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What you need to know about Virginia’s new marijuana laws

(FILE)
(FILE)(WVIR)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 12:45 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Adults 21 years and older in Virginia can now legally use marijuana recreationally. You can even grow it at home, but all of these new rules come with some restrictions you need to know before taking a hit.

“You can’t sell or distribute marijuana in public. You can’t consume or smoke marijuana in public,” Charlottesville Police Department Spokesperson Tyler Hawn said. “You can legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana on your person, and you are allowed to smoke marijuana in the privacy of your own home.”

Starting July 1, you can grow your own marijuana plants at home, but this comes with limits. Each plant must have a tag that includes the person’s name, driver’s license or ID number, and a notation that the plant is being grown for personal use as authorized by law.

“You’re allowed to cultivate up to four plants, and I think the provision in that is that is can’t be facing your neighbors,” Albemarle County Police Department Captain Darrell Byers said.

Adults 21 years and older can also share cannabis in Virginia, but they can’t sell it.

“They may share in private with other adults 21 and older up to one ounce of marijuana as long as there is no remuneration for that sharing,” Virginia NORML Executive Director Jenn Michelle Pedini said.

Even though these new laws can be confusing, Byers says it’s important to think of these rules like the ones in place for alcohol: “You can’t possess it on school grounds and you can’t possess it and drive or operate a motor vehicle,” he said.

As these laws evolve, police officers want you to know the facts before lighting up.

“There’s going to be a lot of people who are going to want to experiment and try with this. Make sure you keep your personal safety in mind and the safety of other people in mind, as well,” Hawn said.

If you have questions about the new cannabis laws, you can visit https://www.cannabis.virginia.gov/ for more information.

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