Virginia

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Mon
09
Mar

Virginia: Legislature Approves Decriminalization and Medical Cannabis Bills

Broad changes to marijuana laws swept through the 2020 Virginia General Assembly. Today, the legislature approved SB2 and HB 972  to decriminalize marijuana possession. Those in possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use will no longer be subject to criminal prosecution and will instead face a maximum $25 civil penalty.

Thu
13
Feb

Virginia set to decriminalize marijuana after lawmakers OK bill

Virginia is on track to become the 16th US state to decriminalize marijuana after the state’s House and Senate approved a decriminalization bill this week. 

First, on Monday, the House gave the green light for its decriminalization bill in a vote of 64-34, followed by the state Senate approving its own bill on Tuesday by a vote of 27-13.

The House version foresees a $25 fine for small marijuana possession charges, while the Senate voted for a maximum civil penalty of $50 or 5 hours of community service.

Under Virginia’s current law, low-level weed charges could lead to a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Tue
11
Feb

Virginia House of Delegates Moves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Forward

Virginia took a major step toward becoming the latest state to decriminalize marijuana on Monday, with a bill advancing out of one half of the Commonwealth’s general assembly.

The Democratic-controlled Virginia House of Delegates passed HB 972, a bill that seeks to effectively treat simple marijuana possession like a parking ticket.  If it were to become law, HB 927 would ensure that anyone busted for simple possession of pot would only be subject to a civil penalty carrying a maximum fine of $50. Currently under Virginia law, a first time offense like that could land you in jail for up to 30 days, or with a fine of up to $500.

Tue
04
Feb

Virginia hemp weathers a difficult first year

Optimism was high last year after Gov. Ralph Northam signed House Bill 1839 at Virginia State University’s Randolph Farm, making it legal for farmers to grow Hemp in Virginia. Most of those good feelings have failed to deliver over the past year. The visualized hemp “promised land” has instead turned out to be a wild wild west, rife with clunky regulations and chaotic markets.

Before commercial legalization, VSU was one of three universities in the state researching hemp and now works with the Virginia Cooperative Extension to spread knowledge about the crop.

Fri
31
Jan

Marijuana Decriminalization Advances in Virginia State Legislature

Virginia may be a step closer to reducing its draconian punishments for small-time cannabis possession. SB2, which would clear some past cannabis-related offenses from individuals’ records and reduce sentencing possession offenses, passed from the State Senate judiciary committee by an 11-2 vote, to the finance committee on Wednesday. 

Fri
10
Jan

Virginia Governor Pushes Marijuana Decrim In State Of The Commonwealth Speech

Virginia’s governor used his annual State of the Commonwealth speech on Wednesday night to call on lawmakers to enact marijuana reform.

“We need to take an honest look at our criminal justice system to make sure we’re treating people fairly and using taxpayer dollars wisely,” Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said. “This means decriminalizing marijuana possession—and clearing the records of people who’ve gotten in trouble for it.”

Tue
07
Jan

Virginia Governor Wants To Decriminalize Low-Level Cannabis Possession

Virginia looks poised to join the ranks of states to decriminalize marijuana, with Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam announcing last week that he backs the policy.

The proposal is part of Northam’s broader criminal justice reform agenda for the new year, which along with cannabis decriminalization includes parole reform, raising the felony larceny threshold, raising the age of juvenile transfer to adult court, and the permanent elimination of driver’s license suspensions for unpaid fines, fees and court costs.

Wed
11
Dec

Hemp in Virginia grows toward the future

“We do grams, eighths, quarters, half ounces, pounds, wholesale pounds — however you want it,” Jacob Stretch said, standing between crates of dried hemp in his living room that doubles as his hemp processing and drying facility. Stretch, owner of Chesapeake Blue, just finished his first season growing industrial hemp as a registered grower and processor on his family’s farm.

Industrial hemp is poised to be a fast growing sector of agriculture in Virginia. Hemp advocacy group Vote Hemp estimates 2017 retail sales of hemp products neared $820 million nationally and will continue to grow.

Wed
04
Dec

Marijuana Legalization: Can Virginia Expect it in 2020?

Marijuana is strictly prohibited in Virginia. All forms of marijuana are illegal in the state. Yet, recreational cannabis sales went live in Michigan on Sunday. To know more about this, read Recreational Marijuana Sales Go Live in Michigan. Furthermore, Illinois will legalize marijuana on January 1, 2020. While the other states are pushing for legalization, let’s see what steps Virginia is taking.

Mon
02
Dec

Field test kits will help police distinguish between marijuana and hemp

Field test kits for police to help distinguish illegal marijuana from legal industrial hemp — both cannabis plants — will be distributed to departments across Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science notified law enforcement agencies last month that 16,150 kits have been purchased for $97,500 using a grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

The two plants look and smell the same. But cannabis that has a level of THC — the chemical that produces a high — of 0.3% or less is now legal in the possession of growers, dealers and processors who are registered with the state government.

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