VIRGINIA BEACH — After state legislators loosened regulations on marijuana last year, Virginia Beach city leaders are trying to get in front of any further changes to the law. They recently established a cannabis task force and support state legislation on taxing cannabis sales. Earlier this month, the council invited experts to answer questions at a meeting.
Jeremy Preiss, chief of regulatory policy for the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority, said at the meeting Virginia Beach is already in a unique situation when it comes to cannabis.
“Where Virginia Beach may differ from other communities is the scale of what you’re facing,” Preiss told the council members. “You guys are an attractive destination; a lot of people come to the area to relax, have a good time, party.”
The General Assembly legalized marijuana in Virginia in 2021, with certain limitations and conditions. It can be used and shared by adults 21 and older in a residence but not in public. Adults 21 and older may grow up to four plants per household, and the only legal way to purchase marijuana in Virginia is through medical retail sales.
The General Assembly didn’t pass proposed legislation needed to create a marijuana retail market, but it may revisit the issue in the 2023 session, which begins in January.
If retail sales are eventually legalized in Virginia, communities across the state will decide whether to allow stores and enact zoning laws to control them.
Illicit cannabis consumption and sales…