On Friday, a Virginia Senate caucus held the first hearing on a cannabis authorization reform that was launched with the governor’s support.
The Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services commission are quickly considering the legislation. This indicates they’re planning on advancing the reform further. More hearings are slated for Tuesday and Wednesday in a recently created panel’s sub-commission that would solely focus on marijuana policy.
The reform (that’s being sponsored by high-ranking House and Senate leaders) would establish a system of taxed and regulated cannabis sales and production and permit twenty-one and older adults to buy and own not more than an ounce of marijuana. It’ll also authorize adults to cultivate four or fewer plants for recreation purposes.
After the new cannabis-focused sub-commission considers the reform this week, the entire Rehabilitation group is scheduled to vote for or against it before advancing it to the Senate Judiciary Commission.
The bill’s provisions were obtained from two-state studies on authorization that were conducted recently by a parliamentary commission and another working panel. Both commissions took a gander at how to sufficiently enact decriminalization and submitted suggestions to the governor in late 2020.
Those studies were necessary according to the cannabis legalization reform passed in 2020.
Most of the suggested provisions have been assimilated into the recent legislation, such as provisions to enhance social equity within the marijuana market. The provisions will also dole out half of the tax proceeds that Virginia garners from cannabis sales to financially cushion pre-kindergarten education.
Virginia’s alcohol regulatory department would be transformed into the state’s Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control Authority and will be in charge of issuing licenses and promulgating regulations.
Cannabis sales would carry a new 21% tax and local authorities that permit cannabis business operations could introduce another 3% tax. The state’s current sales taxes would also be attached to sales.