A majority of the states that legalized recreational marijuana for recreational use are collecting more tax revenue from pot sales than alcohol sales.
The first two states to legalize pot are profiting the most, Colorado and Washington. Across the country, the total revenue for taxes on weed amounted to nearly $3 billion, according to a report on “sin taxes” by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).
A House of Delegates General Laws subcommittee voted five to three on Monday to recommend continue a key marijuana sales legalization bill until the 2023 session, effectively dooming the bill for now. Senate Bill 391 would create the regulatory structure for a legal marijuana industry in Virginia, including cultivation, manufacture, and sale. If the General Laws Committee follows the recommendation from the subcommittee, Virginia’s legal-to-own but not legal-to-buy recreational cannabis structure will remain in place for now.
Bill sponsor Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) told the delegates, “The action of this subcommittee, as we discussed, will establish a Virginia cannabis brand. The question is whether the brand will be a regulated, confined marketplace for adults, or for an import crime subsidization program proliferating in school yards and gas stations.”
Marijuana sales won’t be legal in Virginia until 2024, according to legalization bills passed by the General Assembly in 2021. But King George County is already moving to potentially ban sales. At its April 27 meeting, the Board of Supervisors requested County Attorney Matt Britton to research how to implement such a ban.
Possessing marijuana in amounts of up to one ounce will be legal July 1, but sales will still be outlawed in Virginia until 2024. That means there will be no clear legal way to acquire marijuana or marijuana plants, despite possession itself being legal.
“Outside of the medical cannabis program, there remains no legal access to marijuana in Virginia,” Virginia NORML Executive Director Jenn Michelle Pedini told The Virginia Star.