Virginia adult-use marijuana bills face resistance from governor, police

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Virginia’s House of Delegates and the Senate advanced two separate bills that would establish regulations and taxes for an adult-use marijuana market in the state, but the governor might not sign off on either.

House Bill 698 passed 52-48, and a veto from Gov. Glenn Youngkin can be overridden only if the bill wins two-thirds of the votes from members present, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper.

Senate Bill 448 passed 21-18.

Both bills were introduced in January and take different approaches to regulating adult-use cannabis.

Youngkin has said he doesn’t “have a lot of interest” in advancing marijuana legislation.

Meanwhile, Virginia law enforcement officials also expressed concerns about launching adult-use sales in a letter to the General Assembly, according to Portsmouth TV station WANY.

“Legalizing retail sales will undermine the work Governor Youngkin’s administration has undertaken to improve behavioral health in the Commonwealth,” reads the letter.

Former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, signed an adult-use cannabis legalization bill into law in April 2021.

The law legalized possession and home cultivation of cannabis.