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Virginia Considers Early Start For Marijuana Sales

Need some good news? The start of retail Cannabis sales in Virginia could come sooner than initially planned


Need some good news? The start of retail Cannabis sales in Virginia could come sooner than initially planned, reports Richmond BizSense.

The commission implementing marijuana legalization recently created a subcommittee on how to expedite the start of retail sales in Virginia, currently scheduled for January 2024.

That subcommittee will meet in the first half of November. It will make recommendations, said Henry Watkins, chief of staff for commission chairman, Sen. Adam Ebbin.

The Cannabis Oversight Commission created the subcommittee during a meeting earlier this month. The question of a quicker start to retail sales comes amid other debates among lawmakers about the new industry as it takes shape.

Virginia Medical Licensee Participation?

Commission members have clashed on allowing participation of the state’s medical Cannabis operators in the retail market.

The state’s four medical marijuana operators can have dispensaries onsite at their growing facilities. They can additionally have five satellite medical dispensaries each. Dispensaries can run adult-use retail operations once retail sales are underway.

State Senator Jennifer McClellan criticized that arrangement during the recent meeting.

“I think there’s a tension in our equity goals if we’re giving medical licensees, who are basically incumbents, a competitive advantage,” McClellan said.

Ebbin said the game plan for retail operations at medical dispensaries could help the market as a whole ramp up quickly. He added that’s particularly true if the market opens sooner than currently planned.

Ebbin also said medical operators could possibly sell marijuana seeds starting next July.

The commission will forward its guidance to the General Assembly before when it enacts the legislation related to the creation of the legal retail market. It expects to finalize what it’ll recommend to the General Assembly by December, Watkins said.

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