RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Some Virginia companies are racing to sell marijuana for recreational use - just as soon as they get the green light. Virginia lawmakers decided sales can begin in three years.
“Everything we do in Virginia, takes place in Virginia,” said Adam Goers of Columbia Care.
The medical marijuana manufacturer has a location in Portsmouth, where they craft a variety of products.
“It’s tested and it’s trusted. We go through a pharmaceutical quality process to cultivate the cannabis [and] grow it,” he explained.
They then create products for people in Virginia who have a valid prescription. When the year 2024 comes, the company will be able to sell its products to anyone 21 and over, with or without a prescription.
“I’m hopeful and I’m pleased Virginia has now chosen to be the 16th state in which to legalize marijuana,” Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday.
He supports the idea that lawmakers just passed. He says, though, there’s some work to do before the rollout.
“We’ve done two very thorough studies in Virginia looking at legalizing marijuana. We’ve done the work and I think we can do this the right way,” he said.
Now companies like Columbia Care are preparing to ramp up production.
“We’re in the process of building out dispensaries throughout the Commonwealth,” Goers said.
In fact, his company is teaming up with another marijuana provider, Green Leaf - based in Richmond - to become a powerhouse for marijuana sales.
“There’s so many good things that come out of it…Jobs that are coming here…Criminal justice measures that we can stop disproportionately impacting certain populations in Virginia that have borne the brunt of this failed war on cannabis,” Goers added.
It’s been a years-long fight to get to this point, but Virginia lawmakers now agree the time is right.
“We’re getting to work right now,” Goers continued.
Since more than a dozen other states have legalized marijuana, advocates say Virginia has time to learn from those states’ hits and misses to make sure the Commonwealth succeeds.
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