Virginia is now the 16th state to legalize hashish for grownup use and the fourth state to take action by passing a invoice by way of its state legislature versus going to the voters. On Wednesday, Virginia lawmakers authorised a invoice that can legalize, regulate, and tax hashish gross sales for adults 21 and over. It will in all probability be one other two years earlier than the state sees any retail gross sales.
“Virginia legislators are proving that it is possible to work swiftly to pass legislation that will not only legalize cannabis but also address the disproportionate harm caused by decades of prohibition,” stated Steve Hawkins, MPP’s government director. “Virginia is just the latest state to end cannabis prohibition and replace it with sensible legalization and regulation for adults 21 and over. MPP is proud to have played an important role in three of the four states where legislatures have voted to legalize cannabis — Vermont, Illinois, and now, Virginia.” Newly launched statewide polling data finds that 68% of registered voters in Virginia, together with majorities of Democrats and Republicans, assist legalizing marijuana for adults.
MPP stated that along with legalizing hashish for adults 21 and over, the regulation will set up a Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund that will likely be used to assist individuals, households, and communities which were disproportionately affected by enforcement of hashish legal guidelines. Legal possession and private cultivation will start on July 1, 2021.
You can discover a abstract of the invoice here.
“It’s encouraging to see that legislators in so many states are embracing regulation as an alternative to failed prohibition policies,” stated Matt Simon, MPP’s senior legislative analyst. “Virginia is the first state in the South to legalize cannabis, and we can be certain that others will follow as public support continues to grow.”
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NORML Development Director Jenn Michelle Pedini, who additionally serves because the Executive Director of Virginia NORML, stated: “This is an incredible victory for Virginia. Legalization will bring an end to the thousands of low-level marijuana infractions occurring annually in the Commonwealth — ending a discriminatory practice that far too often targets Virginians who are young, poor, and people of color.”
Size of Market
A state-commissioned report urged that, “Depending on demand and the tax rate selected, commercial marijuana could produce $31–$62 million during the first full year of sales, depending on the state’s chosen tax rate (figure). By the fifth year of sales, commercial marijuana could produce $154–$308 million in tax revenue. If the state set the marijuana sales tax at 25%, there would eventually be an estimated $177–$300 million in net tax revenue after operational costs ($147–$250 million if the marijuana sales tax rate was set at 20%).” The report additionally stated that Virginia’s marijuana trade may ultimately be answerable for creating roughly 11,000 to greater than 18,000 jobs (0.three to 0.5% of the state’s workforce).
“Virginia Alcohol Board Control Authority could need $7–$9 million annually to hire approximately 85 to 105 staff. Creating a new agency could cost $9–$12 million annually to hire approximately 110 to 140 staff. VABC would also be able to implement its new responsibilities faster than a new agency.”
Activists Celebrate A Win
“It is a huge day for equity in the Commonwealth,” Majority Leader Charniele Herring added. “Virginia is now the first state in the South to legalize recreational marijuana use, and I am so proud to have been able to carry this monumental legislation. I am ever grateful for the commitment and advocacy from NORML on this topic. Getting Virginia to this day would not have been possible without their hard work and dedication to the cause.”
RELATED: What You Need to Know About Virginia’s Adult-Use Bill
“The passage of SB1406 caps off years of struggle to reform our broken and outdated marijuana laws and begins the deliberate steps to repeal the harms of the failed prohibition,” stated Senator Adam Ebbin. “I am thankful to NORML, the Governor, and my colleagues for moving this 283 bill from inception to passage over the last four months, and look forward to continuing to partner with them to establish a regulated, equity focused, adult-use marketplace in the coming years.”
Pedini added, “Virginians were very clear that they are ready for legalization this year, sending over 8,800 emails in support of these measures.”