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Report released on Virginia marijuana legalization

Photo: PublicDomainPictures.net / MGN
Photo: PublicDomainPictures.net / MGN(KNOE)
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 12:45 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Governor Ralph Northam Monday released his administration’s report on the potential impact of legalizing adult-use marijuana in Virginia.

The report was put together by the Virginia Marijuana Legalization Work Group. The months-long effort involved community leaders, healthcare professionals, policy experts and government officials, and played a role in legislation passed by the General Assembly earlier in the year.

Governor Northam recently announced he would support and advance marijuana legalization in the commonwealth.

“We will advance new laws to make sure that our Commonwealth legalizes marijuana the right way,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia has studied the experience of other states and this report lays out a path forward that leads with social equity, public health, and public safety.”

The nearly 400-page report includes meeting minutes and outlined aspects of legalization in Virginia, according to the governor’s office, such as taxation, banking, criminal justice, licensing and regulation and consumer safety.

The report also focused on the five key principles Governor Northam said he wants to see in a final bill. These are social, racial and economic equity, public health, protections for young people, data collection and upholding the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act.

The Virginia Marijuana Work Group worked with various organizations focused on ensuring social and racial equity, such as the Minority Cannabis Business Association. The group also worked closely with health experts and government officials from states that have already legalized marijuana, including Washington, Massachusetts and Illinois.

The group was led by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Forestry, Finance, Health and Human Resources and Public Safety and Homeland Security. Fifteen public meetings were held between July and October 2020.

You can view the full report here.

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