On 5 February state legislators voted to legalize cannabis in Virginia and establish a recreational market. Retail sales are set to start in 2024 under plans unveiled by the House and Senate. The initiative in both chambers would legalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and begin the process of expelling certain cannabis-related offenses - on 1 July.
The bill was introduced by Senator Adam Ebbin, who said: "I think Virginia is much more than just a marijuana legalization plan. Virginia already has a medical marijuana program, but it is limited compared to most states". Still, the medical program is expected to generate $50 million in revenue by 2024, and the adult-use market is expected to grow even further. Both chambers passed a bill in early February to legalize cannabis for adults.
Senator Adam Ebbin said: "There will be a few bumps and we will have a bit of bump on the road but not a big bump, not even a big bump," he said.
Most of the proceeds from cannabis taxes will go to at-risk groups for children in Virginia.