Is Cannabis Legal in Virginia?

Published February 17, 2022
Is Cannabis Legal in Virginia? - Secret Nature

Virginia has had a medical cannabis program for decades, and as of 2021, it is now legal for adults in the Old Dominion State to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and grow up to four plants at home. The state’s recreational dispensaries won’t be up and running until 2024, however, so residents who want to use cannabis will need to rely on their own devices until then.

Since weed is now legal in Virginia, many residents are turning to the online delta 8 industry as an alternative source of THC while they wait for recreational dispensaries to get up and running. Learn more about the current status of cannabis law in Virginia in this guide.

Virginia cannabis law overview

Let’s start with a condensed overview of what types of cannabis use are legal and illegal in Virginia:

  • Adults over 21 can possess up to 1oz of cannabis flower
  • Adults can use cannabis in private residences
  • Households can grow up to 4 cannabis plants
  • Adults can share up to 1oz of cannabis without remuneration
  • You may not possess more than 1oz of cannabis flower in Virginia
  • You may not use cannabis in Virginia if you are under 21
  • You may not sell cannabis without a license
  • You may not operate a vehicle under the influence of cannabis

Virginia cannabis legalization history

Lawmakers have been trying to make cannabis legal in Virginia for quite some time. After a failed 2015 attempt to decriminalize cannabis use, cannabis once again became a central focus of the 2019 Virginia elections and a subsequent pillar of Governor Northam’s 2020 political agenda. In April of 2021, Northam succeeded in leading state legislators in ratifying SB 1406, which established a recreational cannabis program in Virginia as of July 2021.

There are more than a dozen medical cannabis dispensaries operating in the Alexandria area near Washington DC with a few other cannabis hubs spread through Roanoke, Chesapeake, and other Virginia cities. These dispensaries are not yet open to residents who do not have medical cannabis authorization, though.

Is weed legal in Virginia?

Yes, recreational cannabis is now legal in Virginia. Adults over 21 years old may possess up to 1oz of cannabis products—the law in Virginia does not distinguish between cannabis flower and concentrates.

Virginia’s existing medical cannabis program remains in operation, but Virginia residents no longer need medical cards to possess weed in their home state. Simply be capable of presenting identification proving you’re over 21, and up to an ounce of weed is legally yours to own in Virginia.

Is recreational cannabis legal in Virginia?

Yes, both recreational and medical cannabis are now legal in Virginia. You no longer need to convince a doctor you have a medically valid need for cannabis to possess weed in the Old Dominion State. Just make sure you’re over 21 years old and don’t possess more than an ounce of weed, and you’re free to enjoy cannabis in Virginia as long as you constrain your use to private residences.

Where can I legally buy cannabis in Virginia?

You can legally buy cannabis in Virginia at any medical cannabis dispensary. To shop at a medical dispensary in Virginia, you will need a medical cannabis card. You possess cannabis in Virginia, though, you now just need to present identification proving you’re over 21 years old.

Where can I consume cannabis in Virginia?

In Virginia, it is legal to consume cannabis products in private residences. It is not legal to consume cannabis in public spaces in the state of Virginia, and there are no businesses set aside for cannabis consumption (“hash bars,” etc.).

Grab your bag from the dispensary, take it home, and enjoy it within the privacy of your own closed doors. Better yet, have your cannabis products delivered straight to your door.

Where can I possess cannabis in Virginia?

You may possess cannabis on your person or in your home in the state of Virginia. As long as it remains concealed, there are no laws preventing possession of cannabis in any specific areas in Virginia. If you put across the impression that you’re trying to sell cannabis products near a school, though, the state of Virginia could have you on the line for a felony offense.

Virginia home cultivation laws

Adults may cultivate up to four cannabis plants per household in the state of Virginia. No more than four cannabis plants may be cultivated in a single Virginia household—it doesn’t matter how many adults live there.

As long as you keep your plant count under four, you can cultivate cannabis to your heart’s content in Virginia. Cultivated properly, four plants can provide all the cannabis an average person would desire to consume.

Virginia cannabis law FAQ

Now that you know the basics of cannabis law in Virginia, let’s close out with some answers to commonly asked Virginia weed questions:

1. Does Virginia have recreational dispensaries?

No, the state of Virginia does not yet have any recreational cannabis dispensaries. This state’s existing medical cannabis dispensaries will not open their doors to the general public until 2024 even though it’s now legal for adults over 21 to possess cannabis in Virginia.

The majority of Virginia’s medical dispensaries are operated by a chain called RISE, which offers a reliable spread of products despite charging lamentably high prices. The Alexandria area is home to its own little ecosystem of independent medical dispensaries.

2. Can I go to a dispensary without a card in Virginia?

No, you still need a medical card to get into a dispensary in Virginia. All you need now, though, is a state-issued ID proving you’re over 21 years old to legally possess up to an ounce of weed in the Old Dominion State.

3. Are Virginia recreational dispensaries open?

No, Virginia recreational cannabis dispensaries are still not open even though recreational cannabis has been legal in the state since summer of 2021. The state is taking its time to put together a proper regulatory framework before allowing operators to begin cultivating cannabis and building out dispensaries. In the meantime, Virginia residents can cultivate their own cannabis or get their hands on THC in some other way.

4. What are the best dispensaries in Virginia?

Based on customer reviews, some of the most popular medical dispensaries in Virginia are RISE in Abingdon, Columbia Care in Portsmouth, and RVA in Chester. RISE has been a major chain in Virginia since the state’s early medical cannabis days, and Columbia Care is a growing presence throughout the Eastern Seaboard. Regardless of which dispensary you shop at in Virginia, though, you’ll pay around the same amount of money for cannabis.

5. Where can I see a Virginia dispensary menu?

Many Virginia medical cannabis dispensaries post their menus on their websites, and it’s also often possible to find menus on dispensary-finder websites like Leafly and Weedmaps. Don’t expect to find an enormous variety of products, however, and expect the products you do find to be quite expensive.

6. Where can I view Virginia dispensary opening dates?

As the state of Virginia works to open its first recreational cannabis dispensaries, licensing and opening date information will be available on the state’s official cannabis information portal. Keep in mind, though, that no dispensaries are allowed to open for business in Virginia until 2024, meaning you’ll be waiting some time until there’s any news.

7. Can I get edibles shipped to Virginia?

Delta 9 THC is a federally controlled substance. As a result, the DEA takes issue with shipping this form of THC across state lines, making it inadvisable to have delta 9 THC edibles shipped into Virginia unless you have a distribution license.

Products containing other cannabinoids, though, are not subject to the Controlled Substances Act. Instead, they’re generally considered industrial hemp, making it legal to ship non delta-9 cannabis products to Virginia as long as they contain less than 0.3% delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis.

8. Is weed legal in DC?

Yes, both medical and recreational cannabis are legal in the District of Columbia, which borders Virginia’s most populous areas. Not only is cannabis more accessible in Washington DC, but it is also considerably cheaper.

9. Can I order weed online in Virginia?

With THC now legal in the state of Virginia, there’s a permissive attitude toward everything having to do with cannabis. There aren’t currently any weed delivery services in Virginia, but state authorities are unlikely to take any note of Virginia residents using delta 8 and other alternatives to conventional THC that have recently become popular online.

In many cases, delta 8 THC provides better product options and pricing than delta 9. With recreational cannabis not yet available and medical cannabis prices in Virginia remaining sky-high, residents can’t be blamed for considering other options—especially now that the golden age of weed has supposedly arrived in the Old Dominion State.

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