Virginia Republicans are blocking attempts to start selling marijuana for the holidays in September

Richmond, Virginia (WRIC) – Republicans have voted to wait until 2023 to pass a bill that will accelerate the sale of marijuana for vacations in Virginia.

The Virginia Senate passed legislation that would allow recreational sales to begin in September this year, in a bipartisan vote last week. But on Monday the Virginia General Law Subcommittee voted 5-3 along party lines carry over the account to next year.

“I’ve spent most of the weekend reviewing this bill and trying to determine if it’s the right time for this policy in Virginia,” said Del Jeffrey Campbell (R-Marion). “Obviously, there are still many unknowns in this. I think this is a bigger problem than we can fix in two weeks. “

Democrats at the panel acknowledged their concern about the legislation and further ways to agree on specific details, but called on other members to reject the proposal to postpone the discussion until next year. They argued that any pause in the process would only strengthen the unregulated market.

“The longer we wait for a regulated market, I think the harder it will be to take control or even compete with this illegal market,” said Del Dawn Adams (D-Richmond). “So I really think that this petition is something that should fail, and we should be able to see if we can be in a better place with the time that two weeks will allow us.”

Virginia lawmakers have legalized simple possession and limited home cultivation for adults last year without a regulatory framework, limiting ways for people to get cannabis. Virginians can grow it, receive it as a gift or buy it at a medical dispensary with a medical license.

Retail sales have been postponed until 2024, and lawmakers have included in the bill a clause on the resumption of the law, which requires that during the 2022 legislative session a second vote be held to move forward in the legal leisure market.

The bill, which was rejected by a subcommittee of the House of Representatives on Monday, would begin the process and open outpatient clinics and other designated medical facilities for sale to adults without a license from September this year.

“I think it’s too early to give up when we’re so close to the goal line,” said del Paul Cross (D-Fairfax) minutes before Monday’s vote.

This story is evolving. Stay tuned.

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