

“We are optimistic,” she said. “The polling shows that Virginians desperately want their marijuana policy changed and laws reformed in some capacity, and I think that lawmakers are starting to hear the call in Virginia as well as throughout the U.S.”

Once signed, SB.1027 would take effect immediately, while the conviction reforms would take effect July 1.

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