In Virginia, as in other states, marijuana laws are always changing. One difference, however, is that they have been changing in very different directions.
In many states, marijuana laws are changing to decriminalize it or even make it legal to sell recreational marijuana. For example, there are dispensaries in states like Michigan, Colorado and Washington, just to name a handful. And voters in Virginia did approve this, legalizing it in 2021.
However, an election was then won by Republican governor Glenn Youngkin. When he created the budget bill for 2022, it re-criminalized anything over 4 ounces. This means that citizens of the state may believe they are not breaking the law when they are actually in violation of these new regulations.
A problem with definitions
This isn’t the only problem with the new budget bill. It also doesn’t define what it is trying to criminalize. It just refers to the product as “marijuana” in general. But critics have noted that there are edibles, concentrates, seeds and cannabis flowers. It is unclear if those who drafted the bill were aware of these differences.
Since the bill doesn’t actually differentiate between these, someone should have edibles at their home that they believe are legal. But if they leave their home with these products, they could accidentally be in violation of the new law and have more than 4 ounces in public. This is in part because edibles contain many products other than just marijuana.
In any case, you can see just how complicated this has become and how many people are going to face legal charges they never expected. If this happens to you, be sure you understand your options.