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Bill creating retail market for cannabis to be reintroduced by Alexandria State Senator Adam Ebbin

Marijuana (photo via Wesley Gibbs/Unsplash)

Alexandria State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-39) will reintroduce a bill defeated last year to create a marketplace for legal sales and purchasing of cannabis.

Ebbin hopes the Democrat-controlled Virginia legislature will approve his bill to create a regulatory and licensing structure for the market, and “wholesale of marijuana and marijuana products to be administered by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority.” The legislation was killed in committee by the House of Delegates last year.

“The bill would allow for cannabis retail sales with adults over 21 to begin on July 1 of 2024,” Ebbin said. “Those people who are in the pharmaceutical cannabis space could incubate new businesses well-experienced in the field so that some additional businesses would compete, and then even have more licenses, on January 1, 2025.”

Virginia legalized Cannabis possession in 2021. Adults 21 years and older can possess up to an ounce of cannabis in a public space, grow up to four plants in their home and “share” a gift of up to an ounce of marijuana to another adult. Possession of more than an ounce, but less than a pound, is still a civil penalty of $25. Possessing more than that is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

Ebbin said that the new bill is 40 pages, far shorter than the 400-page bill he introduced last year, but that it is essentially the same.

Virginia State Sen. Adam Ebbin speaks at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, July 22, 2020. (staff photo by James Cullum)

He also said that Gov. Glenn Youngkin has not been forthcoming on his views on cannabis.

“We know he doesn’t like cannabis,” Ebbin said. “There’ll be increased tax revenue, but also there would be reduction in the black market and organized crime. Rather, there would be tested products so that adults who choose to use cannabis would know exactly what they’re getting and not getting something that is in it or might not be healthy.”

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