Virginia is stepping into the future when it comes to cannabis regulation. Residents of the state can start to grow and possess marijuana legally starting on Thursday (July 1). However, there are always caveats in cannabis law, especially new ones.
Virginia residents should keep in mind that buying and selling cannabis will remain illegal until January 1, 2024. At that time retail sales are anticipated to being. Smoking cannabis in public is still also against the law.
However, Virginia residents that are 21 and up can possess up to one ounce of marijuana on themselves or in a public place. Certain public places, like schools, have different regulations. Although marijuana cannot be used or shared in public, anyone 21 and up can privately share up to one ounce of marijuana (as long it’s not sold). The same goes for seeds, which cannot be sold.
Marijuana cannot be purchased legally anywhere except for dispensaries that are part of the state’s medical marijuana program. However, residents can cultivate as many as four cannabis plants as long as they’re being grown by someone that is an adult. The cannabis that is being grown must be for personal use and cannot be grown in public. The cannabis grow must be tagged with the grower’s name and driver’s license number.
Marijuana cannot be used inside a vehicle, by either driver or passenger. Only sealed marijuana is allowed in vehicles as long as it is placed in a compartment. Police are no longer allowed to stop or search a vehicle, person, or place based solely on the smell of marijuana.
Residents who are found guilty of possessing more than 1 ounce of marijuana outside of their home, but less than a pound, are subject to a fine of no more than $25. Possession of over a pound outside of the home can lead to felony charges.