House subcommittee rejects an effort to speed up recreational marijuana sales in Virginia 🌱.
On Monday, the Republican-controlled House General Laws subcommittee voted 5-3 along party lines to carry over Senate Bill 391 until next year.
The Democrat-controlled Senate passed the legislation on a bipartisan vote, which would have also allowed for existing medical marijuana providers and a limited number of industrial hemp processors to begin selling recreational marijuana in mid-September, more than a year before the full retail market would have opened on Jan. 1, 2024.
Adult possession is currently legal in Virginia but there's no way to buy recreational marijuana.
Both Republicans and Democrats at various points expressed support for moving up the date for retail sales to try to prevent growth in the illicit market. Their plans also differ. Democrats proposed a 21% tax rate on marijuana sales. Republicans proposed dropping the tax rate to 10% but the House ultimately didn’t advance any cannabis bills in their own chamber before a key legislative deadline.
After members filed at least eight bills that would have amended the 2021 legislation, the House caucus opted not to take any action on those House measures before a legislative deadline.
- Maria Reynoso, Editor-in-Chief