Earlier this month, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam cited racial equity as a primary reason for his support for the legalization of recreational marijuana. He stated that race does not play a role in the use of cannabis, but people of color are three times more likely to be arrested and convicted.
In early 2021, the governor plans on introducing legislation when the General Assembly reconvenes, and we will monitor how the bill is received. So far, the legislation faces pushback from Central Virginia Delegate Wendell Walker who has stated that he will not support the initiative and we hope that his opinion is not the norm.
With all due respect, Walker is clueless and is living in the past. Anyone who considers cannabis to be a gateway drug should get their head examined. If any substance is a gateway drug, it is alcohol. Clearly Walker has been hitting the bottle hard and is too drunk to be making sense.
You do not have to take our word for this. You only need to read his statement to understand how misconstrued his thought process is. Delegate Walker said, “This is another form of drugs that lead to harder drugs, which then lead to the destruction of life.”
Medical cannabis is legal in Virginia and the program is considered to be one of the most restrictive in the country. The state has been destroyed by the current economic climate and the COVID pandemic. Virginia clearly needs to find new revenue streams to support the economy and cannabis could be the answer.
Under current law, Virginia’s medical cannabis market is limited largely to processed products like concentrates and vape cartridges. Although we are bullish on these cannabis derivative products, they tend to cost more than cannabis flower, and this has reduced the amount of access that patients have.
We have seen how much tax revenue is being generated by states like Illinois and Nevada and know that any state could benefit from having a burgeoning stream of taxable income. Virginia needs to elect smarter delegates that are not living in the past in order to bring the state into the 21st century and we believe that it is a market to be aware of.