A Virginia House panel on Tuesday rejected bills that would have taken steps toward allowing adult-use cannabis sales in the state, WRIC reports. The General Laws subcommittee voted down a measure that would have allowed sales to start next year and another that would have allowed the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) to begin issuing licenses next year but prohibiting sales until 2025.
Virginia lawmakers passed adult-use cannabis reforms in 2021 – when both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office were controlled by Democrats. The laws have since faced pushback as Republicans made gains in both chambers in 2022 and Virginians elected Republican Glenn Youngkin as governor.
The bill proposed by Del. Keith Hodges (R) would have allowed licenses to be issued at the start of next year but would have allowed adult-use sales by certain medical cannabis companies in July. A substitute was introduced that proposed that the CCA issue draft regulations on the retail market that lawmakers would have to approve.
The measure introduced by Del. Michael J. Webert (R) would have allowed the CCA to issue cannabis licenses in 2024 but not allow adult-use sales until the following year. Webert told the committee that his bill would ensure tracking “from seed to sale,” set THC limits, and impose a 12% tax rate on cannabis sales.
Currently, adults 21 and older in Virginia can possess up to an ounce of cannabis, grow up to four plants, receive cannabis as a gift, or buy it from a medical dispensary.
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