The Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee has voted 9-5 to approve an adult-use cannabis legalization bill, sending it to the Finance and Appropriations Committee for consideration, according to The Center Square.
S.B. 1406, which is sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and backed by Gov. Ralph Northam, would legalize the production, sale and use of cannabis for adults 21 and older, The Center Square reported.
The bill originally allowed adult-use sales to launch Jan. 1, 2023, but changes have since postponed the market until 2024, according to the news outlet, in order to give the state more time to issue business licenses and prepare for legalization.
The legislation includes an automatic expungement process for past cannabis-related convictions, The Center Square reported. It also allows municipalities to opt out of the adult-use cannabis market if they want to prohibit sales within their borders.
Del. Steve Heretick (D-Portsmouth) has also proposed an adult-use legalization bill in that chamber, reintroducing a measure from past years.