Virginia Legislative Panel Kills Retail Hashish Invoice


A Virginia legislative panel this week declined to advance a invoice to manage retail hashish gross sales, successfully killing the proposal that might have set the stage for leisure marijuana gross sales to start by 2024. The measure, Senate Bill 1133 from Democratic Senator Adam Ebbin, was rejected by a Home of Delegates subcommittee on Tuesday with a 5-3 vote alongside get together traces, with the panel’s Republican majority opposed.

Leisure marijuana was legalized in Virginia in July 2021 with laws that enables adults 21 and older to own as much as one ounce of weed and develop as much as 4 hashish vegetation at house. The laws required one other vote by lawmakers to authorize regulated gross sales of adult-use hashish and set a goal date of January 1, 2024, to launch authorized gross sales of leisure pot. However thus far, the Home of Delegates’ Republican majority, which took management within the 2022 common election, has did not assist a invoice to arrange a authorized framework for the regulation of leisure marijuana gross sales. 

“It’s authorized to own small quantities of hashish, it’s authorized to develop your personal hashish,” Ebbin said earlier than the subcommittee voted to kill the invoice. “But we’re type of dragging our ft on establishing a retail market that might present a whole lot of tens of millions of {dollars} in tax income, may present a examined product for adults and might be saved out of the palms of youngsters.” 

Ebbin’s invoice, which has similarities to a measure he sponsored final yr that additionally failed to achieve approval in committee, would have allowed gross sales of leisure marijuana to start by January 1, 2024. Gross sales would initially launch in present medical marijuana dispensaries and companies owned by folks residing in “traditionally deprived communities.” 

The laws additionally would have allowed the Virginia Hashish Management Authority to start issuing licenses for brand spanking new leisure hashish companies on July 1, 2024. The measure was handed by the Democratic-controlled Senate final week by a vote of 24-16 that included assist from some Republican senators. 

On Tuesday, a Basic Legal guidelines subcommittee voted to desk Senate Invoice 1133 with out dialogue, seemingly killing the invoice for the rest of the 2023 legislative session. The invoice might be revisited at a later date, however the proposal might be useless till lawmakers reconvene in 2024.

Republican Governor Targeted On Delta-8 THC

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a Republican who additionally was elected in 2022, has formally mentioned that he has “no place” on laws to authorize and regulate retail gross sales of adult-use hashish. However a Youngkin administration official, Chief Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Parker Slaybaugh, spoke in opposition to Ebbin’s Senate Invoice 1133 at Tuesday’s subcommittee assembly. 

Slaybaugh famous that Youngkin is concentrated on growing a coverage to regulate unregulated hemp merchandise together with delta-8 THC. Final month, the governor referred to as on lawmakers to cross a invoice that might regulate intoxicating hemp merchandise.

“The invoice I’m monitoring and searching for is a invoice that offers with hemp and delta-8 and the laws and shopper security round these merchandise,” Youngkin said final month. “And proper now, we’ve got merchandise which might be being mislabeled and missold and being targeted toward children.” 

Advocates for regulating leisure marijuana gross sales say that failing to take action is essentially chargeable for the proliferation of unregulated intoxicating hemp merchandise, which could be simply bought all through Virginia at fuel stations and comfort shops. Nevertheless, the Home of Delegates has declined to advance two further payments to manage leisure marijuana gross sales in committee this legislative session, together with Home Invoice 1464, sponsored by Republican Delegate Keith Hodges, and Home Invoice 1750 from Republican Delegate Michael Webert.

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