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Virginia Advances Recreational Cannabis Bill

But the proposed law could still face opposition from Governor Glenn Youngkin.

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Virginia lawmakers last week advanced a bill that would legalize retail cannabis sales in the state.

The bill would open the license application window in September and let sales start in May 2025. It would allow the state’s cannabis market to support up to 350 cannabis retail stores and 100 cannabis processing facilities, according to ABC 8. Every cannabis product sold in the state would carry a 9% retail tax that would be split evenly between state and local governments.

Del. Paul Krizek (D-Fairfax County) said the legislation, a compromise between the state Senate and House, would create a retail cannabis market in a “very responsible and thoughtful way.”

“And we have to do this because we’ve got to do something about that $3 billion illicit market,” he said. “It’s time to give Virginians access to a safe, tested and taxed product.”

Even if the bill does make it out of both the Virginia Senate and House, it could face a possible veto if sent to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s desk. Cannabis has been legal in the state for years and it’s available through medical dispensaries. But Virginia does not have a recreational market, something it seems Youngkin does not want to see change.

“I’ve said before, this is an area that I really don’t have any interest in,” he said in January. “What I want us to work on are areas that we can find a meeting of the mind and press forward for the betterment of Virginia.”

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