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The Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) is an independent, apolitical subdivision of the Commonwealth dedicated to promoting public health and safety and protecting consumers through balanced and inclusive cannabis regulation, policy, and education.

The Code of Virginia allows for five pharmaceutical processor permits, one in each health service area established by the Department of Health to cultivate, process, and dispense medical cannabis to registered patients.

Virginia’s recreational marijuana industry is on indefinite hold. Less than two years after the state became the first in the South to legalize adult-use marijuana for adults 21 and older, the projected start date for legal sales of Jan. 1, 2024, has been effectively scrapped.

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Virginia has a relatively recent history with cannabis legalization. In 2020, the state passed a law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis, making it a civil offense with a fine rather than a criminal offense with the possibility of jail time. This law went into effect on July 1, 2020.

In 2021, Virginia took another step towards cannabis legalization by passing a law legalizing and regulating the use and possession of cannabis for adults 21 and over. The law allows adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to four plants per household for personal use. Retail sales of cannabis are set to begin in 2024, with the state establishing a regulatory framework for cultivation, processing, and retail sales.

Virginia’s cannabis policy has been shaped by its proximity to neighboring Washington D.C. and Maryland, both of which have legalized cannabis for adult use. Virginia lawmakers and advocates have cited the potential economic benefits and social justice implications of legalizing cannabis, including the creation of new jobs and the reduction of racial disparities in cannabis-related arrests and convictions.

Overall, Virginia has made significant progress in cannabis legalization in a relatively short amount of time. While retail sales are still a few years away, the state has taken a significant step towards broader legalization and regulation of cannabis.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.