Understanding the New Marijuana Laws in Virginia


Part of the mission of the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board is to provide education, recovery, treatment and wellness supports to the residents of Planning District 16. Our Prevention Services works to educate children and youth (as well as adults) on the impacts of substance use and abuse.

Their goal is to help youth make healthy choices for their bodies. And since our brains aren’t fully developed until our mid to late 20’s, empowering youth to make informed decisions is vital to individual and community wellness.

With new marijuana laws for adult use taking effect July 1, 2021 in Virginia, please take some time to review what is illegal and legal with regards to marijuana. (For the full legislation, look up HB 2312 and SB 1406).

Illegal:
  • It will remain illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume, purchase, or possess marijuana, or to attempt to consume, purchase or possess any amount of marijuana.
  • Existing safety measures will remain in place, including prohibiting use of marijuana while driving a motor vehicle or while being a passenger in a motor vehicle being driven; possessing marijuana on school grounds, while operating a school bus, in a motor vehicle transporting passengers for hire, or in a commercial vehicle.
  • It is illegal to consume (smoke, vape, eat) marijuana in public.
  • It will remain illegal for anyone to possess more than one ounce of marijuana. Individuals found guilty of possessing more than one ounce, but not more than one pound of marijuana are subject to a civil penalty of not more than $25. Individuals convicted of possessing more than one pound are guilty of a felony.
  • It will remain illegal to distribute or sell marijuana, and/or to possess any amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute or sell it. This prohibition applies equally to businesses, which will not be permitted to sell, “gift,” or in any other way distribute marijuana.
Legal:
  • Adults 21 years and older will be allowed to possess not more than one ounce of marijuana for personal use.
  • Adults 21 years and older will be allowed to use marijuana in private residences. However, nothing prohibits the owner of a private residence from restricting the use of marijuana on its premises.
  • Adults 21 and over will be allowed to grow up to four plants per household (not per person).
    • Plant cannot be visible from a public way
    • Take precautions to prevent access to those by persons under 21 years of age
    • Requirements for plant to be tagged with name, DL or ID#, notation plant is being grown for personal use
  • “Adult sharing” or transferring one ounce or less of marijuana between persons who are 21 years or older without remuneration will be legal. "Adult sharing" does not include instances in which (i) marijuana is given away contemporaneously with another reciprocal transaction between the same parties; (ii) a gift of marijuana is offered or advertised in conjunction with an offer for the sale of goods or services; or (iii) a gift of marijuana is contingent upon a separate reciprocal transaction for goods or services.

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