What You Need to Know About Legal Possession and Home Cultivation in Virginia (4/20/2021)

OVERVIEW

Under Virginia’s recently adopted “Adult-Use Bill” (SB1406), the commercial production and sale of marijuana is NOT permitted until 2024. However, the Governor’s amendments to the bill, which were approved by the General Assembly in April, allow for adults at least 21 years of age to possess, gift, and cultivate marijuana at home under certain circumstances as early as this year. This article summarizes the portions of the Adult-Use Bill that become effective July 1, 2021, and is not intended as legal advice. Please consult your attorney for additional clarifications.

LEGAL POSSESSION

  • Adults 21+ may possess up to one ounce of marijuana, effective July 1, 2021. See SB1406, § 4.1-1100 at page 155;
  • Consumption of marijuana in a public place will still be PROHIBITED. See SB1406, § 4.1-1108 at 159;
  • Drivers and passengers of motor vehicles may NOT consume marijuana while in the vehicle. See SB1406, § 4.1-1107 at 159;
    • Moreover, a court may presume that a driver or passenger has consumed marijuana while in the vehicle in violation of § 4.1-1107, if:
      • an open container is located within the passenger area of the motor vehicle,
      • the marijuana or marijuana products in the open container have been at least partially removed, and
      • (iii) the appearance, conduct, speech, or other physical characteristic of such person, excluding odor, is consistent with the consumption of marijuana or marijuana products. Ibid.

GIFTING/SHARING

  • “Adult sharing” means transferring marijuana between persons who are 21 years of age or older without remuneration, and is permitted as of July 1, 2021. See SB1406, § 4.1-1101.1 at 156;
  • “Adult sharing” does NOT include the following instances, which remain PROHIBITED:
    •  selling marijuana in any capacity;
    • marijuana is given away contemporaneously with another reciprocal transaction between the same parties;
    • a gift of marijuana is offered or advertised in conjunction with an offer for the sale of goods or services; or
    •  a gift of marijuana is contingent upon a separate reciprocal transaction for goods or services. Ibid.

HOME CULTIVATION

  • Effective July 1, 2021, an adult 21+ may cultivate up to four marijuana plants for personal use at their place of primary residence. See SB1406, § 4.1-1101 at 156;
  • Any person engaging in home cultivation after July 1, 2021, MUST:
    • ensure that no marijuana plant is visible from a public way;
    • take precautions to prevent unauthorized access by persons younger than 21 years of age; and
    • attach to each marijuana plant a legible tag that includes the person’s name, driver’s license or identification number, and a notation that the marijuana plant is being grown for personal use as authorized pursuant to § 4.1-1101. Ibid.
  • The manufacture of marijuana concentrate from home-cultivated marijuana is PROHIBITED. Id.

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