The incoming governor of Virginia says that while he’s not interested in re-criminalizing marijuana possession, which became legal in the state last summer, he feels there’s “still work to be done” before he gets behind creating a market for commercial sales and production. Advocates have been closely following Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) as he prepares to take office later this month, with some expressing concerns that he may seek to interfere in the implementation of the cannabis legalization law that Democratic lawmakers passed last year. In an interview with Virginia Business that was published on Friday, Youngkin made clear that he “will not seek to overturn the law on personal possession,” but he’s not making the same commitment with respect to cannabis commercialization. “I’m not against it, but there’s a lot of work to be done,” he said, adding that there are “some nonstarters” in what Democrats passed, including provisions setting labor union requirements for marijuana businesses. He also cited “concerns expressed by law enforcement in how the gap in the laws can actually be enforced.” Youngkin added that “there’s a real need to make sure that we aren’t promoting an anti-competitive industry” and “there are preferences to make sure that all participants in the industry are qualified to do the industry well.” A Virginia legislature marijuana oversight panel looked into issues like licensing and regulatory authority at a meeting last month, and members voted to recommend expediting the timeline for launching retail sales by one year to January 2023. It remains to be seen whether the full legislature will ultimately adopt that recommendation when members reconvene this month under new incoming Republican leadership in the House of Delegates and with a skeptical new governor in office.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 01/03/2022 12:23:00