Marijuana industry budding in Richmond

A Green Leaf Medical employee tends marijuana plants at the company’s Richmond cultivation and processing facility. (BizSense file photos)

At the end of what was already a milestone year for marijuana in Virginia, a recent decision by state lawmakers could be seen as an early Christmas present for the state’s medical marijuana operators.

The General Assembly’s Cannabis Oversight Commission, which oversees the implementation of marijuana legislation, voted in mid-December to recommend the launch of the recreational market be moved forward a year to January 2023.

Initially, only the state’s already-licensed medical marijuana operators would be able to sell recreational marijuana — with other businesses able to get in on the action a year later.

Currently, the start date for sales of recreational marijuana in Virginia is slated to be January 2024 for everybody.

The commission’s recommendation will next be sent to the wider General Assembly, which will have to reenact previously passed legislation to allow the retail market to launch.

The year 2021 saw the launch of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority, the state’s regulatory agency

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