RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation legalizing adult use and possession of marijuana Wednesday.
The new law will go into effect on July 1.
Top Democrats from across the Commonwealth joined the governor as he ceremonially signed the bill.
“Data from the court system since then shows us that our marijuana possession laws, continued to be disproportionately enforced, that’s why it is so important as was important to me that we go ahead and legalize simple possession,” Northam said.
Northam says although marijuana is decriminalized, legalization will help disproportionately impacted communities.
“We know that marijuana laws in Virginia and throughout this country have been disproportionately enforced against communities of color and low-income Virginians,”
Virginia is the first state in the south to legalize marijuana.
Commercial sale in the state is not slated to begin until 2024.