3 US states have changed the way they legislate cannabis. Read on to learn more about new cannabis laws in New Mexico, Virginia, and Connecticut.
It’s been a busy week in the world of weed; the end of June 2021 saw 3 different US states legalize cannabis to varying degrees. Below we’ll walk you through legal weed in New Mexico, Virginia, and Connecticut.
Legal Cannabis in New Mexico
New Mexico’s revised cannabis law came into effect on Tuesday, June 29th. Adults aged 21 or older can now legally possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower and 16 grams of concentrates, as well as grow up to 6 mature plants.
The state’s Cannabis Control Division (part of New Mexico’s Department of Regulation and Licensing) has also set out a clear timeline with key dates to help facilitate the rollout of legal cannabis across the state.
According to the Division’s timeline, the state of New Mexico will:
- Create a Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee and begin accepting cannabis business licenses no later than September 1st, 2021,
- Start issuing cannabis business licences as well as cannabis training and education programs by January 1st, 2022, and
- Start legal retail sales of cannabis by April 1st, 2022.
Legal Cannabis in Virginia
On Thursday, July 1st, Virginia became the first Southern US state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.
Virginia’s laws, however, aren’t as liberal as those of other states; adults aged 21 or older can possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis, share or gift cannabis to other adults, and grow up to 4 plants per household.
The sale or distribution of cannabis for recreational use will remains illegal across the entire state. Individuals also have the right to restrict the use of cannabis on their property, and employers can adopt their own cannabis policies. Finally, state colleges or universities that receive federal funding also will not allow cannabis on their premises.
Virginia’s new cannabis bill also includes a reenactment clause, meaning state lawmakers will have to vote on the topic again next year. State officials have made it clear that legalizing the sale of recreational cannabis won’t be on the agenda until 2024.
Legal Weed In Connecticut
July 1st also marked the legalization of recreational cannabis in Connecticut.
Under the state’s new laws, adults aged 21 and over can now possess or consume up to 1.5 ounces of “dried cannabis plant material” as well as have an extra 5 ounces in a locked container in their house or in the trunk or locked glove compartment of their car. As of July 23rd, adults will also be able to legally grow up to 6 plants per person or 12 per household.
Under the new laws, police officers have also lost the right to stop or search any person or their vehicle for “probable cause” if they detect the smell of cannabis. They may, however, test the driver or passenger of a car for cannabis if they believe either to be high.
Retail cannabis sales aren’t expected to be legalized in Connecticut until 2022. When it does, however, the state has set aside 50% of its licenses for equity applicants (which the state defines as residents of communities “disproportionately impacted” by the War on Drugs), and 75% of the revenue from cannabis sales will be dedicated toward equity efforts and community reinvestment, according to Marijuana Policy Project.