Virginia Cannabis Laws 2023

In this article, you learn everything there is to know about Virginia Cannabis Laws.

“The time has come!” House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, uttered as Marijuana became legal in Virginia. July 1, 2021, was a momentous time in Virginia, as this is the day when Virginia officially passed legalizing Marijuana into law. You can expect full-scale dispensary operations to go live in January 2024. As a result, current medical marijuana dispensary owners could sell Marijuana for adult use. 

Virginia Cannabis Laws and Licenses to be permitted:

Contact us for full-service assistance with obtaining your Virginia Cannabis License!

Our services include: writing your business plan and conducting property searches to find you a properly zoned Virginia Cannabis Cultivation/Manufacturing/Dispensary location. We provide Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Documents and general Virginia cannabis license application assistance. We speak to the city/state on your behalf and make sure all set up for approval. 

Virginia Cannabis Laws

The Virginia General Assembly approved a bill that allowed for the sale of recreational Marijuana, and the governor signed it into law in 2021. According to the Virginia Cannabis Law, adults at the age of 21 are legally allowed to possess up to one ounce of Marijuana. 

What is Legal Under the New Virginia Cannabis Law?

The legalization of cannabis in Virginia does not mean compromising the legal possession and consumption of Marijuana. Under the law, the following points are considered legal.

  • Individuals ages 21 and above may possess up to one ounce of cannabis.
  • Individuals ages 21 and above may smoke privately at home.
  • Individuals ages 21 and above may cultivate four plants inside their houses.
  • People of age 21 may visit the plants, and they should not be visible from the street. 
  • Meanwhile, the law requires authorized individuals to have a legible tag on their plants. The tag should include their personal information, such as name, license or ID number, and a statement that the marijuana plant is being cultivated for personal use.
  • One may share up to an ounce of Marijuana with another adult who is 21 or older with no payment, trade, or exchange of anything of value.

What is Illegal Under the New Virginia Cannabis Law?

All of the below facts are Illegal under Virginia Cannabis Law.

  • The possession of more than one ounce of Marijuana is still prohibited.
  • Marijuana use, possession, and sale are still prohibited for those under the age of 21.
  • Marijuana distribution, sale, or possession with the intention of doing either of those things remains unlawful.
  • Smoking marijuana in public, including while operating a vehicle or riding as a passenger.
  • Driving while in possession of Marijuana. According to the law, “any vessel carrying marijuana or marijuana products, other than the initially sealed manufacturer’s container,” is considered to be an open container.
  • Marijuana possession on a public school’s property.
  • Making marijuana concentrate from Marijuana grown at home.
  • Selling Marijuana for personal use.

Possessing cannabis weighing more than four ounces but less than a pound is a Class 3 misdemeanor that carries a $500 punishment. 

Class 2 misdemeanors are second or subsequent offenses, which are punishable by up to 6 months in jail or a $1,000 fine. 

More of these guidelines are coming in the progress of this article. Meanwhile, the General Assembly must reenact the provisions relating to retail sales before they can be put into effect. 

Enforcement of Virginia Cannabis Laws

The local law enforcement, including the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, is responsible for enforcing the pertinent amendments to the Virginia Cannabis Law. Meanwhile, the Cannabis Control Authority will implement the licensing regulations when retail sales start.

Virginia Cannabis Licenses to be permitted:

Penalties Under Virginia Cannabis Law

Violators face the consequences of their misdemeanor. Per Virginia Cannabis Law, the following penalties shall be imposed on those who fail to adhere to the law’s guidelines.

  • Marijuana possession of greater than an ounce but less than four ounces shall yield a civil fine of up to $25.
  • Possessing more than four ounces but no more than one pound shall be considered a Class 3 misdemeanor. Further, a Class 2 misdemeanor will call for possessing more than the marijuana amount.
  • Possessing more than one pound of Marijuana equates to a crime. They will be sentenced to at least one year, up to ten years in prison. They have also required a fine of up to $250,000 or both.
  • The number of plants determines the penalties for owning more than four plants.
  • Anyone under 21 caught with Marijuana will be punished with a civil fine of up to $25. Also, they may be forced to enroll in a program for substance abuse treatment or education.

Virginia Cannabis Cultivation Personal Use Laws

Suppose you want to cultivate cannabis for personal use in Virginia; According to Virginia cannabis laws, anyone 21 years of age or older has legal freedom to cultivate a maximum of 4 plants in their primary residence per household. 

No marijuana plant may be seen from a public route without the use of a plane, binoculars, or other optical devices. Additionally, security measures must be made to prevent access by anyone to your Virginia personal grow operation/room under the age of 21. It is illegal to sell or distribute Marijuana you have grown without a proper license. This includes creating marijuana concentrates or edibles you may create from your crop. Criminal sanctions apply to people who will violate the rule.

Sale/Delivery of Cannabis

Virginia Cannabis Lawa state, the mere possession of a significant amount of cannabis can be dangerous and looked at as intent to distribute. Once violated, the law calls it a Class 5 felony. Thus, it carries a wide range of potential sentence of at least one year or ten years in prison. It involves the distribution of more than an ounce of cannabis but less than five pounds. For a first offense, the judge may exercise his discretion and impose a fine of no more than $2,500 and a period of imprisonment of no more than 12 months.

Meanwhile, distributing Marijuana weighing more than 5 pounds but less than 100 kilograms is definitely a felony. It carries a sentence of between five and 30 years in jail. Distributing more than 100 kg of Marijuana carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years. For a maximum punishment, life imprisonment will be given. The judge may reduce this required minimum if:

  • Violators have never been convicted of a drug-related crime;
  • Offenders neither used violence nor made credible threats of violence, nor did they use a firearm or other hazardous weapon;
  • The offense did not cause anyone’s death or very serious physical harm;
  • The person was not involved in an ongoing criminal operation;
  • Offenders are also not an organizer, leaders, managers, or supervisors of others involved in the offense.
  • The offender cooperates with law enforcement and judicial authorities by giving the State all information and evidence they possess regarding the offense. 
  • However, the court may still find that the defendant complied with this requirement even if they do not have any additional pertinent or useful information to offer or the Commonwealth already knows about it.

A mandatory minimum term of five years is imposed following a third conviction for sale or intent to distribute. Distributing more than one ounce of Marijuana to any person aged 18 or below is a felony. It also includes a person who is at least three years younger than the offender. It is punishable with a required minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of fifty years, and a fine of no more than $100,000. Any minor who distributes more than one ounce of Marijuana is also a crime. Additional crimes can be added on if you are within 1,000 feet of a school or school bus stop. 

Consumer Safety

Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council was established under Virginia’s adult-use legalization law. The council aims to provide guidance to the CCA on all health-related issues. The CCA is working on several public health initiatives, such as:

  • giving advice on responsible adult cannabis use;
  • Educating about the health risks and dangers associated with cannabis use; and
  • Informing how cannabis use could have a negative impact on ancillary medical services.

Together with interagency partners, the CCA is leading an effort to create and carry out a health, safety, and safe driving program. Additionally, it will be creating guidelines to ensure legal home marijuana plant growth that safeguards children and prevents the emergence of a public nuisance.

Virginia Medical Cannabis Laws

On the other hand, for medical purposes, a patient may take legal Marijuana under the following compliances:

  • an active, current patient registration issued by the Board of Pharmacy; and
  • an unexpired written certification from a board-registered practitioner. 

Patients will no longer be required to have an active patient registration from the Board of Pharmacy starting July 1, 2022. However, patients must submit an application to the Virginia Board of Pharmacy if they want to get a physical medical cannabis card. You may visit the Department of Health Professions: Board of Pharmacy website for further details.

Paraphernalia Cannabis Laws in Virginia

A Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia Cannabis Law refers to selling or possessing with the intent to sell drug paraphernalia. It is considered an offense because the person knows it will be used to unlawfully plant, cultivate, grow, and harvest Marijuana. The misdemeanor carries a maximum 12-month jail sentence and a maximum $2,500 fine. Class 1 misdemeanor also calls for the distribution of printed material with the intent to sell or advertise drug consumption.

Any adult who sells Marijuana to a minor who is at least three years younger than the accused is also guilty of a Class 6 felony. It carries a maximum 12-month prison sentence and a maximum $2,500 fine.

Avoid all of these potential issues by applying for your Cannabis License if you intend to grow and sell cannabis.

Read more about the different Virginia Cannabis License Types below:


Maintaining a fortified drug house is a Class 5 felony. Thus, it carries a mandatory minimum penalty of one year and a maximum sentence of ten years.


People are aware of the notion that says, “ignorance of the law excuses no one.” Now with the legalization of cannabis in Virginia, it is essential to know the guidelines encapsulated. The Virginia Cannabis Law manifests that while Marijuana is considered legal in the State, it does not allow anyone to abuse it at any cost. 

Interested in obtaining a cannabis license in Virginia?? Contact us!


  • What Are The Personal Cannabis Cultivation Guidelines in Virginia?

Virginia Personal Cannabis Cultivation Guidelines:

  1. Each home gets four plants.
  2. Only at the individual’s primary residence is cultivation allowed.
  3. Each plant should be marked with the owner’s name, state ID number and for personal use.
  4. Plants must not be visible from public eye
  5. Don’t allow anyone under 21 to access
  6. Indoor or outdoor cultivation is permissible, but rented homes may have restrictions.
  • Where Can I Buy Cannabis in Virginia?

Only licensed dispensaries are allowed to make legal retail sales to patients. Get certified for the medicinal cannabis program by finding a practitioner.

  • How Much Concentrate and Edible Marijuana Can I Possess under Virginia Cannabis Laws?

No corresponding possession limitations will exist until the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority can adopt such laws. According to Virginia Code, one ounce of Marijuana is the maximum amount person’s twenty-one and older may legally possess on their person or in public until such rules can be implemented. A misdemeanor is committed when more than 4 ounces and up to one pound are in plain view. Adults 21 and older are not subject to penalties for personal possession at home. Any quantity of possession with the intent to distribute is prohibited.

  • What are the adult-sharing guidelines?

Here are the adult-sharing guidelines in connection with the legalization of Marijuana in Virginia. 

Similar to sharing a bottle of wine, adults 21 and older can privately share up to one ounce of cannabis. No one may be offered or shared cannabis in public. The transaction of goods or services may not take place (no gifting schemes).

  • What Are The Virginia Cannabis Transportation Guidelines?

Here are the transportation guidelines in connection with the legalization of Marijuana in Virginia. 

  1. Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered unlawful.
  2. While a vehicle is being operated, the driver and the passenger cannot consume or have access to an open container of cannabis.
  3. Transport marijuana in a container that is entirely sealed in the trunk of any passenger car.
  • How Much Marijuana Can I Possess in Public in Virginia?

People aged 21 and beyond can possess up to one ounce of cannabis in public. All cannabis products are regarded as Marijuana until the Cannabis Control Authority issues regulations establishing similar possession limits for edibles and concentrates. This does not apply to medical cannabis products provided by Virginia medical dispensaries, referred to as cannabis oil, cannabis products, or botanical cannabis.

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