A marijuana wholesaler in Virginia is a facility or entity that can purchase or take possession of retail marijuana flowers, products, seeds, and immature plants. A marijuana wholesaler in Virginia must obtain these products from a licensed marijuana cultivation facility, licensed marijuana manufacturing facility, or another marijuana wholesaler. A marijuana wholesaler may also transfer possession, sell, or resell retail marijuana flowers, products, seeds, and immature plants. However, this can only be to a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana manufacturing facility, a marijuana retail store, or another marijuana wholesaler.
The Commonwealth of Virginia requires persons who want to operate as marijuana wholesalers to obtain a license from the Cannabis Control Authority (CCA). The Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 1406 (or House Bill 2312) to legalize the adult use of cannabis in Virginia from July 1, 2021. This made it legal for adults 21 years and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Residents of legal age can also grow up to four plants per household, though this can be only for personal use and can not be sold. Eligible adults can gift other adults marijuana, provided there are no financial transactions involved. The laws also created a framework for regulating the production and sales of marijuana in the state. SB 1406 established the CCA to oversee adult-use cannabis in the state and regulate the various categories of cannabis business operations.
The CCA licenses marijuana wholesalers as a sort of middle ground between the various cannabis business categories. Licensed marijuana wholesalers in Virginia can retail marijuana and marijuana products, though not directly to consumers. They are, however, not able to cultivate marijuana plants or manufacture marijuana products by themselves. Marijuana wholesalers must procure their products from a marijuana cultivation or manufacturing facility or another marijuana wholesaler. Virginia adult-use marijuana laws limit the number of available marijuana wholesale licenses to 25 in total.
The exact processes for obtaining a marijuana wholesaler license in Virginia have not yet been established by the Cannabis Control Authority (CCA). The CCA is not authorized to adopt regulations for licensing cannabis operations in the state before July 1, 2022. This is because parts of the adult-use marijuana laws in the state need to be re-enacted by the legislature in 2022. However, the law does establish a broad set of regulations for the licensing of all cannabis business operations in Virginia.
Generally, an applicant for a marijuana wholesale license in Virginia will need to complete and submit an application form (to be provided by the CCA) that must include a statement affirming the accuracy of the provided information. If the license requires an inspection from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the applicant must also provide proof of inspection or a request for an inspection. Facilities will not be able to retail marijuana, marijuana products, seeds, or immature plants without receiving a certification from the Department. Applicants must post a notice of their application on the front of the building where the business will be situated. The notice must be up for a minimum of ten days but no more than thirty days. Applicants will be required to submit to a background check by local law enforcement and pay the application fee and license fee (if applicable).
Applications for marijuana wholesaler licenses in the state will not commence until July 1, 2023. The Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) will inform the public when applications for marijuana wholesaler licenses are available. Residents can sign up on the CCA webpage to receive notifications on the availability of licenses and other relevant updates.
Details on the fees applicable to cannabis business licenses in Virginia have not yet been established by the Cannabis Control Authority (CCA). The CCA is not authorized to adopt regulations on the licensing of cannabis business operations before July 1, 2022. This allows for the re-enactment of the legislation that sets up cannabis business licensing in the state. Details on the application for a marijuana wholesaler license in the Commonwealth of Virginia will not be available until July 1, 2023.
SB 1406 establishes that “certain persons” in Virginia may be granted multiple marijuana business operation licenses by the Cannabis Control Authority (CCA). However, the statute does not give any further definition of who or what constitutes “certain persons.” The Cannabis Control Authority is expected to provide a proper definition of “certain persons” when it releases regulations on marijuana wholesaler license applications. Virginia adult-use marijuana law statutes try to limit the possibility of vertical integration to encourage the growth of small businesses and social equity applicants.