The new law does provide at least one legal loophole for interested parties to get started.
Republicans, who overwhelmingly opposed the bill when it initially went through the General Assembly, railed against the latest version.
“Prior to decriminalization taking effect in 2020, the Commonwealth was arresting upwards of 30,000 Virginians annually for marijuana possession,” NORML development director Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the executive director of the state chapter, Virginia NORML, said. “So while Virginians may be asking, ‘Where can get I cannabis legally,’ it’s unlikely Virginians are asking, ‘Where can I get cannabis?'”
Christopher Haynie, who co-founded Richmond-based CBD, hemp, and home grow products store Happy Tree Agricultural Supply advised
Virginians thinking of navigating the new regulations to grow the plants at home to proceed with clarity and caution.
An adult can legally share or gift a marijuana plant with another adult as long as no money is exchanged or trade occurred.
If you’re carrying more than three ounces of marijuana outside of your home, you can be fined $125. If you’re caught making an illegal sale of marijuana, you can be charged up to $250 and face misdemeanor charges.
When it comes to cars, think of it like alcohol. You can’t be under the influence and drive. You can’t smoke it while in the car.
Outside of your home, the new law states you can have up to three ounces of marijuana. Inside your home, you can have up to five pounds, as long as it’s kept away from children.
According to the new law, while you will be allowed to grow marijuana eventually, you won’t be allowed grow it on your own until 18 months after the first retail sales are allowed.
While you can’t sell it, you can gift it.
If you’re only selling to friends (remember commandment #6, if you are) you’ll never be able to expand your business to any major extent. If you’re out cruising colleges (when you’re not a student), mall food courts or parks (good luck with that one!), you’re running a probably-unacceptable level of risk and are unlikely to develop a regular base of customers.
(One other thing while on the subject of protecting yourself – try to memorize phone numbers, dates, names, amounts and prices, and write down as little as possible. If you do have to take business-related notes, shred or burn them as soon as possible.)
This one won’t take long to explain. Never have a customer come to your apartment or house. Ever. Before you know it, someone (cops, competitors, robbers) you’re not expecting and don’t want to see will find their way to your house, too. You also don’t want your neighbors to start gossiping and speculating about the strange people who keep showing up on your doorstep, right?
7. Thou Shalt Develop a Reliable Customer Base
When you do think you’re ready to upscale, take your time and do it slowly. Expanding too fast can kill any business. In the weed industry, it can destroy your business and put you behind bars.
Weigh, weigh again and weigh a third time; your rep will suffer or disappear if people spread the word that you shorted them. Be fair with your pricing and don’t hit customers with big, last-minute price increases; they’ll feel ripped off. Either let them know in advance that the price had to go up (and explain why), or eat the difference the first time and tell them that the next bag will be more expensive. And never brag about the quality of your product if it’s low-grade weed; let people know exactly what you’re selling. Whether people are buying pot or a Porsche, they’ll always appreciate the feeling that they’re dealing with an honest seller, and that their business is valued.
One piece of equipment could be even more important than a scale, however, and that’s a burner phone that you change out regularly. There are two reasons to have a burner.
If you want to maximize your profit and can find the right customers, you might be tempted to stock up on the high-quality green. If your experience has been primarily with ditch or brick weed, though, you’d better know the going rates (wholesale and retail) for top-shelf kush before bargaining with a supplier or finding out that you’re selling below the market.