The new legislation, which fits into impact July 1, permits anybody within the state 21 or older to own as much as 1 ounce of marijuana. The legislation additionally “modifies several other criminal penalties related to marijuana, and imposes limits on dissemination of criminal history record information related to certain marijuana offenses,” based on a summary posted to the Legislature’s website.
“Virginia led and made history once again today,” Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who forged the tie-breaking vote within the state Senate, said in a tweet.

“I was proud to cast the tie-breaking vote to legalize marijuana and bring long overdue justice, fairness, equity and opportunity to the people of our great Commonwealth.”

The invoice had initially handed in late February, however Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam despatched it again to the Legislature with a collection of revisions, together with a proposal to speed up the timeline of its enactment to this July as an alternative of 2024.

“I am pleased that the General Assembly accepted my proposal to make this change on July 1, 2021 nearly three years earlier than planned,” Northam mentioned in a statement Wednesday.

“Marijuana laws were explicitly designed to target communities of color, and Black Virginians are disproportionately likely to be stopped, charged, and convicted. Today, Virginia took a critical step to right these wrongs and restore justice to those harmed by decades of over-criminalization.”

Still, the measure was met with fierce opposition from state GOP lawmakers Wednesday, together with Del. Chris Head, who referred to as it a “train wreck” throughout a virtual House floor speech.

(*1*) he mentioned.

“But we have to do this right. And doing it right takes time.”

Legalization advocates have lengthy touted the righting of previous prison justice wrongs, eliminating unlawful market exercise and producing further tax income once they’ve pushed for overhauling state hashish legal guidelines.

“At the end of the day, economics talk and jobs talk,” Jessica Billingsley, chief govt officer of Akerna, which makes regulatory compliance software program that helps states observe hashish gross sales from seed to sale, previously told NCS.

“I truly believe we’re going to see some very meaningful and important movement coming out of this as states and governors look for a way to bolster their economy.”

Cannabis gross sales in states which have legalized the plant for medical and leisure functions totaled about $15 billion in 2019, and are anticipated to prime $30 billion by 2024, based on information from BDS Analytics, which tracks dispensary gross sales.

NCS’s Alicia Wallace contributed to this report.

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