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Bill to legalize marijuana clears first hurdle in Virginia Senate

Added 01-25-21 04:23:01pm EST - “Legislation that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Virginia jumped another hurdle Friday when lawmakers advanced the bill through the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee.” - Washingtonexaminer.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Washingtonexaminer.com: “Bill to legalize marijuana clears first hurdle in Virginia Senate”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Legislation that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Virginia jumped another hurdle Friday when lawmakers advanced the bill through the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee.

Senate Bill 1406, sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, would legalize the recreational sale and use of marijuana for adults age 21 or older in the commonwealth. It narrowly advanced through the committee on an 8-7 vote with support from every Democrat and opposition from every Republican.

The legislation would take effect Jan. 1 2024, providing time for the state to issue licenses for the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana. It also would provide time for the Cannabis Control Authority, which would be established with this bill, to set regulations for the recreational marijuana marketplace.

An amendment pushed the effective date to 2024 unless the General Assembly chooses to expedite the process. The bill was written originally to take effect in 2023.

Another amendment was added to the legislation that would require localities to formally opt out if they do not want marijuana sold in their jurisdiction; the original language would have required localities to formally opt in if they wanted to allow the sale of marijuana in their jurisdiction. The change was meant to make marijuana sale the standard across the state unless a locality takes action to block it.

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