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Virginia lawmakers discuss proposal to expedite legal marijuana sales

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Legal marijuana sales aren’t scheduled to start in Virginia until 2024, but some lawmakers want the state to consider speeding up the schedule.

Tuesday, the new Joint Commission on Cannabis Oversight held its first meeting.

Included in the discussion was the possibility of expediting commercial access and legal sales.

Lawmakers say that could happen, if medical marijuana providers are allowed to sell cannabis products for recreational use.

Delegate Paul Krizek (D-Fairfax) noted Virginia has legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, but not the purchase of marijuana.

“I think the sooner we can get some sales out there so people aren’t breaking the law by buying and selling the better,” he said.

Legal sales were delayed until 2024 to give the state time to set up a new state authority and adopt regulations for the new marijuana marketplace.

Del. Charniele Herring (D-Fairfax) said she would oppose changes that would circumvent social equity provisions that are designed to address the disproportionate enforcement of marijuana laws in minority communities.

“if we go down that route, let’s really be careful,” Herring said of the proposal to expedite sales, “because we do not want to make the mistakes of the past, where it’s not in the spirit of what was intended.”

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