Virginia Cannabis Law

Back to U.S. Map

A Guide to Virginia Cannabis Laws

What is legal?

Possession for personal use by adults 21+ at their residence
Public possession by adults 21+ of up to one ounce
Personal cultivation of up to 4 plants per household by adults 21+ at their primary residence
Adult-sharing of up to one ounce in private without remuneration
Continued participation in the medical cannabis program which allows purchase at Virginia dispensaries

What is NOT legal?

Possession with intent to distribute
Public consumption
Public possession over 1 ounce
Possession or consumption by anyone under 21
Possession on school grounds or school bus
Consumption in a motor vehicle while being driven (passenger or driver)
Open container in a vehicle
Sharing or offering in public
Selling or purchasing cannabis outside of the medical program
Selling or purchasing cannabis seeds or cannabis products
Gifting schemes (gift with purchase, public giveaway events, paid entry consumption events)

Personal cultivation guidelines

  • Four plants per household
  • Cultivation is only permitted at the individual’s primary residence
  • Tag each plant with owner’s name, driver’s license/state ID number, and for personal use
  • Plants must not be visible from a public way without the use of aircraft, binoculars, or other optical aids
  • Prevent access by those under 21
  • Cultivation is permitted indoors or outdoors, but may be restricted in rental housing

Transportation guidelines

  • Never drive while impaired
  • No driver or passenger may consume or possess an open container of cannabis while a vehicle is being operated
  • Transport cannabis in a completely sealed (preferably locked) container in the trunk of any passenger vehicle, or in the area behind the last upright seat of a passenger van, station wagon, hatchback, sport utility vehicle or any similar vehicle out of reach of the driver

Adult-sharing guidelines

  • Adults 21+ may share up to one ounce of cannabis in private, much like they could share a bottle of wine
  • Cannabis may not be offered to or shared with anyone in public
  • There may not be any exchange of goods or services (no gifting schemes)

How much marijuana can I possess at home in Virginia?

  • Possession in their residence of cannabis for personal use by adults 21+ is not subject to penalty. Possession with intent to distribute in any amount in any location is illegal.

How much marijuana can I possess in public in Virginia?

  • Up to one ounce of cannabis may be possessed in public by adults 21+. Until the Cannabis Control Authority promulgates equivalent possession amounts for edibles and concentrates, all cannabis products are defined as marijuana.
  • This does not, however, apply to medical cannabis products dispensed by Virginia medical dispensaries, as such products are defined as botanical cannabis, cannabis oil, or cannabis product.

My plants will produce more than one ounce. Is that legal?

  • Possession in their residence of cannabis for personal use by adults 21+ is not subject to penalty. Possession with intent to distribute in any amount in any location is illegal.

How much concentrate/edible can I possess?

  • Until the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority is able to enact such regulations, there will be no equivalent possession limits specified. Virginia Code defines the limit for legal possession on their person or in public by adults 21+ as one ounce of marijuana until such regulations can be enacted. Public possession of over 4 ounces and up to one pound is a misdemeanor. Personal possession at home by adults 21+ is not subject to penalty. Possession with intent to distribute in any amount is illegal.

Where can I buy cannabis in Virginia?

  • Legal retail sales are only permitted by licensed dispensaries to medical patients. Find a practitioner and get certified for the medical cannabis program.

Can I order cannabis from a legal state?

  • No. It is not legal to import or transport cannabis across state lines.

Can I buy seeds in Virginia?

  • No. Retail sales are not yet legal in Virginia.

Can I order seeds online?

  • It is not legal to do so, even if the site claims it to be for novelty purposes.

Can my business give away or sell seeds or clones?

  • No, “Adult sharing” does not include instances in which (i) marijuana is given away contemporaneously with another reciprocal transaction between the same parties; (ii) a gift of marijuana is offered or advertised in conjunction with an offer for the sale of goods or services; or (iii) a gift of marijuana is contingent upon a separate reciprocal transaction for goods or services.

Is it legal to give away seeds, plants, or cannabis in public?

  1. No, offering cannabis in public is illegal.
  2. § 4.1-1108. Consuming marijuana or marijuana products, or offering to another, in public place; penalty.
    1. No person shall consume marijuana or a marijuana product or offer marijuana or a marijuana product to another, whether accepted or not, at or in any public place.
    1. Any person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25 for a first offense. A person who is convicted under this section of a second offense is subject to a $25 civil penalty and shall be ordered to enter a substance abuse treatment or education program or both, if available, that in the opinion of the court best suits the needs of the accused. A person convicted under this section of a third or subsequent offense is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Can I open a consumption venue for cannabis?

  • No. “Public place” means any place, building, or conveyance to which the public has, or is permitted to have, access, including restaurants, soda fountains, hotel dining areas, lobbies and corridors of hotels, and any park, place of public resort or amusement, highway, street, lane, or sidewalk adjoining any highway, street, or lane.

What about paraphernalia?

  1. While the new definition “marijuana paraphernalia” became effective July 1, 2021, the removal of “marijuana” from § 18.2-265.1 required reenactment by the 2022 General Assembly in order to become law. At this time, paraphernalia remains illegal, including:
  2. Objects intended for use or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, or hashish oil into the human body, such as:
    1. Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls;
    1. Water pipes;
    1. Carburetion tubes and devices;
    1. Smoking and carburetion masks;
    1. Roach clips, meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a marijuana cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand;
    1. Miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials;
  3. Chamber pipes;
    • Carburetor pipes;
    • Electric pipes;
    • Air-driven pipes;
    • Chillums;
    • Bongs;
    • Ice pipes or chillers.

Can I be fired for testing positive?

  1. Yes. Limited employment protections are only extended to registered medical cannabis patients.
  2. § 40.1-27.4. Discipline for employee’s medicinal use of cannabis oil prohibited.
    1. As used in this section, “cannabis oil” means the same as that term is defined in § 54.1-3408.3.
  3. No employer shall discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee for such employee’s lawful use of cannabis oil pursuant to a valid written certification issued by a practitioner for the treatment or to eliminate the symptoms of the employee’s diagnosed condition or disease pursuant to § 54.1- 3408.3.
    • Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B, nothing in this section shall (i) restrict an employer’s ability to take any adverse employment action for any work impairment caused by the use of cannabis oil or to prohibit possession during work hours, (ii) require an employer to commit any act that would cause the employer to be in violation of federal law or that would result in the loss of a federal contract or federal funding, or (iii) require any defense industrial base sector employer or prospective employer, as defined by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, to hire or retain any applicant or employee who tests positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in excess of 50 ng/ml for a urine test or 10 pg/mg for a hair test.

Virginia Cannabis Tax Guide

  • Adult use retail: Virginia’s adult-use stores, which are scheduled to open in 2024, will collect a 21% state cannabis excise tax in addition to the statewide 5.3% sales tax. An extra 3% tax may be added by the local municipality.

Virginia Cannabis Advertising and Marketing Guide

  • Distribution, sale or display of printed material advertising instruments for use in administering marijuana or controlled substances to minors; penalty.
  • It shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person knowingly to sell, distribute, or display for sale to a minor any book, pamphlet, periodical or other printed matter which he knows advertises for sale any instrument, device, article, or contrivance for advertised use in unlawfully ingesting, smoking, administering, preparing or growing marijuana or a controlled substance.
  • Establish requirements for health and safety warning labels to be placed on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products to be sold or offered for sale by a licensee to a consumer in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;
  • Establish reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on outdoor advertising of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products, not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, so that such advertising does not encourage or otherwise promote the use or consumption of retail marijuana or retail marijuana products by persons under 21 years of age. Such regulations shall permit (i) any outdoor signage or advertising not otherwise prohibited by this chapter and (ii) the display of outdoor retail marijuana or retail marijuana product advertising on lawfully erected billboard signs regulated under Chapter 12 (§ 33.2-1200 et seq.) of Title 33.2 where such signs are located on commercial real estate as defined in § 55.1-1100, but only in accordance with this chapter;
  • “Advertisement” includes any written or verbal statement, illustration, or depiction that is calculated to induce sales of retail marijuana or retail marijuana products, including any written, printed, graphic, or other material, billboard, sign, or other outdoor display, publication, or radio or television broadcast.
  • “Health-related statement” means any statement related to health, and includes statements of a curative or therapeutic nature that, expressly or by implication, suggest a relationship between the consumption of retail marijuana or retail marijuana products and health benefits, or effects on health.
  • “Market” or “marketing” means any act or process of promoting or selling retail marijuana or retail marijuana products, including point-of-sale advertising, and development of products specifically designed to appeal to certain demographics.
  • No person shall advertise in or send any advertising matter into the Commonwealth about or concerning retail marijuana or retail marijuana products other than those that may be legally manufactured in the Commonwealth under this chapter or Article 4.2 (§ 54.1-3442.5 et seq.) of Chapter 34 of Title 54.1.
  • Advertising or marketing used by or on behalf of a licensee:
    1. Shall accurately and legibly identify the licensee responsible for its content by adding, at a minimum, the licensee’s license number;
    1. Shall not be misleading, deceptive, or false;
    1. Shall not have a high likelihood of reaching persons under 21 years of age and shall not be designed to appeal particularly to persons under 21 years of age; and
    1. Shall comply with any other provisions imposed by Board regulations.
  • Any advertising or marketing involving direct, individualized communication or dialogue controlled by the licensee shall utilize a method of age affirmation to verify that the recipient is 21 years of age or older before engaging in that communication or dialogue controlled by the licensee. For purposes of this subsection, that method of age affirmation may include user confirmation, birth date disclosure, or any other similar registration method.
  • A licensee shall not give away any amount of retail marijuana or retail marijuana products, or any marijuana accessories, as part of a business promotion or other commercial activity.
  • A licensee shall not include on the label of any retail marijuana or retail marijuana product or publish or disseminate advertising or marketing containing any health- related statement that is untrue in any particular manner or tends to create a misleading impression as to the effects on health of marijuana consumption.
  • All outdoor advertising of retail marijuana or retail marijuana products shall comply with the following:
  • No outdoor retail marijuana or retail marijuana product advertising shall be placed within 1,000 linear feet on the same side of the road, and parallel to such road, measured from the nearest edge of the sign face upon which the advertisement is placed to the nearest edge of a building or structure located on the real property of (i) a church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of religious worship; (ii) a public, private, or parochial school or an institution of higher education; (iii) a public or private playground or similar recreational facility; or (iv) a dwelling used for residential use. However, if there is no building or structure on a playground or similar recreational facility, the measurement shall be from the nearest edge of the sign face upon which the advertisement is placed to the property line of such playground or similar recreational facility.
  • If, at the time the advertisement was displayed, the advertisement was more than 1,000 feet from (i) a church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of religious worship; (ii) a public, private, or parochial school or an institution of higher education; (iii) a public or private playground or similar recreational facility; or (iv) a dwelling used for residential use, but the circumstances changed such that the advertiser would otherwise be in violation of subdivision 1, the Board shall permit the advertisement to remain as displayed for the remainder of the term of any written advertising contract, but in no event more than one year from the date of the change in circumstances.
  • The Board may grant a permit authorizing a variance from the distance requirements of this subsection upon a finding that the placement of retail marijuana and retail marijuana product advertising on a sign will not unduly expose persons under 21 years of age to marijuana and marijuana product advertising.
    • Provided such signs are in compliance with local ordinances, the distance and zoning requirements contained in this section shall not apply to signs placed by licensees upon the property on which the licensed premises are located.
    • Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize billboard signs containing retail marijuana or retail marijuana product advertising on property zoned agricultural or residential, or on any unzoned property. Nor shall this section be construed to authorize the erection of new billboard signs containing retail marijuana or retail marijuana product advertising that would be prohibited under state law or local ordinance.
  • All lawfully erected outdoor retail marijuana or retail marijuana product signs shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, Board regulations, and Chapter 12 (§ 33.2-1200 et seq.) of Title 33.2 and regulations adopted pursuant thereto by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Further, any outdoor retail marijuana or retail marijuana product directional sign located or to be located on highway rights-of-way shall also be governed by and comply with the Integrated Directional Signing Program administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation or its agents.
  • No licensee may sponsor or cause to be sponsored any athletic, musical, artistic, or other social or cultural event, or any entry or team in any event, in the brand name, logo, symbol, motto, or any other indicia of product identification identical or similar to, or identifiable with, those used for any brand of retail marijuana or retail marijuana products.
  • The provisions of this section shall not apply to noncommercial speech. https://www.cannabis.virginia.gov/

Back to U.S. Map

Pin It on Pinterest