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General Assembly to address cannabis regulations in Virginia

(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 26, 2019 at 2:13 PM EST
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More and more CBD (cannabidiol) shops are popping up across central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley.

Now, legislators are getting ready to take up the issue of how the commonwealth regulates cannabis in the upcoming session of the General Assembly. The question is: just how far are state lawmakers willing to go?

Louise on West Main Street in Charlottesville is the latest CBD shop to open its doors. Co-owners Heather Sieg and Ashley Florence say their boutique store offers up a variety of products, including CBD bath and body items.

"We wanted to present CBD to people in a way that they could envision using it in their daily lives,” Sieg said.

"We’ve made sure that all of our products are free of trace pesticides and heavy metals,” Florence said.

The duo offers up their expertise on which CBD products may help with sleep, anxiety, pain and even sex.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) hopes the new Democratic majority in the General Assembly will pave the way for both economic and medical opportunities for cannabis.

"We would like to see marijuana and cannabis products in a legal, regulated market,” NORML member Jes Vegas said. “We’re excited just that it’s being talked about, and things are moving forward.”

”I think Virginia is ready for cannabis reform. I think we’re going to see decriminalization," 57th District Delegate-Elect Sally Hudson said.

The newly-elected Democrat believes decriminalization is the first part of a longer conversation about how Virginia can do legalization the right way.

"I think it’s important we take decriminalization as a first step, because it’s the thing we can do fastest,” Hudson said.

A slew of bills are already filed for the upcoming General Assembly session, each of which will have to work through a committee before moving on to a full vote.

The session starts January 8, 2020.