Virginia marajuana – usually spelled "marijuana" – is becoming an increasingly common topic throughout the state. As more patients obtain their medical marijuana card in VA, the herb is becoming less of a taboo topic.
But what about Virginia marajuana legalization? Are we on the cusp of incredible progress?
The answer, of course, is "yes."
Continue reading to learn more about Virginia marajuana legalization and the laws currently in place.
Is Marajuana Legal in Virginia?
As with all states with legal cannabis, Virginia has some rules in place. For starters, adults 21 years of age and older are allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana flower in public. This change in law has minimized possession arrests in VA.
Personal cultivation of up to four plants per household is also permitted at this point. Anyone 21 years of age or older is allowed to grow at their primary residence. Now that this is legal, patients are permitted to grow and harvest cannabis at home without fear of repercussions.
Adults are also allowed to share their marijuana without remuneration. The law states that adult-sharing of as much as one ounce in private is permitted. This means if a patient has grown too much marijuana for their own consumption, they can give some away to someone else without violating the law.
The state of Virginia also has a medical cannabis program. This program allows patients and caregivers to participate in it, giving the ability to buy from the Virginia dispensaries. Ultimately, this is a recipe for success that has changed the landscape of VA marajuana.
There is some fine print, of course. It is still illegal for anyone under 21 to possess any amount of cannabis in Virginia. While sharing one ounce of cannabis is legal, selling it without remuneration or compensation is an offense punishable by law. Even so, possession arrests have noticeably decreased in recent years.
Is Marajuana Illegal in Virginia?
While Virginia marajuana is legal to some degree, there are some limits. The space cannot be a free for all, of course!
Here are some of the limitations placed on Virginia marajuana:
Virginia does not allow public cannabis consumption. This means that even if you're 21 years of age, you cannot smoke in public. There are no cannabis-friendly hotels or resorts at this point either. Other states like Colorado and New York might allow public marajuana consumption. However, Virginia does not.
Possession of Consumption by Minors (Anyone Under 21)
Yes, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to consume cannabis in Virginia. However, in some cases, minors are patients in need of medical marajuana. If this is the case, the patient must have a guardian who handles the cannabis on their behalf.
Possession on School Grounds or School Buses
In general, it is illegal to possess marijuana on school grounds or any other transportation systems kids use to get to and from school. This includes buses. Of course, all of this changes when you're a medical marajuana patient in Virginia. If your child is one of the few individuals who suffer epilepsy, they may be allowed access to their medicine in the school.
Consumption in a Motor Vehicle While Being Driven (Passenger or Driver)
It is illegal to consume cannabis if the vehicle is in motion at the time. This applies to both passengers and drivers. That means all drivers and passengers, patients or not, must wait until they arrive at their destination before using cannabis (or consuming any other substance that may impair driving).
Open Marijuana Container in a Vehicle
This law applies to both drivers and passengers. If a cannabis container is open in a car, you cannot drive with it. The best way to drive with marijuana is to have it in a container in the trunk. This is the way you'll ensure that you never need to worry about an open container charge in case you're pulled over.
Sharing or Offering Marijuana in Public
It is illegal to share marijuana with anyone you do not know. Furthermore, it is illegal to offer someone cannabis without remuneration or compensation of any kind. This law applies whether the act occurs in public or private.
Selling or Buying Cannabis Outside of the Medical Program
Those who participate in the medical program in Virginia are allowed to purchase cannabis products at dispensaries. However, there is still a ban on black market cannabis. This means that no one can sell marijuana in Virginia unless they're a part of the medical marajuana program.
Selling or Buying Cannabis Seeds or Cannabis Products
While it is not strictly illegal to sell or buy cannabis products from a dispensary or outside the program, it is still a crime to buy or sell seeds. However, patients and caregivers are allowed to grow their own medical marijuana. This is somewhat of a catch-22. But keep in mind, the law will hopefully eventually change to accommodate those who would like to begin cultivating a bit better.
Cannabis Gifting Schemes
Cannabis gifting schemes involve giving away cannabis as a gift with a purchase, public giveaway events, and paid entry consumption events. These are still considered illegal under Virginia law and this is not likely to change any time soon.
Understanding Personal Cultivation in Virginia
Personal marijuana plant cultivation in Virginia involves regulations, too. Whether you're a patient or caregiver, you'll have to do your part to ensure all of your plants adhere to the state's regulations.
Tagging & Tracking Cannabis in Virginia
Each cannabis plant must have information attached to it. You'll need to tag every plant with the owner's name, driver's license/state ID number, and a statement highlighting that the product is for personal use.
Virginia Marajuana Public Visibility is a No-No
Your plants cannot be visible to the public. However, if the plants are visible from an aircraft, binoculars, or with optical aids, that's not an issue.
21+ Access Only
Keep in mind, plants must be kept away from those under the age of 21. This means locking the area up and ensuring there is no accessibility to anyone who is not of legal age.
Indoor & Outdoor Cultivation (With Limitations)
Furthermore, equally important to remember is that cultivation is allowed both indoors and outdoors. However, if you find yourself living in a rental, you may not be allowed to cultivate your plants. This is ultimately up to the owner/landlord.
Cultivation at Primary Residence Only
Cultivation is only allowed at the person's primary residence, too. Thus, it's illegal to purchase a storage unit or rent a separate property to cultivate marijuana plants.
Virginia Marajuana Transportation Insight
For those who need to transport marijuana in Virginia, it's still illegal to drive while impaired. Yes, this also goes for medical cannabis patients.
Drivers and passengers also must abstain from cannabis consumption while the vehicle is being operated. Also, possession of an open container of marajuana while the vehicle is being driven is also illegal.
Keep in mind, transporting cannabis must happen in a totally sealed container in the trunk of a passenger vehicle. Preferably, the container should be locked. The cannabis container can also travel behind the last upright seat in a passenger van, hatchback, sport utility vehicle, station wagon, or comparable vehicle. However, it cannot be within reach of the person operating the vehicle.
Adult-Sharing in Virginia
Adults are allowed to share up to an ounce with one another in private. This is comparable to how adults 21+ are allowed to share a bottle of wine. However, keep in mind, it's illegal to offer or share cannabis with people in public. Furthermore, you cannot exchange cannabis for goods or services as this is considered a gifting scheme.
Closing on Virginia Marajuana Legalization
Overall, the state of Virginia is making progress towards progressive marijuana laws. However, Virginia marajuana legalization still has a long way to go – we can't expect everything to become better overnight!
For those looking to obtain a medical marijuana card, CannabisRxHealth is here to help! Schedule your consultation with one of our licensed physicians and complete the first step to accessing medical marijuana in Virginia.