The Virginia General Assembly passed two adult-use cannabis legalization bills. But their differences have to be reconciled before Gov. Ralph Northam can sign a compromise bill into law. Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation Friday that would legalize marijuana for adult recreational use, with retail sales starting several years down the road. There are real differences between the two bills that passed. Those must be settled before Gov. Ralph Northam can make it official. Work on the complicated legislation has been a priority for Democrats who control state government. But the process is far from finished — there are substantial differences between the two chambers’ bills that must be worked out before they can be sent to Gov. Ralph Northam. Both measures envision retail sales starting in 2024, overseen by a newly created regulatory entity. And both would use the biggest portion of the tax revenue from sales to fund pre-K for at-risk kids. Among the differences between the two bills: the Senate version allows localities to opt-out of allowing retail stores and it requires a second vote by lawmakers next year to finalize the legal framework. 

The Associated Press, Leafly, 02/07/2021 15:08:00

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