Virginia Governor Vetoes Bill to Legalize Marijuana Sales

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has officially vetoed legislation that would have legalized licensed marijuana sales.

Governor Glenn Youngkin (photo credit: Al Drago/Bloomberg).

“States following this path have seen adverse effects on children’s and adolescent’s health and safety, increased gang activity and violent crime, significant deterioration in mental health, decreased road safety, and significant costs associated with retail marijuana that far exceed tax revenue,” Governor Youngkin said in a veto letter. “It also does not eliminate the illegal black-market sale of cannabis, nor guarantee product safety. Addressing the inconsistencies in enforcement and regulation in Virginia’s current laws does not justify expanding access to cannabis, following the failed paths of other states and endangering Virginians’ health and safety.”

The legislation (Senate Bill 448), passed by the Virginia Legislature in February, would have allowed marijuana sales to begin on May 1, 2025. Those 21 and older would have been allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of dried marijuana and up to 100mg of THC in edible form per transaction. Licensing and regulations for the marijuana industry would have been overseen by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority.

In Virginia recreational marijuana possession has been legal since 2021. However, of the 24 legal marijuana states Virginia is the only one that does not allow licensed sales.

Senate Bill 448 was approved by the Senate 21 to 18, and by the House 51 to 47. It would require a 2/3rds majority to override Youngkin’s veto.

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