While the East Coast is still far behind the West Coast when it comes to legalizing cannabis, we saw some progress during the summer of 2021. In our home state of Virginia, simple cannabis possession and home cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and over became legal in July.
Two bills, HB2312 and SB1406, introduced by Governor Northam and passed by the 2021 General Assembly, prioritize social equity, public health and public safety and lay out a three-year process to legalize cannabis and create a regulatory framework for the sale of the product.
But as with all things cannabis related, these changes are fairly limited and only legalize simple possession and home cultivation for adults 21 years and over. Here are additional details and restrictions that explain exactly what that means:
- Adults 21 years and older may possess not more than one ounce of cannabis for personal use.
- Generally, adults 21 years and older may use marijuana in private residences. However, nothing prohibits the owner of a private residence from restricting the use of marijuana on its premises.
- Adults 21 and over may grow up to ea plants per household (not per person), according to specified requirements.
- “Adult sharing” or transferring one ounce or less of marijuana between persons who are 21 years or older without remuneration is legal.
As far as medical cannabis in Virginia, getting your medical marijuana card is fairly straightforward. Virginia NORML does a great job of outlining the steps that patients need to take to get their medical cannabis card. They also have a list of licensed practitioners that patients can contact in order to get written certification for medical cannabis.
Once you have your medical cannabis card, you’ll be able to visit one of the medical cannabis dispensaries located in Virginia. As of this writing, there were only five medical dispensaries in Virginia including Rise, Beyond/Hello, gLeaf, Dharma Pharmaceuticals, and Columbia Care.
Our friends over at District Fray recently published a guide to cannabis in Virginia, which we highly recommend reading. It includes a who’s who of cannabis activists, advocates and politicians who have been instrumental in helping to make Virginia the first Southern state to fully legalize cannabis. We’ve also teamed up with District Fray and the Outlaw Report for a free future of cannabis in Virginia, DC, and Maryland panel and networking event on Sept. 30.
We look forward to seeing the cannabis community in Virginia grow and flourish, and to being part of this innovative and forward-thinking industry. We’re also pleased that we can apply a lot of the experience we’ve gained while working with with cannabis clients in California, Nevada, New York, and Colorado and bring that cannabis PR, marketing, and branding experience to our East Coast cannabis clients.