Legislation Filed in Virginia to Legalize Marijuana

A legislative proposal that would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older, while decriminalizing it for those under 21, has been filed in Virginia’s House of Representatives.

House Bill 2371 was filed by Delegate Steve Heretick (D) along with four cosponsors. The measure would remove all criminal penalties for the personal possession of marijuana for those 21 and older, while legalizing marijuana retail outlets. These outlets would be taxed at 9.7% in addition to the state’s current sales tax. Around 2/3rds of the tax revenue would go to the general fund, with the remainder going to public education.

According to the bill’s official summary, it “also decriminalizes marijuana possession for persons under 21 years of age and provides a civil penalty of no more than $50 for a first violation, $100 for a second violation, and $250 for a third or subsequent violation.”

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Bill to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalty and Allow Marijuana Exungements Passed by Virginia Subcommittee

A House of Representatives Subcommittee in Virginia has passed legislation that would reduce the penalty for first time marijuana possession charges.

The proposal – Senate Bill 954 – would reduce “the penalties for possession of marijuana to a fine of not more than $500”, and would allow for such charges to be expunged (removed) from criminal records (for someone’s first offense). Under current law minor marijuana possession can result in a fine as well as up to 30 days in jail. The proposed law states that those wanting to expunge a past marijuana conviction must pay a $150 fee, which would be directed to the Heroin and Prescription Opioid Epidemic Fund.

The House Committee for Courts of Justice Subcommittee passed the measure in a 7 to 1 vote. Last month the the full Virginia Senate approved the bill 38 to 2. Senator Thomas Norment, the measure’s primary sponsor, says that although the measure is far from perfect and not as progressive as he’d prefer, it still “makes a substantial step forward.”

Read moreBill to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalty and Allow Marijuana Exungements Passed by Virginia Subcommittee

Virginia Senate Unanimously Approves Bill to Allow Medical Use of CBD and THC-A Oil

A proposal to allow for the medical use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil and tetrahydrocannabinol-acid (THC-A) oil for any medical condition deemed appropriate by a practitioner has been passed unanimously by Virginia’s Senate.

photosource420magazineHouse Bill 1251 was approved today 40 to 0 by Virginia’s Senate, a little over two weeks it was passed 98 to 0 by the state’s House of Representatives.

According to its official summary, the measure; “Provides that a practitioner may issue a written certification for the use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for the treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of any diagnosed condition or disease determined by the practitioner to benefit from such use.” Under current law, “a practitioner may only issue such certification for the treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of intractable epilepsy.” The bill also “increases the supply of CBD oil or THC-A oil a pharmaceutical processor may dispense from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply”, and “reduces the minimum amount of cannabidiol or tetrahydrocannabinol acid per milliliter for a dilution of the Cannabis plant to fall under the definition of CBD oil or THC-A oil, respectively.”

Read moreVirginia Senate Unanimously Approves Bill to Allow Medical Use of CBD and THC-A Oil

Virginia Senate Passes Bill to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalty, Allow Marijuana Expungements

Legislation that would reduce the penalty for, and allow for the expungement of, first time marijuana possession charges has been passed by Virginia’s full Senate.

marijuana terminologyThe Senate voted 38 to 2 today to pass Senate Bill 954, which was filed by Senator Tommy Norment (R). The measure “Reduces the penalties for possession of marijuana to a fine of not more than $500”, whereas currently such a charge can result in up to 30 days in jail. The bill also provides that a first offense for possession of marijuana is eligible for expungement, given the individual charged pays a $150 fee (which would  go to the Heroin and Prescription Opioid Epidemic Fund)

Senator Norment says that although the measure is far from perfect and isn’t as large of a law change as he’d prefer, it still “makes a substantial step forward.”

Read moreVirginia Senate Passes Bill to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalty, Allow Marijuana Expungements

Virginia Subcommittee Unanimously Passes Bill to Allow Anyone to Grow and Sale Hemp Without a License

A Virginia House subcommittee passed a bill Wednesday that would allow anyone to grow and distribute hemp without being required to first receive a license from the state.

A subcommittee of the House Commerce, Agriculture, Natural Resources & Technology Committee voted 8 to 0 to pass House Bill 532, which was filed by Delegate Nicholas Freitas (D).

Under current Virginia law hemp cultivation is legal for licensed growers participating in a hemp research program. House Bill 532 removes the restriction that hemp must be grown for research, and “Eliminates the licensure requirement for growing industrial hemp and allows any person to sell industrial hemp”. In other words, hemp would be treated like any other agricultural commodity, such as tomatoes or corn.

Read moreVirginia Subcommittee Unanimously Passes Bill to Allow Anyone to Grow and Sale Hemp Without a License

Virginia: New Bipartisan Bill Would Decriminalize Marijuana Possession, Reduce Penalty for Distribution

A bipartisan group of state legislators in Virginia have filed a measure that would decriminalize marijuana possession, and reduce the penalty for distributing up to half a pound.

According to its official summary, House Bill 1063 “Decriminalizes marijuana possession and provides a civil penalty of no more than $250 for a first violation and $1,000 for a second or subsequent violation.” Under current law, a first offense is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum jail sentence of 30 days, and subsequent offenses are a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill “creates a rebuttable presumption that a person who possesses no more than one-half ounce of marijuana possesses it for personal use and provides that the existing suspended sentence and substance abuse screening provisions apply only to criminal violations or to civil violations by a minor.”

The bill also “decreases the penalty for distribution or possession with intent to sell more than one-half but not more than five pounds of marijuana from a Class 5 felony to a Class 6 felony.”

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Virginia Senate Majority Leader Working on Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

One of Virginia’s top lawmakers is currently working on legislation that would decriminalize marijuana throughout the state.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, a Republican, says he’s in the process of drafting a bill that would remove the possibility of jail time for those caught possessing marijuana. The measure is likely to effect those caught possessing an ounce or less. Under current Virginia law, those caught possessing up to half an ounce of marijuana can be charged with a misdemeanor and imprisoned for up to 30 days; for subsequent offenses the potential jail time rises to a year. Possessing over half an ounce is a felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison.

Norment’s announcement that he’s working on a decriminalization measure comes shortly after the release of a State Crime Commission study which found that such a law would prevent over 10,000 arrests every year in Virginia. Not only would this save taxpayer money to persecute and imprison marijuana users, it will prevent the life-altering consequences associated with a marijuana misdemeanor.

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Virginia Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Pharmacy Distribution of CBD and THC-A Oil

Legislation legalizing the production and distribution of CBD and THC-A oil has been signed by Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Senate Bill 1027 was signed into law by Governor McAuliffe on Thursday. His signatures comes after a unanimous vote in the state’s Senate and House of Representatives (137 to 0).

Senate Bill 1027 “Authorizes a pharmaceutical processor, after obtaining a permit from the Board of Pharmacy (the Board) and under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, to manufacture and provide cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil to be used for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.” The measure is an expension of a law passed in 2014 that legalized the medical use of CBD and THC-A oil, but without authorizing a legal means of obtaining it.

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Virginia Governor Expected to Sign Bill Legalizing Distribution of Medical CBD and THC-A Oil

A bill to legalize the production and distribution of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THC-A) oil for medical purposes is expected to be signed into law by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Senate Bill 1027 was passed by the state’s House of Representatives with a unanimous 99 to 0 vote, and was approved by the Senate with a unanimous 38 to 0 vote.  According to reports, Governor McAuliffe is expected to soon sign the measure into law (his deadline to do so is March 27th).

Under current Virginia law, the possession and use of CBD and THC-A oil is legal for medical use for those with epilepsy, but there’s no legal means of accessing the medicine. Senate Bill 1027 “Authorizes a pharmaceutical processor, after obtaining a permit from the Board of Pharmacy (the Board) and under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, to manufacture and provide cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil to be used for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.”

Read moreVirginia Governor Expected to Sign Bill Legalizing Distribution of Medical CBD and THC-A Oil

Virginia Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Use and Distribution of CBD and THC-A Oil

Virginia’s full legislature has given approval to legislation allowing for the production and distribution of medical oil made from cannabidiol (CBD) or THC-A (tetrahydrocannabinol acid).

Under current Virginia law, oil made from CBD or THCA (both compounds found in cannabis) is legal to possess and use for medical purposes, but only for those with intractable epilepsy. There also isn’t a safe, legal means for patients to access the oil.

The newly-approved measure would greatly expand the list of conditions that makes someone eligible to use these medicines to include HIV/AIDS, cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and several others. The proposal also allows pharmacies to manufacture and distribute the medicines to qualified patients (those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state).

Read moreVirginia Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Use and Distribution of CBD and THC-A Oil