On January 1st, 2021, Virginia lawmakers legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Unfortunately, the recreational purchase will not begin until early 2024, meaning that only medical marijuana cardholders have access to the plant unless they decide to cultivate their own.
Keep reading for information on legally and safely consuming and storing cannabis in Virginia.
Table of Contents
Possession and Purchase
In Virginia, you must be 21 years or older to possess marijuana. Individuals in possession of marijuana may have no more than one ounce (28.3 grams) of the substance at once. Those in possession of more than one ounce are considered to have an intent to distribute which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Marijuana can be legally purchased from one of five Rise Dispensary locations in Virginia.
- Salem, VA
- Lynchburg, VA
- Christiansburg, VA
- Abingdon, VA
- Bristol, VA
Obtaining cannabis from an unlicensed person or corporation not listed above is prohibited, and if caught, fines are jail time may follow. Purchasing from licensed sellers is essential to your safety because dispensaries thoroughly follow rules and procedures that were created with your health in mind. Black market marijuana may have been cultivated in an unsafe environment, leaving the buds contaminated by chemicals, bugs, mold, mildew, and harmful pesticides.
Although recreational marijuana has been legalized, retail sales have yet to begin and have an estimated retail sale date of January 1st, 2024. Unfortunately, since the retail sale is not yet available, recreational consumption is currently difficult to partake in which makes sharing medical marijuana common. However, it is important to remember that sharing, trading, or selling marijuana is strictly prohibited in Virginia. If an individual wishes to consume marijuana, they must still obtain a medical marijuana card until retail sales begin. (Apply for a medical marijuana card at Veriheal.com)
Packaging and Storing
When it comes to storing marijuana, there are several tips you can follow to ensure you are following the law and keeping your bud fresh.
In Virginia, marijuana must be labeled with:
- The name and address of the pharmaceutical processor.
- The brand name.
- A unique serial number identifying batch and lot numbers.
- The date of testing.
- An expiration date.
- Cannabinoid quantity, terpene profile, and active ingredients.
Additionally, cannabis products must be kept in child-resistant packaging that can easily be identified as medication. These laws ensure everyone’s safety by making recalled products easily identifiable and hard for children to get into.
You can keep your cannabis products fresh and contaminant-free by keeping them in their original packaging or an airtight container. Additionally, marijuana retains quality in temperatures below 74 degrees Fahrenheit with an ideal temperature of 65 degrees.
When traveling, your marijuana must be sealed and stored in a place out of reach of the driver.
Consumption and Out of State Usage
In most states, including Virginia, marijuana may only be consumed in private. Public consumption is prohibited meaning that you may not use marijuana products in the following locations:
- City/town streets
- In your car
Consuming marijuana in public is considered public intoxication, which carries fines and possible jail time. Additionally, driving while under the influence of cannabis is prohibited and treated the same as drinking and driving.
Virginia is one of the only states that prohibit out-of-state usage and transportation. This means that it is illegal for Virginia medical marijuana patients to transport their cannabis out of state or use their card at an out-of-state dispensary. It is also prohibited for out-of-state cardholders to obtain marijuana at a Virginia dispensary or bring their marijuana to Virginia.
Since recreational use has been legalized but retail sales are not available, Virginia has legalized the cultivation of marijuana plants.
Virginia residents may grow up to four marijuana plants at a time as long as the following rules are followed:
- Plants must be grown out of public view.
- Plants must be tagged with the grower’s name, driver’s license or identification number, and a note stating the plants are being cultivated for personal use.
- Plants must remain out of reach to those under 21 which can be done with locks or special cultivation boxes or rooms.
Keep in mind, there may not be four plants per household, not per person, and they must be cultivated at an individual’s primary residence.