Can localities opt out of legal marijuana sales? Virginia lawmakers debating role of public opinionPosted by On


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)- Virginia lawmakers are debating the role of public opinion in the push to legalize recreational marijuana sales for those 21 and older.

The path the General Assembly chooses to take could have major implications for access in certain parts of the state and even the fate of the legal market altogether.

Local authority is one of many details being decided in the coming weeks, as the House and Senate work to come to a consensus on diverging bills. The two versions that passed last week have to be reconciled before Gov. Ralph Northam will have an opportunity to make changes of his own.

Neither chamber decided to embrace the approach originally crafted by Northam’s Administration, which would’ve required localities to opt-in to commercial sales.

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), a chief co-patron of the Senate bill, said his caucus preferred an opt-out provision. He said localities wanting to ban retail sales would have to win the approval of voters in a ballot referendum, rather than an ordinance that could quickly be passed by a local governing body.

“There was a desire to have less of a patch-work approach and to have it legal in more places than not … and not to go down the same road as liquor-by-the-drink,” Ebbin…

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)- Virginia lawmakers are debating the role of public opinion in the push to legalize recreational marijuana sales for those 21 and older.

The path the General Assembly chooses to take could have major implications for access in certain parts of the state and even the fate of the legal market altogether.

Local authority is one of many details being decided in the coming weeks, as the House and Senate work to come to a consensus on diverging bills. The two versions that passed last week have to be reconciled before Gov. Ralph Northam will have an opportunity to make changes of his own.

Neither chamber decided to embrace the approach originally crafted by Northam’s Administration, which would’ve required localities to opt-in to commercial sales.

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), a chief co-patron of the Senate bill, said his caucus preferred an opt-out provision. He said localities wanting to ban retail sales would have to win the approval of voters in a ballot referendum, rather than an ordinance that could quickly be passed by a local governing body.

“There was a desire to have less of a patch-work approach and to have it legal in more places than not … and not to go down the same road as liquor-by-the-drink,” Ebbin…



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