A team consisting of 4 cabinet secretaries and other high-ranking officials from Virginia submitted suggestions to the lawmakers and governor yesterday. The recommendations entailed how to launch an authorized marijuana program efficiently.
With Ralph Northam (governor) officially supporting the reform, the team’s recent analysis exudes an early insight into how a legal marijuana system will look.
This report was needed for this year’s cannabis decriminalization bill. It was authored by Virginia’s state department secretaries of finance, agriculture and forestry, homeland security, as well as health, public safety, and human resources.
During a press release, Governor Northam said that they’ll create new regulations and provisions to ensure Commonwealth instantly legalizes marijuana. He further added that Virginia has gone through other state’s marijuana legalization experiences and the group’s report forges a way forward that caters to social equity, public safety, and health.
The group gave twenty propositions concerning the legalization of adult-use marijuana.
These suggestions include; an agency should be formed to manage the program, marijuana retail proceeds should be taxed reasonably to create revenue, and Virginia should venture into ways to enable the cannabis industry access banking services.
The panel also advised the state to ‘reverse criminalization harms’ by getting rid of prior cannabis convictions, monitoring social equity authorization for the marijuana sector, using the revenue to reinvest in the community, and so on.
They also said that local authorities should have a say concerning locations for marijuana operations. Regarding home cultivation, the team stated that there are substantial merits and demerits. However, they discouraged the practice citing personal safety issues and cannabis’s high value. The report also leans against letting folks use marijuana in social consumption areas.
The working group also said the report gives an overall blueprint concerning cannabis legalization in Virginia in case policymakers pursue legislation. It barely gives particular recommendations but lays out options for lawmakers to consider when adopting the reform.
The report claims that Virginia will accrue over $274 million yearly from marijuana tax revenue five years after implementation. However, when JLARC ( Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission) released its recommendation on cannabis legalization, it put the figure at $308million.