Lawmakers in both houses of Virginia’s state legislature last week passed a bill to regulate
The bill, which was introduced by House of Delegates Republican majority leader Terry Kilgore and has the support of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, was approved by lawmakers in the
Under the bill, regulated hemp products would be required to have no more than 0.3%
“I think this will go a long way in making sure that our communities are safe and that folks are buying what they purport to buy,”
The bill also includes labeling provisions that require the percentage and total milligrams of THC to be displayed on product packaging. Additionally, the legislation prohibits hemp products from being marketed as a cure or treatment for any disease. Violations of the bill would be subject to fines of up to $10,000 per day.
“Consumers deserve to know that what’s on the label is what’s actually in the product,” said JM Pedini, executive director of cannabis policy reform group Virginia NORML. “These bills will provide that transparency.”
Virginia Senate Also Approves Hemp Bill
The Virginia state Senate also approved House Bill 2294 last week, although with less enthusiastic support. Senators voted 23-17 to pass the measure, which now heads to Youngkin, who is expected to approve the measure.
The bill was opposed by some Senate Democrats, who say the measure complicates efforts to regulate recreational marijuana, which was legalized by the state legislature last year. Currently, possession of cannabis and
Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell said that the hemp bill will create an unwieldy regulatory system for cannabis and hemp in Virginia, noting that the measure divides regulatory authority between the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the new Virginia Cannabis Control Authority.
“This is a first step toward a complete mess,” Surovell said after the bill passed the Senate 23-17. “And the reason we’re doing this is because somebody upstairs doesn’t want to talk about it.”
The legislation is opposed by businesses in Virginia’s
“Rather than a thoughtful narrow approach to try to address a specific public safety concern, what this [bill] is likely to do is cause most hemp businesses in Virginia to simply leave the state or close the doors,” Habeeb said.
Democratic House minority leader Don Scott said he would “begrudgingly” vote for the legislation. But he added that he is unsure if the regulatory framework established by the bill would be effective.
“We’ll be watching,” Scott said. “And I think that’s why God created the next session. If it doesn’t work correctly, we’re going to have to put it where it belongs.”