Group suggests VA speed up timeline for recreational cannabis market

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A government watchdog group in Virginia is recommending the state move up the timeline for implementing a recreational marijuana market.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission issued a report suggesting that the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority, a new state agency, start accepting cannabis retail applications and implementing the program at the beginning of 2023 rather than July 2023, which is the current plan.

Adult-use marijuana sales in Virginia currently are scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2024.

According to the Washington Business Journal, the watchdog group’s report says the change in timing is necessary because:

  • Applicants need more time to submit applications and set up their businesses.
  • Six months isn’t enough time for the new agency to approve retail operations and award licenses.

The report makes another recommendation that could have an impact on sales: The regulatory agency should set limits on some cannabis products such as vapes and edibles.

MJBizDaily projects that a recreational marijuana market in Virginia will generate $400 million-$500 million in retail sales in its first full year and $1.2 billion-$1.4 billion by its fifth year.