RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Senate passed a bill to start recreational sales of marijuana this September.
If signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin as written, the measure would allow certain medical providers to sell cannabis to adults starting Sept. 15 until the full legal market opens in 2024. Under the current law, only adults with a medical license can purchase marijuana from a dispensary.
The bill would require pharmaceutical and industrial hemp processors to pay a one-time fee to set up shop for recreational sales. Pharmaceutical processors would have to pay $6 million and hemp processors would have to give $500,000 to the Department of Taxation.
The legislation still needs to go through the House of Delegates, where it is expected to face changes from the Republican-led chamber.
The bill, which passed Tuesday on a bipartisan 23-16 vote, establishes the regulatory framework for the recreational market after Virginia lawmakers legalized simple possession and limited home cultivation for adults last year without one in place.
Retail sales were delayed until 2024, with lawmakers including a reenactment clause to the bill requiring that a second vote be held during the 2022 legislative session to move forward with the legal recreational market. [Read More @ ABCNews8]