Legal marijuana could be a major boon to the state’s economy.
Virginia is set to become the first state in the nation to make recreational marijuana legal by 2024.
Its a big step towards ending the state-federal conflict that has hindered the growth of the state and federal cannabis industries.
The Virginia Board of Cannabis Control has approved a draft bill that aims to legalise recreational cannabis in the Commonwealth in a year.
But its not just legal pot that could benefit the state financially.
A new survey commissioned by the Governor’s Office of Marijuana Policy and Analysis shows that a significant portion of Virginians support legalizing cannabis.
Only 15% of Virginian voters oppose it, compared to 61% of those who support it.
So Virginians have already been watching closely for any possible legalisation of recreational cannabis, and the numbers are promising.
“The more Virginians are aware that recreational marijuana is on the table, the better off the state will be,” said Chris Bevacqua, the director of the governor’s Office on Marijuana Policy.
If recreational marijuana were to be made legal, it would allow the state to begin to tackle the problems that plague its economy.
“It would allow us to expand our business opportunities and attract more residents, which will make it easier to attract new jobs,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.
“We will have a greater opportunity to attract businesses to Virginia, because of the tax revenues that are going to be generated.”
It’s clear that if recreational marijuana was made legal in Virginia, the state could benefit from it.
“I think that the tax revenue that will be generated from recreational marijuana will be a great deal,” said McAuliffe.
In fact, a study conducted by the University of Virginia has found that recreational pot sales will generate $1.6 billion in economic impact, more than triple the $2.2 billion in total revenue that is generated from sales of alcohol.
Legalising recreational marijuana would also allow Virginia to expand its medical cannabis program.
“Legalising marijuana will also provide a boost to the Virginia Medical Cannabis program,” said Dr Dan Karp, who runs the Medical Cannabis Institute.
“[This] will allow us, as well as the entire state, to grow our medical cannabis supply base and become more competitive in the marketplace.”
But it’s not all good news.
The Governor’s Board of Marijuana Control says that the legislation must also provide protection from the federal government.
They argue that marijuana could remain illegal under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which bans the production, distribution and use of marijuana and all other forms of cannabis.
This could have a devastating impact on the state, especially if it is used for medical purposes.
“What we’re trying to do is give the states freedom to regulate the cannabis they grow, whether that’s for medical use or recreational,” said Governor McAuliffe.
But the state is not alone in its battle to end the state government’s conflict with the federal marijuana industry.
There are already signs that other states are preparing for recreational marijuana.
Last year, Nevada became the first in the US to become a legal recreational pot market.
And the US State Department recently announced that the US would not be taking action against other states that have legalized recreational marijuana for medicinal use.
Although some states, such as Colorado, have indicated they may continue to enforce federal law against the state if recreational pot is legalised, other states have indicated that they are considering legalising recreational pot for medical and research purposes.
However, it’s still unclear what will happen if recreational weed is made legal.
It will depend on how the legal industry develops in Virginia.
What are the advantages of recreational marijuana?
Legal pot could mean more jobs and tax revenue.
Currently, the Virginia Cannabis Market is the largest in the country.
As a result, there is plenty of potential for jobs and economic growth.
“The only way to make money is by growing marijuana,” said Mark McConkey, owner of The McConkeys Cannabis Company.
“So if you’re growing a plant for recreational purposes, then it’s a great thing for Virginia.”
Legal weed is cheaper than legal alcohol.
“The main advantage that recreational cannabis has is that it’s cheaper than alcohol,” said McConnow.
That is because recreational marijuana has less THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, which makes it less addictive and therefore more expensive to produce.
“In fact when I first started selling marijuana in 2013, I thought it would be a bit of a hassle, because there was no alcohol on the market,” said Mr McConway.
“But the fact that the state of Virginia is now allowing it, that’s going to make it so much more convenient.”
The state of Washington recently became the third state to allow recreational marijuana use, following Colorado and Oregon.
This means that other jurisdictions will also be able to start legalising