Landmark Legislation Would Make Virginia the First Southern State to Legalize Marijuana
In a groundbreaking vote in Virginia, both legislatures have voted to legalize recreational, adult use of marijuana. Beginning in 2024, cannabis will be available for purchase in regulated stores, with tax revenue ear-marked for pre-K and public health programs, addiction treatment and a fund to remedy the effects of the drug’s criminalization.
About 68% of Virginia’s registered voters support legalizing marijuana, according to poll results released Tuesday by the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University. Virginia will be the 16th state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana and the first in the South after the House of Delegates and Senate passed different legalization bills this past Friday.
On Friday the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate each passed their respective versions of adult use marijuana legalization legislation (House Bill 2312 and Senate Bill 1406). The Senate version received bi-partisan support with 2 Republicans opting to support moving a legalization vehicle.
The 2 bills are not the same and the 2 chambers have some substantial differences in how they are setting up licensing structure, legalization, criminal justice reforms and expungement, and the timelines for the entire program and process. The bills have now “crossed over” and will be heard in the opposite chamber where the Senate will amend the House bill to its preferences and the House will amend the Senate bill to its preferences. The bills will then go to a conference committee in order to finalize the legislative proposal for final voting.
We expect the legislation to continue to change as the process unfolds and are working closely with the bill patrons to ensure that the medical program is expressly included in the adult use regulatory scheme.
The Botanical Bill Passes Virginia Senate
In addition to the legalization measures for cannabis, the Botanical (Flower) Bill also passed the Virginia Senate. This bill addresses access to medical marijuana in the form of flower – otherwise known as the smokable section of the cannabis plant, also known as nuggets, nugs, or bud. This bill has the potential to provide patients with a lower cost product and expanded medical cannabis options.
Almost every patient that visits our facility asks about access to flower, so this has been our top priority. House Bill 2218 passed on an 93-3 vote and Senate Bill 1333 passed on an 32-5 vote. There are minor technical differences in the bills that will be ironed out before final passage.
Dharma Pharmaceuticals: Owned by Virginians for Virginians
Northam said on WAMU radio’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show, “Virginia will be the first in the South, but we tend to be leaders, and now that’s what we’re going to do this year. And we’re going to do it the right way.” In November of 2020, the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission study found that legalization could generate more than $300 million per year in tax revenues by the fifth year of operations and also create more than 11,000 jobs.
Virginia Marijuana Legalization has been one of our top legislative priorities, and Dharma Pharmaceuticals remains committed to providing new job opportunities for Virginians.
Additional Legislative News:
House Bill 1862 prohibits an employer from discharging, disciplining, or discriminating against an employee for such employee’s lawful use of cannabis oil pursuant to a valid written certification. This bill passed the House on an 86-12 vote and is now headed to the Senate.
Operational Fixes to the Medical Cannabis Program
House Bill 1988 effects numerous changes to the processing and dispensing of cannabis oil by pharmaceutical processors in the Commonwealth. Dharma has worked closely with the bill patron to ensure our priorities are included. This bill will improve operational efficiencies and ultimately reduce patient costs. This bill passed the House on an 99-0 vote and is now headed to the Senate.
Introducing 2 new Cannabis Vape Options at Dharma Pharmaceuticals!
THC: 47.4% THC-A: 25.45 CBD: 0.81% CBD-A: 0.53%
THC: 41.31% THC-A: 26.24% CBD: 1.97% CBD-A: 1.96%
Featured Patient Testimonial:
My experience was great! Staff is very friendly and helpful. I got a true sense of safety that I am putting my health in these people’s hands. The products I purchased are the most effective medical cannabis I’ve had. I have Multiple Sclerosis and one symptom that never got resolved fully before taking Dharma’s products was pain in my hands and arms. I didn’t think I could feel better than I did, but I do!~ Google Review from Tamara N., Dharma Patient