Virginia Lawmakers Block Bill to Set Up Cannabis Retail

Lawmakers in a Virginia House committee this week tabled a proposal to establish state regulations for an adult-use retail cannabis market, effectively killing the bill for this year’s legislative session.

Full story after the jump.

A Virginia House committee on Tuesday tabled the bill to set up the state’s adult-use cannabis industry, effectively killing it for this year’s session, Richmond BizSense reports. The Republican-led subcommittee considering the measure voted 5-3 to “pass by indefinitely.”

Earlier this month, two separate House panels rejected bills to move the state closer toward adult-use sales. 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 measure tabled by the subcommittee was sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) and would have allowed the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority to begin issuing licenses for adult-use cannabis businesses on July 1, 2024.

“It is legal to possess small amounts of cannabis, it is legal to grow your own cannabis. Yet we are kind of dragging our feet on establishing a retail market that could provide hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue, could provide a tested product for adults and could be kept out of the hands of children.” — Ebbin via BizSense

The measure passed the Senate on a 24-16 vote last week.

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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