The new legislation, which goes into outcome July 1, lets anybody in the point out 21 or older to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis. The legislation also “modifies several other felony penalties similar to cannabis, and imposes limitations on dissemination of criminal background history details relevant to particular cannabis offenses,” in accordance to a summary posted to the Legislature’s web page.
“Virginia led and created historical past after again currently,” Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who forged the tie-breaking vote in the point out Senate, claimed in a tweet.

“I was happy to cast the tie-breaking vote to legalize marijuana and provide prolonged overdue justice, fairness, equity and possibility to the men and women of our terrific Commonwealth.”

The invoice experienced originally handed in late February, but Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam despatched it back to the Legislature with a series of revisions, such as a proposal to accelerate the timeline of its enactment to this July in its place of 2024.

“I am pleased that the General Assembly accepted my proposal to make this improve on July 1, 2021 nearly a few many years before than prepared,” Northam reported in a statement Wednesday.

“Cannabis guidelines ended up explicitly designed to focus on communities of coloration, and Black Virginians are disproportionately probable to be stopped, billed, and convicted. Nowadays, Virginia took a significant action to right these wrongs and restore justice to individuals harmed by decades of around-criminalization.”

However, the evaluate was achieved with intense opposition from condition GOP lawmakers Wednesday, including Del. Chris Head, who referred to as it a “practice wreck” throughout a digital Dwelling ground speech.

“If this policy improve is to be carried out, it has to be undertaken prudently, and I understand the tremendous pressure on the the greater part bash to make this alter appropriate now. I realize that opposing speedy laws and legalization is likely to anger many of your constituents. And I understand that using the time to do this correct could possibly possibly even direct to charges of racism,” he stated.

“But we have to do this proper. And undertaking it right normally takes time.”

Legalization advocates have prolonged touted the righting of past felony justice wrongs, eradicating unlawful industry activity and making added tax earnings when they’ve pushed for overhauling state cannabis laws.

“At the stop of the working day, economics discuss and employment communicate,” Jessica Billingsley, chief government officer of Akerna, which helps make regulatory compliance software that helps states monitor cannabis sales from seed to sale, earlier advised CNN.

“I truly believe we are going to see some very significant and crucial movement coming out of this as states and governors glimpse for a way to bolster their overall economy.”

Hashish revenue in states that have legalized the plant for health care and recreational functions totaled about $15 billion in 2019, and are expected to major $30 billion by 2024, according to details from BDS Analytics, which tracks dispensary revenue.

CNN’s Alicia Wallace contributed to this report.