CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With Virginia’s new law legalizing recreational use of marijuana, there’s still lots of uncertainty around the specific regulations.
“As sort of the intersection of the mid-Atlantic, northeast, and the south where Virginia lies, it makes us a really unique player in the cannabis market for agritourism, distribution, and other things,” Gentry Locke Consulting Firm’s Greg Habeeb said.
Virginia is the first southern state to legalize recreational use of marijuana. That law will go into effect on July 1, 2021. Lawmakers have made it clear that the use of marijuana won’t be a free for all. The federal government will still oversee some aspects of the industry.
“The FTC, communications, advertising, marketing, FDA, food, anything that’s ingestible, through the food drug and cosmetic act...there are many ways the federal government will regulate and oversee the cannabis industry,” Habeeb said.
Under this legislation, there will be four types of licenses awarded to businesses on a limited scale: cultivation, product manufacturing, wholesale, and retail.
“450 cultivation licenses, 60 product manufacturing licenses, 25 whole sale licenses, and 400 retail licenses,” Gentry Locke’s Matt Horan said. “This is important because this is a very limited market,”
There will be a laundry list of places and businesses that will not be able to hold licenses.
“A hospital, a school, public or private, an institution of higher education, a playground, a park, a child day care center, a substance abuse treatment facility or any other government run facility,” Horan said.
Consumption will also have its limits, especially in the workplace.
“You can be fired from your job for drinking too much so you almost certainly will be fired from your job for smoking or eating too much cannabis,” Habeeb said.
Arguably the most important thing to know come July 1, you can only possess up to one ounce of marijuana and you have to be 21 or older to do so.