Virginia General Assembly passes law allowing for legal possession of one ounce of Marijuana

Virginia state capitol
The Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.

The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill on Wednesday allowing for the legal possession of up to one ounce of Marijuana.

Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax broke a 20-20 tie in the Virginia Senate, moving the legislation forward years earlier than anticipated.

The measure will go into effect on July 1, 2021. Virginia has become the 16th state to legalize recreational Marijuana, and the first southern state to do so.

Gov. Ralph Northam has signaled his willingness to sign the bill, and had moved it’s implementation date to July 1 instead of January 1, 2024, arguing that the state should not continue to criminalize Marijuana users.

Democratic Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn also applauded the bill.

“Today, with the Governor’s amendments, we will have made tremendous progress in ending the targeting of Black and brown Virginians through selective enforcement of marijuana prohibition by this summer,” she said in a statement.

Virginia residents 21 and older can legally possess, use and grow Marijuana from July 1 onwards, but the timeline for recreational dispensaries to receive licenses could take years.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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