Virginia’s New Recreational Marijuana Laws and You

As of July 1st, 2021, Virginia has updated its marijuana laws regarding what is legal, and for whom. Having up-to-date information will help make sure you’re following the new laws and are not at risk for legal consequences. Listed below are the changes to Virginia’s laws and what they mean for you.

1. Minimum Age Requirements

Just as with alcohol, there is a minimum age requirement for personal marijuana use. Also similar to alcohol, this age has been set at 21 for Virginia. Possession of any amount of marijuana by individuals 20 and younger remains illegal.

2. Maximum Physical Amount

An individual is allowed to have no more than one ounce of marijuana with them for personal use. However, in the home, an adult over 21 may grow up to four plants per household. It is important to remember that this is four per household, not per individual over 21 in the household.

3. Legal Restrictions

Private owners still have domain over their property. In a private residence, the owner can still prevent marijuana use on premises. This means that although legal, there is no inherent right to be able to use marijuana. If a friend, or more likely landlord, restricts your use on their property it is within their legal rights to do so.

4. Understanding Adult Sharing

Adult sharing is the specific term used for two or more people over 21 sharing or transferring marijuana between them. At any point during this transfer, each individual cannot have more than one ounce of marijuana. In other words no more than one ounce can be transferred at any time. What is crucial is that nothing may be given in exchange for this marijuana. You cannot exchange money, other goods, services, or anything else in exchange or at the same time as the marijuana transfer. To put it simply, you may gift marijuana only, not sell or transact with it. Sale of marijuana is still illegal in Virginia and will remain so until 2024, when specific commercial sales will be permitted.

There are still penalties for illegal uses including:

    1. Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is subject to a fine up to $25. However, possession of a pound or more will be a felony and punished more severely.
    2. It remains illegal for individuals under 21 to have marijuana, and the penalties include potential misdemeanor charges.
    3. The sale of marijuana remains illegal. To give any marijuana away be sure to follow the adult sharing guidelines above.
    4. Finally, use of marijuana is only authorized in private. Public consumption or public offers to another person remain illegal.

Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC can help individuals in VA who are facing legal consequences of marijuana use or possession.

Whether before the new law changes or since, Surovell Isaacs & Levy can help you with the case. If you or a loved one is facing charges based on Marijuana use, sale, or possession one of our knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorneys may be able to help lower the charge or get it dropped altogether. At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we work hard to ensure that our clients receive the best outcome. To learn more or schedule a consultation, contact us today.

Posted in: Criminal Law