Virginia Cannabis Business Licensing- What’s Happening Now
Virginia Adult-Use Cannabis Rules Update
Virginia legalized medical marijuana in 2018 and became the 16th state to legalize adult-use marijuana in April 2021. Currently, there is a limit of five medical cannabis pharmaceutical processor licenses, designated for each of the state’s health service areas. Each medical cannabis license holder is allowed a single, vertically-integrated facility to include growing, processing, and dispensing. These licenses also include up to five standalone dispensary-only satellite locations. The five medical cannabis licenses were issued in 2018 and no more have been made available by the state.
The recreational marijuana program allows for cannabis possession of up to one ounce and consumption for individuals 21 years and older. It also sealed records for multiple misdemeanor cannabis crimes, and legalized personal cultivation of up to four plants at home. The Virginia Cannabis Control Authority is responsible for regulating the adult-use program through state-licensed businesses.
Virginia lawmakers recently pushed for an earlier start to recreational marijuana sales, instead of waiting until January 2024. This would allow current medical operators to sell adult-use marijuana at their dispensaries.
The future of the program’s start date is still uncertain since legislators have not yet finalized how adult-use licensing would work, what products would be allowed for sale, and whether social equity would factor into licensing or revenue outcomes.
Types of Adult-Use Licenses in Virginia
- Marijuana Cultivation License – Limited to 450.
- Marijuana Manufacturing License – Limited to 60.
- Marijuana Testing Facility License
- Marijuana Wholesaler License – Limited to 25.
- Marijuana Retail License – Limited to 400.
- July 2023: Regulations must be promulgated, the committee could finalize regulations sooner which could speed up the process.
- July 2023-December 2023: Applications for social equity applicants open.
- TBD: Applications open for general applicants.
- January 1, 2024: The earliest recreational cannabis sales may begin.