Virginia: UVa harvesting first results from hemp, medical marijuana project

The University of Virginia has completed its first successful harvest of hemp plants in collaboration with a private plant biotechnology company.

The harvest — coming after the first year of a three-year, $1.1 million sponsored research agreement between UVa and biotech company 22nd Century Group — is one of several private-public partnerships across the commonwealth investigating hemp and medical marijuana. Principal investigator Michael Timko wants to renew Virginia as a leading producer of hemp and to restore land depleted by tobacco and mining.

“The idea is, why should we be importing things from overseas when we could be growing it here,” said Timko, a biology professor at UVa. “Plus, it creates new sources of revenue for farmers.”


Virginia Company utilizes space-age technology

Chris Lane was in law school when recreational marijuana was becoming legal in Washington.

“When I said I wanted to work in this industry, most people were caught off-guard, but people who knew me well weren’t surprised to hear that I was going to start a marijuana business,” he said.

This interest led to the founding of Virginia Company, an indoor producer/processor operation in Spokane Valley. Chris, CEO, and his wife Rebecca Lane, QA Manager, began performing detailed research into a wide variety of growing methods.

Chris said a post deep within an online agricultural forum caught his eye, describing aeroponics, an interesting growing method which requires little water and no soil.


Virginia’s Leading Gubernatorial Candidate Is Already Calling for Marijuana Decriminalization

Ralph Northam is the current Lieutenant Governor looking for a promotion, and he’s trying to bring cannabis reform with him.

The man who many believe is next in line to take over as Virginia’s Governor wrote a letter this week encouraging the State Crime Commission to decriminalize marijuana and end the continued horrors of prohibition. 

Virginia’s State Crime Commission is currently conducting a study to look at the possibility of decriminalizing simple marijuana possession, and Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, who has voiced his support for decriminalization in the past, took the opportunity to restate his opinions about the current state of prohibition, especially as it concerns the state’s racial minorities.


10 best 4/20 sites: Where marijuana history was made

While it’s not yet on calendars, April 20 has become the unofficial holiday of marijuana, particularly in the growing number of states where pot has been decriminalized for recreational use. “It has become hugely celebrated,” says Brett Konen, an editor with Seattle-based, which calls itself the world’s largest cannabis information source. The Trump administration has indicated it may crack down on marijuana, but the industry continues to grow for now. Konen shares cannabis culture hotspots with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.



Virginia to study marijuana decriminalization this year

A state commission decided Wednesday to study decriminalization of marijuana, an idea sparked by a discussion in Norfolk.

The study this year by the Virginia State Crime Commission, which makes recommendations to the General Assembly, could be a first step toward a bill in 2018 or later to change marijuana laws.

The discussion in Norfolk started after Councilman Paul Riddick said during a public meeting in August that he wanted the city to push for decriminalization.

Mayor Kenny Alexander recommended the council try to get the Crime Commission, made up of state lawmakers and citizens, to study the issue. The commission has a staff that performs studies.


States Push Marijuana Legalization Bills Despite Opposition from the Federal Government

Lawmakers in about two dozen states have proposed bills this year to ease their marijuana laws despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions' warning that he could crack down on pot, a major change from the Obama administration, which essentially turned a blind eye to the state legislation.

Bills have been introduced in 17 states this year to make recreational pot legal for adults, while five others are considering voter referendums on the issue. Sixteen states have introduced medical marijuana legislation, 10 are considering decriminalizing the drug and three are considering easing their penalties. An effort in Wyoming to decriminalize the drug failed this session.


Gov. McAuliffe expected to sign marijuana reforms

Virginia probably will ease up a bit in its laws against marijuana by making it easier for epilepsy patients to obtain cannabis extract oils and by relaxing the penalty for people caught with small amounts of marijuana.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is expected to sign the handful of marijuana-related bills passed by the General Assembly during its recent session. They include SB 1027, which will allow Virginia pharmacies to make and sell marijuana extract oils for treating intractable epilepsy, and HB 2051 and SB 1091, which will eliminate the state’s punishment of automatically suspending the driver’s license of adults convicted of simple marijuana possession.


Top 6 Marijuana Bills to Follow

Lawmakers have been busy introducing a variety of marijuana bills since the election. While there is no guarantee that any of these bills will actually become laws, a perusal of the bills introduced offers useful insight into how the decisions made regarding cannabis might affect our lives more immediately than the slow churn of Washington, D.C.

In the current political climate, it more important than ever to spend some time getting familiar with these bills. Please click on the links to get more information about each proposed bill. We strongly encourage you to get in touch with your elected representatives to express your views and opinions.

Below are six (6) cannabis-related bills that are worth following closely:


Why Virginia should look at medical marijuana

When a judge talks, it’s usually best to pay attention.

So when retired Roanoke Circuit Court Judge Richard Pattisall came to see us recently, we naturally listened. When he suggested that Virginia should legalize medical marijuana, that definitely got our attention. After all, here’s a man who’s sent people to jail for drug offenses.

Pattisall had a very particular reason for why he thinks Virginia should take this step, one that he laid out in a recent commentary on these pages: Jobs (and the potential to tax the crops.) Specifically, that’s jobs in the coalfields, a part of the state where he grew up and still has an affinity for.


Virginia: Garrett introduces legislation to remove marijuana from controlled substances list

5th District Congressman Tom Garrett introduced legislation aimed at federally decriminalizing marijuana.

The short title for this legislation is cited as the "Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017." If passed, this bill would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list - joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco.

Originally introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders in 2015, this bill fulfills a responsibility to create a level playing field across the country.

Upon introduction of this legislation, Rep. Garrett released the following statement:


Subscribe to RSS - Virginia