Yes. Henrico County allows cannabis cultivation. Virginia's Cannabis Control Act enacted recreational marijuana use for people aged 21 and older on July 1, 2021, while medical marijuana use was allowed starting in 2020. The Cannabis Control Act also created the Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CCA), which is the new governing agency establishing additional regulations for licensed marijuana cultivating facilities. The CCA has the legal authority to license up to 450 new marijuana cultivation establishments.
When the Cannabis Control Act went into effect, home cultivation was allowed. Besides home cultivation, cannabis may also be cultivated commercially by licensed pharmaceutical cannabis processors. Processors may cultivate marijuana in a greenhouse or outdoors.
According to Code of Virginia Section 54.1-3442.6, pharmaceutical cannabis processors are expected to take safety measures when cultivating cannabis to prevent it from being diverted, and the pharmacist-in-charge is in charge of preventing cannabis from being diverted from dispensing locations. Additionally, they must cultivate marijuana using effective extraction methods that are based on scientific knowledge or current standards. Furthermore, cannabis processors are prohibited from using pesticides unless they have a license from the Virginia Department of Health to stop a destructive infestation that could destroy their crops.
For home cultivation, there are a number of requirements that must be met. A cultivator must be at least 21 years old in order to cultivate marijuana at home. Additionally, they are in charge of making sure that no one under 21 years old gains access to marijuana plants. Anyone who fails to follow this prohibition will face legal repercussions. Moreover, only a maximum of four marijuana plants are permitted per household, regardless of the number of adults residing there. Outdoor cultivation in a person’s residence is allowed, provided that it is not visible to the public. Although there is no requirement for homegrown marijuana to be cultivated indoors, it shouldn't be readily available to the general public. Additionally, home cultivators must attach a legible tag with their name, ID, or driver's license number and a statement that they are only cultivating the plants for personal consumption in compliance with the law.
Yes, Henrico County permits cannabis manufacturing. The Virginia Department of Health Professions Board of Pharmacy now oversees the cannabis processor permit. Only approved cannabis processors are permitted to manufacture or process cannabis. The Board requires pharmaceutical processors to make a sample of each batch of cannabis products available for testing by an independent Virginia laboratory that complies with Board standards after processing and before dispensing any cannabis products. This is in accordance with Virginia Code Section 54.1-3442.6.
Section 54.1-3442.6 also requires pharmaceutical cannabis processor applicants to undergo and pay for fingerprints and criminal background checks. If their permits are approved, all employees must be subject to the same request. Pharmaceutical cannabis processors are not allowed to employ anyone who has recently served a sentence in Virginia. Both license applicants and employees are required to submit to drug testing.
Pharmaceutical cannabis processors must also prominently display permits on their property. Along with precise labeling and recordkeeping, they must also secure the facility. All cannabis products that adhere to the Board's testing, labeling, and packaging requirements must be registered. The Board inspects cannabis processing facilities only once a year.
The Code of Virginia grants pharmaceutical cannabis producers a maximum of five licenses. There are now four active licenses for pharmaceutical cannabis processors, with the fifth application pending. The Board has already closed submissions.
Henrico County allows the retail selling of cannabis, but only if the dispensary obtains a license from the Virginia Department of Health Professions Board of Pharmacy. In Virginia, only medical marijuana retail dispensaries have been in business since 2020; recreational marijuana sales will begin in 2024.
The Board has the power to issue licenses for up to five cannabis dispensaries for each licensed pharmaceutical cannabis processor. No other party is allowed to submit an application to open a marijuana dispensary. The Code of Virginia Section 54.1-3442.7 allows dispensaries to sell marijuana in retail locations.
The dispensing facility application submitted by the pharmaceutical cannabis processor must bear the signature of the licensed pharmacist who is in charge of the dispensing facility as required by Section 54.1-3442.6. Owners who want a permit are required to submit to and pay for a criminal background investigation that includes fingerprinting. After getting a license, the dispensing facility must ensure that all applicants undergo the same procedure. Employers cannot hire someone who has recently been convicted of a crime in Virginia. All applicants and employees must submit to a drug test.
Facilities are required to keep precise records and label cannabis products accurately with information about the cannabis' potency. A facility is only allowed to dispense cannabis oil containing no more than 10 milligrams of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per dose. Dispensing facilities may only give patients enough cannabis supply to last up to 90 days in accordance with Section 54.1-3442.7.
The Cannabis Control Act imposes a one-ounce limit on the amount of cannabis that adults over 21 (who are not patients) may legally possess outside the home. Additionally, people are only allowed to purchase and take out 1 ounce of cannabis from dispensaries. Home marijuana growers are not allowed to sell any of the marijuana they cultivate.
Marijuana plants, salts, extracts, concentrates, tinctures, edibles, and ointments are all legal forms of marijuana for retail sale. Pharmacies may sell marijuana-related paraphernalia that can be used to consume or inhale marijuana.
Home deliveries are prohibited in Henrico County, although marijuana can be delivered between licensed dispensaries and manufacturers. In accordance with Administrative Code, Part VI, cannabis may also be delivered to patients or caregivers on their behalf. However, deliveries may only be made on the grounds of a cannabis dispensing facility or a pharmaceutical processor's dispensary.
The pharmacist or delivery person must verify the patient registrations are valid and active, that their written certifications are still valid, and that the quantity and date of their most recent cannabis product dispensation with the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program are accurate. Pharmacists may distribute the registered patient's 90-day cannabis supply.
Patients will no longer need a medical marijuana card to buy marijuana legally in the state of Virginia, including in Henrico County. Parents or legal guardians of minors will also no longer need a medical marijuana card. This takes place as a result of Virginia's General Assembly enacting HB933 on April 11, 2022.
In addition to their government-issued ID card, patients and legal guardians must still produce a written certification from a qualified physician at the dispensary. Online directories list licensed medical marijuana practitioners. Based on their individual treatment plans, only patients with a licensed medical practitioner's certification are eligible to get a 90-day supply. Only one ounce of marijuana can be purchased from a dispensary by consumers who are at least 21 years old.
Nonetheless, patients, their parents, or the legal guardians of minors can still apply for the optional medical marijuana card online for $50. They must provide proof of their identification, age, and Virginia residency in addition to the online form, the requisite fee, and the written certification from a qualified doctor. It will take about 60 business days for them to receive their medicinal marijuana cards.
In Virginia, any medical condition that a doctor believes may benefit from medical marijuana is considered to qualify.
For more details, you may contact:
Virginia Department of Health
P.O. Box 2448
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2448
109 Governor Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 662-6200
A 2020 study carried out by the Virginia General Assembly (GA) in partnership with the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) showed the strategic aspects of legalizing marijuana, and the latter group made recommendations in light of its findings.
The Commission found that most states charge a 20%–30% tax on retail marijuana sales in the marijuana market. JLARC recommended that Virginia impose a cannabis tax of 20% and a 5.3% sales tax for a total tax of 25.3%. At these rates, the first year's tax revenue may range from $31 million to $52 million. As the commercial marijuana business enters its fifth year of growth, it could reach $154 million to $257 million.
Another option is to levy a cannabis tax of 25% together with a 5.3% sales tax for a total tax of 30.3%. As a result, the tax revenues for the first year might be in the range of $37 million and $62 million. In the fifth year, it might reach anywhere between $184 million and $308 million.
Additionally, the Commission recommended increasing tariffs on easily consumable goods like edibles and high-potency products because they pose greater risks to the public's health. This may result in an additional $50 million in tax revenue by year five. Additionally, JLARC found that local governments could get 20% of sales tax revenue from local jurisdictions.
The FBI crime report shows that the data generated by Henrico County Police Department presents a decreasing number of DUI arrests for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021, from 1,101 to 723 and 595 cases, respectively. Meanwhile, the number of marijuana-related cases for 2019, 2020, and 2021 has significantly dropped from 132 to 36 and 16 arrests, respectively.
The use of cannabis for recreational purposes became legal in Virginia in 2021.