Virginia adult-use cannabis sales could begin in May 2025 under compromise bill

Did you miss the webinar “Women Leaders in Cannabis: Shattering the Grass Ceiling?” Head to MJBiz YouTube to watch it now!


Adult-use cannabis sales in Virginia would finally begin in May 2025 under a compromise proposal that advanced in the state’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly.

However, without a supermajority to overcome a “potential veto” from Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, final passage remains uncertain, Richmond TV station WRIC reported.

Virginia legalized recreational marijuana in 2021, with sales originally scheduled to launch Jan. 1, 2024.

But that bill required lawmakers to reenact certain portions of law to allow for taxed and regulated sales.

And so far, that has not happened.

A bipartisan sales bill failed last year after Youngkin signaled his opposition, sources told MJBizDaily.

And the governor in January reiterated his opposition to legal sales.

In the meantime, an illicit market that includes “gifting” shops worth as much as $3 billion has appeared.

Democrats took control of both houses of the General Assembly in the fall, renewing hopes that lawmakers could pass a bill the governor would sign.

But the House and the Senate introduced competing bills:

  • House Bill 698 would set a 9% tax rate.
  • Senate Bill 448 proposed taxing retail marijuana sales at a 16% base rate.

However, lawmakers on Thursday agreed on a compromise bill that would allow sales to begin May 1, 2025, with a 9% retail tax, according to WRIC.

Businesses could begin applying for licenses in September.

The compromise bill advanced on a 12-10 party-line vote, with all Republicans opposed, WRIC reported.

The governor has yet to comment directly on the latest proposal.