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Virginia Marijuana Laws
As of July 1, 2021, recreational use of cannabis took effect in Virginia. The General Assembly approved a bill that legalizes adult possession limits and other related marijuana laws. Retail sales of adult-use marijuana are not permitted yet and are scheduled to start in 2024.
What is Legal Under the New Law in Virginia?
Adults 21 and older in Virginia may possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to four plants in their homes. The plants must include a legible tag with an adult’s name, driver’s license, or ID number and a note indicating the marijuana is grown for personal use. Adults are also allowed to share up to one-ounce of marijuana with another adult aged 21 and older without any remuneration or exchange of money.
What is Illegal Under the New Law in Virginia?
It remains illegal for anyone in Virginia to possess more than one ounce of marijuana and for anyone under 21 to consume, purchase or possess marijuana. It is banned to distribute or sell marijuana or to possess any amount to sell or distribute it. The law also prohibits smoking marijuana in public, including while driving and while being a passenger in a vehicle. Marijuana must be placed in an originally sealed manufacturer container while driving. You may not possess marijuana on the grounds of a public school, nor may you manufacture marijuana concentrate from home-cultivated marijuana. Sales of recreational marijuana are prohibited as they are scheduled to become legal in 2024 in Virginia.
Medical Marijuana Laws in Virginia
Patients in the state of Virginia can apply for a medical cannabis card. Patients must receive a written certification from a registered practitioner and then apply for registration with the Board of Pharmacy before they can possess medical cannabis products.
Under Virginia marijuana laws qualifying conditions may be any diagnosed condition or disease diagnosed and prescribed by the practitioner.
The specified possession limit for botanical cannabis allows for up to 4 ounces per 30 days to be dispensed to a patient.
The specified possession limit for cannabis products is a 90 day-supply. As defined under the law, such products may contain up to 10 mg of THC per single dose. Products permitted under the marijuana laws may be in any formulation, including inhalable, edible, and topical preparations.
According to Virginia marijuana laws Cultivation of up to four plants per household is permitted by adults 21 or older.
Based on Virginia marijuana laws a person 21 years or older may possess not more than one ounce of marijuana or an equivalent amount of marijuana product.
Anyone who possesses marijuana or marijuana products of an amount of up to one ounce will be subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25 under marijuana laws. It will not include imprisonments, criminal records.
Anyone who carries:
- More than four ounces but not more than one pound or an equivalent amount of marijuana product is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and, with a second or subsequent offense.
- More than one pound of marijuana or an equivalent amount of marijuana product is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment of one year to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
The new Virginia marijuana laws permit the sharing of adult-use marijuana of up to one ounce of marijuana (or an appropriate amount of marijuana products) between individuals 21 years of age or older without remuneration. Marijuana as a gift is offered or advertised in conjunction with an offer to sell goods or services. A gift of marijuana is contingent upon a separate reciprocal transaction for goods or services.
Home Cultivation for personal use
An individual 21 years or older may cultivate up to four marijuana plants for personal use at their main residence in Virginia; a household may not contain more than four marijuana plants. Violation of this requirement may result in punishment under the new Virginia marijuana laws.
Possession of more than four marijuana plants but no more than ten marijuana plants:
- A civil penalty of $250 for a first offense;
- A Class 3 misdemeanor for a second offense;
- A Class 2 misdemeanour for a third and any subsequent offence.
Under Virginia marijuana laws, If you possess 10 up to 49 marijuana plants, it will be classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor; possession of 49 up to 100 marijuana plants – a Class 6 felony; If you possess more than 100 marijuana plants, it will be classified as a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of one to 10 years or a fine up to $250,000 or both.
A person who cultivates marijuana for personal use must:
- Ensure that no marijuana plant must be visible from a public way without the use of aircraft, binoculars, or other optical aids;
- Take measures to prevent illegal access by persons younger than 21 years of age;
- Attach to each marijuana plant a legible tag that includes the person’s name, driver’s license or identification number, and a notation that the marijuana plant is being grown for personal use.
A person in Virginia must not manufacture marijuana concentrate from home-cultivated marijuana. The owner of a property or parcel or tract of land may not allow another person to manufacture marijuana concentrate from home-cultivated marijuana within or on that property or land based on marijuana laws.
In Virginia, having a large quantity of marijuana is not proof of intent to distribute alone. Distributing from one ounce to 5 pounds of marijuana is a Class 5 felony, punishable by one to 10 years in jail.
Distributing from 5 pounds to 100 kg of marijuana is a felony punishable by 5 to 30 years in prison. Distributing more than 100 kg of marijuana is punishable with an automatic 20 years to a life sentence, with 20 years being the minimum sentence.
A third sale or intent to distribute conviction brings a minimum sentence of 5 years in Virginia.
According to marijuana laws in Virginia Distributing marijuana to any person under 18 years of age who is at least three years younger than the offender or using such a minor to distribute:
- More than 1 ounce of marijuana is a felony punishable with a mandatory jail sentence of 5 years to 50 years and a fine of up to $100,000.
- less than 1 ounce of marijuana, is a felony punishable with a mandatory jail sentence of 2 to a maximum 50 years, and a fine of up to $100,000.
Distributing more than a half-ounce of marijuana within 1,000 ft. of a school or school bus stop is a felony, punishable with a mandatory sentence of 1 year to sentence of 5 years, plus a fine of up to $100,000.
Under marijuana laws in Virginia any person who manufactures marijuana or possesses marijuana with the intent to manufacture such a substance, not for personal use, is guilty of a felony punishable by mandatory imprisonment of five to 30 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Transporting 5 lbs or more of marijuana into Virginia with the intent to distribute it is a felony, punishable with a mandatory sentence of 5 years to 40 years and a fine of up to $1,000,000. A second or subsequent conviction for the same crime raises the minimum sentence to 10 years pursuant to marijuana laws in Virginia.
Cannabis Advertising Laws in Virginia
In Virginia, it is illegal for anyone other than a pharmaceutical processor to advertise the sale or distribution of marijuana.
Specific internet platforms like Google have banned ads for marijuana. However, federal laws and state advertising regulations related to other advertising options like billboards, print ads and digital banner ads change, intersect, and contradict each other. So businesses are left confused about how they can organize advertisements of their products or services. In such a case, hiring a competent legal adviser would greatly help you.
The laws and regulations surrounding cannabis products, in general, are undoubtedly complex. They need sufficient competence and knowledge of how it works within a state, Virginia, in this case. So be sure to get acquainted with the laws above to prepare for your future cannabis enterprise in Virginia.