Virginia Proposes Budgets Relating to the Cannabis Industry

As expected, Virginia’s money committees released their proposed biennial budget for FY2023-2024 (July 1, 2022- June 30, 2024) earlier this week. In regards to the impact on the cannabis and hemp industries, we have provided an overview of the pertinent sections below …

HEMP PRODUCTS & D8

Regulation of Hemp Products Intended for Human Consumption, i.e., SB591 “redo” (Budget Item 4-14 #5c)

This amendment revises existing provisions in the Code of Virginia related to possession of marijuana products, labeling requirements for industrial hemp products, and labeling and packaging requirements for substances with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) intended for human consumption, but, notably, without any ban on D8 products or arbitrary THC caps. This amendment also prohibits sale of substances with THC intended for human consumption to individuals under 21 years of age, with certain exceptions related to medical cannabis. The amendment prohibits such substances that are sold in certain child-friendly shapes or that are counterfeit products. It establishes a task force led by the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry to analyze and make recommendations regarding whether any statutory or regulatory modifications are necessary to ensure the safe and responsible manufacture and sale of industrial hemp extracts and other substances containing tetrahydrocannabinol that are intended for human consumption, orally or by inhalation, in the Commonwealth.

Funding for VDACS’s Regulation & Enforcement of Hemp Products Intended for Human Consumption (Budget Item 104 #1c)

This amendment provides $700,000 GF and 7.0 FTE positions each year to allow VDACS to regulate hemp products intended for human consumption.

ADULT USE MARIJUANA

Adjust Start-Up Funding for Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (Budget Item 397 #1c)

This amendment reduces by $3.6 million the first year and $10.5 million the second year from the general fund the amounts included in the introduced budget for the establishment of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. A total of $8.2 million the first year and $11.2 million the second year from the general fund is provided for establishment of the Authority, including $3.0 million the second year for low-interest loans to applicants and licensees.

Defer Funding and Positions for the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Board (Budget Item 55 #2c)

This amendment defers new positions and funding of $255,388 the first year and $459,544 the second year from the general fund designated for the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Board, due to continuation of Senate Bill 391 of the 2022 General Assembly to the 2023 General Assembly Session.