MRCC

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Virginia lawmakers pass landmark recreational marijuana legalization bills

The two bills broadly include the following provisions, according to Marijuana Policy Project bill summaries and media reports:

  • Early distribution of social equity licenses. Qualified applicants would have to hold at least a 66% ownership stake in the business. Recipients would have access to low-interest loans to help overcome the hurdle of raising capital.
  • Legislation proposed by the governor would have allowed vertical integration, but House lawmakers eliminated that provision. The House version, HB2312, limits businesses to one type of license in efforts to encourage more small and local businesses to participate in the industry.
  • The Senate version, SB1406, would allow companies to vertically integrate, but they would be charged a $1 million licensing fee, the proceeds of which would go to help fund social equity provisions.
  • While not allowing MMJ operators to fast-track, the Senate version would permit those operators to co-locate medical dispensaries and adult-use stores.
  • The House version would leave licensing to the state, while the Senate‚Äôs would allow local governments to ban adult-use sales through voter referendum.
  • Adult-use marijuana product sales would be taxed at 21% in addition to the standard state sales tax of 6%. Municipalities could charge up to an additional 3%.