Marijuana Laws in Virginia:
In the State of Virginia, it’s a crime to possess any amount of cannabis. Offenders face both jail time and civil fines. However, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed Senate Bill 1027. It allows the state to establish the state’s Limited CBD and THC-A Oil program. Under SB 1027, patients suffering from intractable epilepsy may obtain THC-A or cannabidiol (CBD) oil.
Patients must experience severe, frequent seizures to qualify for the program. Virginia’s Board of Pharmacy must issue a proposal of program governing regulations no later than December 15, 2017. It is expected to take at least a year before qualifying patients can legally obtain, possess and use the oils. These cannabis extracts will contain no more than 5% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and at least 15% CBD.
Possessing Marijuana in Virginia
It is illegal to possess cannabis, in any amount, in Virginia. Related convictions are punishable as follows:
- Under ½ ounce (first offense) = Misdemeanor: Up to $500 fine and up to 30 days’ incarceration (possible conditional release)
- Under ½ ounce (subsequent offense) = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,500 fine and up to 1-year incarceration
Concentrates & Hashish
Virginia state lawmakers place concentrates and hash that contain under 12% THC by weight under the same definition as cannabis. See “Possessing Marijuana in Virginia” for penalty details.
Hashish oil, on the other hand, is a Schedule I substance in Virginia. Possessing hash oil is a felony crime punishable by a $2,500 fine and 1 to 10 years’ incarceration.
Once the regulations for the Limited CBD and THC-A Oil program in Virginia are finalized, qualifying patients will have access to thse oils. Each patient will only be allowed to possess a 30-day supply of oils at any given time.
Selling Marijuana in Virginia
It is a felony crime to traffic or sell cannabis in the State of Virginia. Related convictions are punishable as follows:
- Between ½ ounce to 5 pounds = Up to $2,500 fine and mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year to up to 10 years’ imprisonment
- Between 5 pounds to 100 kilograms = Up to $1,000 fine and mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years to up to 30 years’ imprisonment
- Over 100 kilograms = Up to $100,000 fine and mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years to up to life in prison
- To a minor 3 or more years younger = Up to $100,000 fine and mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years to up to 50 years’ imprisonment
- Within 1,000 feet of school bus stop or school = Up to $100,000 fine and mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year to up to 5 years’ imprisonment
- Transporting over 5 pounds in the state with intent to distribute = Up to $1,000,000 fine and mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years to up to 40 years’ imprisonment
- Maintaining fortified drug house = Mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year to up to 10 years’ imprisonment
Concentrates & Hashish
In Virginia, it is a felony to distribute or sell any amount of concentrates or hash. Related convictions are punishable as follows:
- To a minor at least 3 years younger or using a minor to distribute = $100,000 fine, plus a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to up to 50 years’ imprisonment
- Manufacturing, possessing or distributing with intent to distribute, give or sell (first offense) = Up to $100,000 fine and/or 1 to 5 years’ imprisonment
- Manufacturing, possessing or distributing with intent to distribute, give or sell (subsequent offense) = Up to $100,000 fine and/or mandatory minimum sentence of 1 to 5 years’ imprisonment
- Selling drug paraphernalia is a crime in the State of Virginia. Such crimes are punishable as follows:
- Possess with intent to sell or selling = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,500 fine and up to 12 months’ imprisonment
- Sell to a minor over 3 years younger = Felony: Up to $2,500 fine and up to 12 months’ incarceration
- Advertising to sell = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,500 fine and up to 12 months’ imprisonment
- Distributing printed material that knowingly advertises to sell. = Misdemeanor: Up to $2,500 fine and up to 12 months’ imprisonment
Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in Virginia
Virginia law states that anyone who possesses cannabis with the intent to manufacture or manufactures cannabis is guilty of a felony crime. It’s punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years to up to 30 years’ imprisonment.
Growing any form of cannabis is illegal in this state. Although Virginia has legalized industrial hemp program for plants with less than .3 percent THC, it is limited to research organizations until federal laws have changed.
Concentrates & Hashish
No one may distribute, manufacture or possess with the intent to give, sell or manufacture hash oil in Virginia. Such felony crimes are punishable as follows:
- First offense = Up to $500,000 fine and between 5 to 40 years’ imprisonment
- Second offense = Mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years to up to life in prison
- Subsequent offense = Mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years to up to life in prison
Virginia Hemp Law
In 2015, Virginia passed a Hemp Law under Senate Bill 955. This allows the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to regulate the cultivation of industrial hemp. The state’s higher learning institutions can become licensed growers for the purposes of research programs. Virginia defines hemp as a variety of cannabis containing no more than 1% THC.
Once Virginia’s Limited CBD and THC-A Oil program regulations have been finalized, “pharmaceutical processors” will be allowed to apply for licenses. They will be authorized to manufacture oils and dispense them to qualifying patients. These patients must obtain the oils directly from the facilities of the pharmaceutical processors.
No person may legally cultivate or grow medical cannabis in Virginia.
Using Marijuana in Virginia
Because of the passing of SB 1027, qualifying patients will soon be allowed to obtain, possess and use limited CBD and THC-A oils. These extracts will contain no more than 5% THC and no less than 15% CBD.
To participate in Virginia’s medical marijuana-like program, qualifying patients must suffer from severe, frequent, debilitating seizures caused by intractable epilepsy. Each patient must obtain an authorization from a physician. Then, they must apply for the program by enrolling through the state’s Department of Health.
Breaking the Marijuana Laws in Virginia
Conditional release may be allowed for first-time offenders found in possession of under a ½ ounce of cannabis in Virginia. This allows them to receive probation, as opposed to doing time in jail. However, these offenders must agree to enroll in a drug treatment program and pay to take a series of drug tests. Community service may also be required.
Mandatory Minimum Sentence
If convicted of a crime that carries a mandatory minimum sentence, the presiding judge cannot issue a sentence less than the minimum amount. No probation will be granted until at least this amount of time has been fully served.
Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]