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What Marijuana Investors Need to Know About Virginia Legalization

By Eric Volkman - Mar 30, 2021 at 2:00PM

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It's not exactly going to change the cannabis regime in the state overnight.

At the end of February, after much wrangling, Virginia legislators passed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana. There's a big caveat with that bill, though.

In this excerpt from Motley Fool Live recorded on March 12, longtime Fool contributor Eric Volkman and healthcare and cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina talk about this development, provide some general background for it, and tell Virginia cannabis aficionados when they'll be able to hop to the dispensary to get some weed. 



Corinne Cardina: Let's start big and then we'll talk about some stocks in a couple of minutes. But last time, Eric, you and I talked, the news was that democratic senators we're planning to pursue cannabis reform legislation. Since then, pot stocks have really slumped. They got really excited on that news.

Dialing down a little bit -- so the optimism of the prospects of bipartisanship on this issue have really dimmed down and we're back to thinking about legalization in terms of the state-by-state basis. What should pot investors know in terms of near-term legislation prospects?

Eric Volkman: On the federal level, as you say, the chances are dimming. Simply because, as you mentioned, there's not a lot of evidence so far in this early congressional term of bipartisanship. You saw that with the stimulus bill. No Republicans either in the House or the Senate got on board with that. If they can't get on board with something that's as politically popular as big stimulus checks, then what can they get on board with?

We're looking at, again, in that American legalize marijuana way, we're looking at piecemeal, state-by-state, incremental progress toward legalization and decriminalization. We've seen some action recently. New jersey has flipped the switch officially.

Virginia too, although there's a big asterisk next to that. So progress is being made but marijuana investors, honestly, you have to be patient. You have to dig in here. This is a long-haul sector.

Cardina: Totally. Let's talk a little bit more about those states. Virginia. The Motley Fool, we're headquartered in Virginia. I can I go out and buy some pot from a dispensary next week? What is the deal with this legislation?

Volkman: No, no, no, no. you cannot do that. Do not try. Just go to a bar and get some drinks and you'll get more or less the same effect.

No, the thing with Virginia, the big caveat there is that they're not legalizing their recreational space until 2024. Three years away. Honestly, it's a political fudge, it's kind of ridiculous, I don't know why. I don't see what the coverage is with waiting that long.

So, three years. Meanwhile, other states are probably going to leapfrog ahead of that. New Jersey is already setting things up. Arizona is already setting things up. To remind everybody, these are two of the states that flipped the switch on legalization in the so-called Green Wave, last election day.

So Virginia is coming. You will be able to go to a dispensary, Corinne. You just have to wait three years.

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