Gov. Youngkin Won’t Approve a Virginia Retail Marijuana Market!


Gov. Glenn Youngkin sidestepped a question on whether he would sign legislation opening the door to retail marijuana sales in Virginia, saying he was more concerned with establishing rules for hemp and delta-8 goods.

In Virginia, adults 21 and older are permitted to possess small amounts of cannabis for recreational purposes, but they are not permitted to purchase it legally. Virginia allowed the use of up to an ounce, but the General Assembly blocked efforts to establish a framework for recreational sales.

Legislation to establish a retail cannabis market in Virginia has been suggested by both Democrats and Republicans for the 2023 legislative session. But it’s unclear whether Youngkin would really sign any of the measures into law. When questioned on Monday about whether he would approve a measure creating a market for recreational sales, the governor was evasive.

“Let me be clear; the bill I am tracking and seeking deals with hemp and delta-8, as well as the laws and consumer protections pertaining to those items. Youngkin told 8News, “Right now, we have items that are mislabeled, missold, and marketed to kids. “That is the law I am keeping an eye on to see whether it passes because that is the bill I want to sign.”

Adults are allowed to own up to four marijuana plants at home, receive marijuana as a gift, or purchase it from a licensed medical dispensary under Virginia’s existing legislation. The 2021 legislation included a reenactment provision requiring a second General Assembly vote to establish a framework for retail sales. Youngkin is aiming to create regulations for hemp products that generate highs but are legal to sell because they are mostly unregulated.

Examples of these products are delta-8 and delta-10. A 4-year-death-old’s in Spotsylvania has reportedly been linked to the goods, which are sold at convenience stores, smoke shops, and other locations. Republican lawmakers have put forth a number of measures to crack down on these hemp-based goods, one of which would outlaw the sale of delta-8.

Republicans were awaiting Youngkin’s advice on establishing a retail cannabis market, House of Delegates Speaker Todd Gilbert (Shenandoah) stated prior to this year’s legislative session. The panel charged with hearing the Republican-sponsored measures in the House has not yet met. The “social equality” clauses that Democrats stressed during the legalization debate would be eliminated by both proposals.

State Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), the main supporter of the legalization bill that became law, is sponsoring a bill in the Virginia Senate to establish a retail market. The bill is anticipated to pass the chamber as it did the previous year. However, the measure’s future in the House is in doubt because a Republican-controlled panel rejected it in February.

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