Virginia Lawmakers To Legalize $1.4 billion-Market Adult-use Cannabis; Gov. Youngkin, 56, Lukewarm On Recreational Sales | JV Beltran

VIRGINIA —Two marijuana bills have recently been approved by Virginia’s legislature, which could potentially lead to the establishment of adult-use sales in the state by 2024.

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Gov. Youngkin concerns about regulation and consumer safety of hemp and delta-8

The success of these bills, however, is uncertain, as the legislature is divided, with Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin showing a reserved stance on expanding the state’s medical marijuana program into recreational sales.

When asked if he would sign the bills into law, Governor Youngkin has stated that he is more focused on legislation that deals with the regulation and consumer safety of hemp and delta-8 products.

“Let me be clear, the bill I am tracking and looking for is a bill that deals with hemp and delta-8 and the regulations and consumer safety around those products. Right now, we have products that are being mislabeled, mis-sold and targeted towards children,”

Youngkin told 8News,

“That is the bill that I am watching to make sure that comes out because that’s the bill I want to sign.”

2 legislative bills to legalize adult-use cannabis

The bills aim to allow licensed businesses to take tax deductions that are currently prohibited under federal tax codes.

The first bill would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell adult-use products starting January 1st, 2024. However, there are concerns that taxation and social equity provisions could potentially hinder a consensus.

The second bill would allow cannabis operators to deduct certain taxes that are banned under Section 280E of the U.S tax code. This would effectively separate the state’s operators from the federal tax code, a move that is similar to what several other states, such as New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, are currently undertaking.

Legalization of the adult-use market of recreational sales on hold for 2 years

Attempts to establish recreational sales in Virginia have been put on hold for nearly two years since the state’s then-Democratic Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation in April 2021 that aimed to legalize the potential $1.4 billion adult-use market.

As a result, license holders in the state have decided to expand their medical marijuana operations while they await further legislative progress for the launch of adult-use sales.

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