Here’s what marijuana laws look like around the Southeast, as NC considers changes


As North Carolina approaches a marijuana milestone, potentially legalizing the drug for medical use, nearby states are split in their approach.

The Southeast is coming late to the marijuana scene. The region is home to several of the 14 states that do not have comprehensive medical marijuana programs or full marijuana legalization, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.


Virginia Allows Adult-Use Pot, Although Retail Sales Are Years Away

When the clock struck midnight to mark the start of Thursday, history was made—marijuana legalization had finally arrived in the southern United States.

As of July 1, adults 21 years and older in the Commonwealth of Virginia can legally use and possess marijuana. The new law stems from legislation that passed in the Virginia legislature back in April and was promptly signed by the state’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam.

The law makes Virginia the first southern state to end the prohibition on recreational pot use.


Cannabis in Virginia: What you need to know

Starting Thursday, Virginians can legally grow and possess marijuana.

But the change in law doesn’t exactly open up a pot free-for-all. Legal amounts are limited, and buying and selling marijuana will remain illegal until Jan. 1, 2024, when retail sales are expected to begin. Smoking marijuana in public is still against the law.

Here are some highlights of the new law:


Virginians ages 21 and older may legally possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana “on [their] person or in any public place.” There are some exceptions for public school grounds.


Virginia legalizes cannabis this week, but seeds may be hard to come by

Cannabis will soon be legal to grow in Virginia, but many growers have one question: how will they get their hands on cannabis seeds?

Under Virginia's new cannabis law, residents aged 21 and up, can grow up to four plants per household starting July 1. However, it will still be illegal to buy or sell cannabis seeds in the Commonwealth. It is also a federal crime to transport cannabis or its seeds across state lines. 

Earlier this year, when the Virginia General Assembly amended its cannabis bill to move legalization to July 1, 2021, it did not change the legal framework around the sale of cannabis seeds.

Legal cannabis sales still will not begin until 2024. 


Recreational cannabis will be legal in Virginia on July 1st: Here’s what to expect

signing document

On July 1st, recreational cannabis will become legal in the state of Virginia. But what will that actually mean?

That’s the question cannabis-enthusiasts in the state have been asking ever since Virginia legislators legalized the possession  of up to an ounce of marijuana for adult recreational use this February. Originally, retail sales were set to begin in 2024, but outcry ensued over the three-year wait before ending pot possession penalties, so in April they voted to move up legalization to this July 1.

Adding to the confusion: lawmakers included a “reenactment clause,” which means the General Assembly will have to vote again next year on major portions of the law, mainly to establish a regulatory framework for the legal marijuana marketplace.


Marijuana Legalization Doesn't Mean Immediate Release for Virginia Inmates

Starting on July 1, Virginia residents will have the ability to possess small amounts of cannabis and use it in their homes. But that doesn’t mean those already in jail on similar charges will get a quick release.

The complicated process of expunging past criminal records and releasing current inmates incarcerated on marijuana possession charges could take as long as a year or more. That’s a disappointment to those who spearheaded the Virginia legalization effort.


The problem with legalizing pot in Virginia by July 1

Governor Ralph Northam and his administration celebrated the day he signed the bill legalizing marijuana in Virginia.

"This is yet another example of Democrats, yes Democrats listening to Virginians and taking action on the will of the people," Northam said.

However, David Lewis isn't celebrating the new pot laws. He's been in recovery for more than three years and knows first-hand the dark side of marijuana.


After Four Years, West Virginia Finally Opens Medical Cannabis Registration

It’s been four years since West Virginia legalized medical cannabis, and until now, they have not had an actual program in place for patients to get relief. Now, eligible patients can finally register and officially become a part of the program.


The cannabis tourist's guide to legal US states

As more and more states decriminalize cannabis and legalize recreational use for adults, cannabis tourism is on the rise. Much as one might sample Seattle's famous coffee scene or check out the craft beer in hop capitals like Denver, Colorado and Bend, Oregon, visitors to legal states are dipping a toe into the local culture and sampling regional varietals of bud.

But knowing what the rules about purchasing and consuming cannabis are in different states can be a little tricky. Just in the past year, a slew of new states have sprung for legal cannabis legislation, including Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and New Mexico. 


Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam Signs Cannabis Legalization Bills Into Law

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia signed a bill to legalize cannabis on Wednesday, marking the first time a state in the South has approved the use and sale of recreational marijuana for adults. The measure moves up the legalization of simple possession of cannabis to July 1, two years earlier than legislation originally approved by lawmakers in February.

The governor said that the legislation is a “milestone” for the state and called it a step toward “building a more equitable and just Virginia and reforming our criminal justice system to make it more fair.”


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