RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Democrats are once again putting forward a bill that would establish the retail marketplace for recreational marijuana sales in Virginia.
While advocates for a legal marketplace feel there is “hope” to get something done, Republicans and Governor Youngkin have clear skepticism about backing any plan for retail sales.
In Virginia, adults can currently legally possess and use marijuana in private spaces, but there is no place or framework to legally purchase cannabis.
Medical marijuana is available for Virginia patients when their doctor provides written documentation.
Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and Delegate Paul Krizek (D-Fairfax) have put forth bills to set up the legal marketplace in Virginia.
Under the legislation, the four medical operators in Virginia could begin legal recreational sales before other operators, as early as summer 2024.
Those operators would pay a $1 million license fee up front and sales would be taxed. A significant portion of that money, under the plan, would initially go toward creating a “cannabis incubator” program, run by the medical operators for micro business owners.
Advocates said minority communities often face funding and operational hurdles when starting a cannabis business, and the program would help alleviate some of those concerns, they said.
Those seeking a micro business license in the industry would not face initial funding or facility requirements to obtain one, advocates said.
“Some of the barriers…