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Thu. 8 Apr 2021, 1:54pm ETBenzinga
In: Cannabis, News, Markets, Media

Virginia became the first state in the South to legalize adult-use cannabis after the state's lawmakers approved Wednesday several changes to cannabis bills SB 1406 and HB 2312, proposed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, writes NORML.  

What happened

The two bills would create a statutory timeline for the legalization of the commercial cannabis market in the Old Dominion, and also enable the possession and growing of cannabis by adults.

Last week, the governor proposed amendments to the legislation to allow the personal use provisions of the law to take effect on July 1st, 2021, instead of January 1, 2024, which was originally passed by lawmakers.  

This means that, starting July 1st, adult residents of Virginia can legally own up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to four plants per household.  

Furthermore, the state regulators should enact provisions licensing commercial cannabis manufacture and sales by July 1st, 2024, reports the outlet.

Why It Matters

“This is an incredible victory for Virginia. Legalization will bring an end to the thousands of low-level marijuana infractions occurring annually in the Commonwealth — ending a discriminatory practice that far too often targets Virginians who are young, poor, and people of color,” NORML Development Director and the executive director of Virginia NORML, Jenn Michelle Pedini stated.

David Culver, vice president of global government relations at Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) also commented on the news saying that pushing the law three years ahead of original schedule shows that “state-level policymakers across the country are listening to their constituents and embracing the promise of a safe and well-regulated cannabis market.”

He further added, that “this historic momentum cannot be ignored and responsible operators like Canopy Growth urge the Biden Administration to take note as an ever-growing majority of Americans support full federal legalization. The time to end the prohibition of cannabis and cultivate a fair and responsible industry focused on social equity and economic prosperity is now.”

In recent weeks, Governor Northam signed several medical cannabis measures – to protect the employment rights of state-registered medical cannabis patients; and, to enable the manufacturing and dispensing of botanical cannabis products.

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