Here’s how Virginia’s election outcome could impact marijuana legalization

With a divided government, crucial details are up for debate

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of cannabis seeds will be handed out to people all over the state for the Get out and Grow event.

Va. – On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of cannabis seeds will be handed out to people all over the state for the Get out and Grow event.

This comes as new Republican leadership has many questioning the future of the legal market.

Since the decriminalization of cannabis, hemp farmer Jonathan Zinski has been traveling around the state, helping to get seeds in people’s hands since there is still no legal way to buy them. This is something that’s more important for him now more than ever.

“I think there’s some concern about that, which way lawmakers are going to swing,” he said.

Zinski is referring to the fact that a faster timeline for recreational marijuana is on the table; however, the future of the legal market is hazy after Republicans swept statewide elections and flipped the House.

[READ MORE: Timeline for marijuana legalization in Virginia: How did we get here?]

“I do hope that they fix the current bill. There’s a lot of things people didn’t agree with,” Zinski added. “I think it was a step in the right direction.”

With a divided government, crucial details are up for debate including when sales will start, what the market will look like and where tax revenue will go.

“They passed the legalization of marijuana, but they did so without any sort of regulatory framework around it,” said Virginia Delegate Todd Gilbert. “All they did was essentially create a black market for marijuana. We’re going to have to fix all of that.”

“Governor-Elect Youngkin has outlined his thoughts there that he’s not interested in really addressing the bill too much,” said Virginia Delegate Sam Rasoul.

It’s not clear if Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin would sign off on an earlier timeline. What is clear is that he won’t seek to repeal marijuana legalization.

“There are a lot of people working with legislatures to make sure things are done the right way and I just hope lawmakers listen,” Zinski said.

Education and putting an end to the stigma is how Virginia’s Johnny Appleseed of cannabis continues to put his best foot forward.


About the Author:

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.