On March 8, 2020, the Virginia Legislature approved SJ 67, legislation that would implement a work group to study how Virginia should go about legalizing and regulating cannabis.
The bill directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to lead the study, complete its meetings by November 30, 2020, and submit a summary of its finding and recommendations to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems before the 2021 legislative session.
Here’s a summary of what SJ 67 outlines JLARC to do:
Study and provide guidance on the potential creation of a Cannabis Control Commission to oversee licensing and regulation of industrial hemp, medical cannabis, and adult-use cannabis;
Study and make recommendations regarding the issuance of initial cultivation and retail licenses;
Develop and recommend a fee structure and grandfathering process for current pharmaceutical processors;
Study and recommend potential cannabis advertising regulations;
Study and determine appropriate public consumption venues; and
Study whether to allow personal cultivation
Provide regulatory guidance on potential tax rates and revenue forecasts for retail and wholesale products
Study funding and processing requirements for expungement of criminal records
Study and recommend methods for diversifying ownership of the cannabis market;
Assess the adult-use cannabis programs of California, Massachusetts, and Illinois and their effectiveness in transferring economic prosperity to disproportionately affected areas; and
Study the potential development of a community reinvestment fund
Review and analyze National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies on cannabis-related impairment