Virginia marijuana laws have been a hot topic since the state experienced a major turning point last year. In a state that hadn’t seen adult-use cannabis until 2021, this opened up a lot of questions regarding marijuana regulations in the Old Dominion.
Is medical weed legal in Virginia? Recreational weed? Is growing marijuana in Virginia legal?
History of Virginia Marijuana Laws
The state saw progress with Virginia cannabis laws starting in March 2017. At this time, Virginia enacted a law in which patients with intractable epilepsy could access CBD and THC-A oil.
March 2018: VA weed laws changed so that patients with any diagnosed condition or disease, not just epilepsy, could access CBD or THC-A oil.
May 2020: The state decriminalized simple possession of marijuana with a civil penalty of no more than $25 for more than an ounce but less than a pound.
May 2021: VA legislation signed a bill that prohibited law enforcement officers from stopping, searching, or seizing a person or place if they believed to smell marijuana.
April 2021: Virginia became the first state in the South to begin the process of legalizing adult-use cannabis.
July 2021: Voters pass cannabis legalization in Virginia with guidelines. Adults 21 years and older can legally possess marijuana.
2022: The law’s provisions, like bringing cannabis to Virginia and regulatory details, will be voted on again to re-enact them. This will not include Virginia’s cultivation or possession laws, but the state has yet to solidify these details.
Is Medical And Recreational Weed Legal in Virginia?
In 2020, Medical marijuana laws in Virginia expanded, making Virginia the 34th state with a comprehensive medical cannabis law.
Now, as of July 1, 2021, marijuana is legal for adult use in Virginia – a huge accomplishment for the southern state. But recreational consumers still have a long way to go.
- Possession of marijuana in Virginia of up to one ounce by adults 21 and older for personal use
- Cultivation of up to four cannabis plants per household by adults 21 and older
- “Adult sharing” or transferring up to one ounce of marijuana between persons who are 21 years or older without remuneration (money paid for work or service)
- Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana
- Purchasing, possessing, or consuming any amount of marijuana under the age of 21
- Distributing or selling marijuana, or possessing any amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute or sell it
- Using marijuana while driving a motor vehicle or being a passenger in a motor vehicle that someone else is driving
- Possession of marijuana on school grounds
- Consuming marijuana or offering marijuana to someone in any public place
Retail Sales Versus Medical Marijuana Sales
For now, you can only purchase weed in Virginia with a medical card. VA weed laws allow patients with a medical marijuana card to purchase weed from local dispensaries.
The Cannabis Control Authority, which regulates the marijuana industry, will not complete marijuana regulations or begin accepting applications for businesses before 2023. The state predicts that on January 1, 2024, legal retail sales to adults 21 and older will begin.
Since marijuana will not be sold recreationally for another two years, growing marijuana in Virginia or receiving it as a gift are some of the only options to obtain it for those without a medical card.
Can You Grow Weed in Virginia? Yes, home cultivation became legal on July 1, 2021.
As long as the plants aren’t visible from a public street and you take precautions to prevent unauthorized access by minors, you can grow up to four cannabis plants in your home.
Most importantly, being cautious of the amount of weed in your possession is key to growing marijuana in Virginia. Growing up to four plants clashes with the possession limit of one ounce, as one plant could produce far more than that amount. So, keeping an ounce or less of the plant on you in public is crucial to staying out of trouble.
How to Grow Marijuana in Virginia
Growing marijuana in Virginia requires that you tag each plant with the grower’s name, driver’s license or state identification number, and a notation that you’re growing it for personal use. The law also prohibits making concentrate from home-grown marijuana.
But growing marijuana in Virginia is more complicated than that. There’s currently no legal way to purchase seeds or cuttings, but it is legal for you to gift them to others.
How Much Marijuana Can You Possess in Virginia?
When purchasing cannabis from a dispensary, you can possess up to 4 ounces of botanical cannabis every 30 days. For other cannabis products, the possession limit is a 90-day supply, which your dispensing pharmacist or certifying practitioner will outline.
Public possession of marijuana in Virginia of one ounce or less is legal. Thus, minor offenses exceeding this could result in a misdemeanor.
Is Smoking Weed a Felony in Virginia?
Adults caught with more than an ounce but less than a pound will face a $25 fine. However, adults found with more than a pound can be charged with a felony punishable by between one and 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Can I Be/Have a Caregiver for a Medical Marijuana Patient in Virginia?
Caregivers, or registered agents, are individuals who are designated by a patient or by a patient’s parent or legal guardian. Caregivers must first register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.
VA weed laws state that a caregiver may enter facilities on behalf of a patient with a written certification in order to retrieve the products recommended to the patient by his or her physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.
What is the Penalty for Marijuana Possession in West Virginia?
For the possession of more than one ounce and less than four ounces of marijuana, you could face a fine of $25. For more than four ounces and less than a pound of marijuana, the fine is $500.
However, if this is your second offense, expect to pay a fine of up to $1,000 and 6 months of imprisonment. If you have more than one pound of marijuana, you could face up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $ 250,000.
When it comes to cultivation, expect a fine of $25 if you either:
- fail to attach tangible leg,
- prevent unauthorized access for individuals younger than 21,
- make plants out of public sight.
First-offenders with more than four and less than 10 plants face a fine of up to $250, and second-offenders for the same amount face a fine of up to $500. Those who have more than 100 plants of marijuana face one to ten years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
Qualifying Medical Conditions for an MMJ Card
Per Virginia marijuana laws, a plethora of conditions may qualify a patient for medical cannabis. Some common qualifications include:
Can I Use My Virginia Medical Card In Another State?
The state of Virginia doesn’t offer marijuana reciprocity to other states, which means that out-of-state MMJ card holders are not allowed to purchase medical marijuana within the state’s territory. Although many other states offer some sort of marijuana reciprocity, keep in mind that Virginia is not one of them.
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