Ask 10: Your questions about marijuana legalization in Virginia answered

With legalization just weeks away, we want your questions to be answered

(Steve Helber, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ROANOKE, Va. – The legalization of marijuana has come with a lot of changes to laws, restrictions, and regulations across the Commonwealth.

WSLS 10 News is working for you to get your questions answered as Virginia is just weeks away from marijuana legalization laws taking effect.

Here are are the two most asked questions about Virginia’s marijuana legalization rules we received:

“When are dispensaries expected to open around the state?”

“So on July 1 marijuana will become legal to possess. I don’t know how they’re dealing with all the various forms of it but in general terms, legal, the commercial market illegal sale of marijuana will not be ready until 2024,” Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall said.

The state’s cannabis control authority is set to begin its work on July 1, but it will likely take time to hire staff, write regulations and implement safety strategies.

Many of the state’s regulations on marijuana must be adopted by the 2022 General Assembly before any commercial sales can begin.

What is the difference between driving drunk and driving under the influence of marijuana?

Driving under the influence of marijuana will still be illegal come July 1.

But, some local police departments have concerns about a potential rise in impaired driving once the law changes.

More people are going to get behind the wheel after using it and be impaired on the roadways. Virginia is not prepared to deal with that. In Roanoke county we are very fortunate to have some of our officers trained as drug recognition experts,” Hall said.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.