Marijuana Arrests Drop 90% in the Richmond Area Since New Virginia Cannabis Law came into effect on July 1 | Richmond Local News
“We have worked very hard to make sure that we let our community know about changes in the law,” Katz said. “It was important for them to understand the nuances of the law, because the law is very confusing. And to comply with it, they had to understand it first.”
Katz said he couldn’t speculate that those charged with marijuana-related offenses so far this year were due to their ignorance of the nuances of the law or simply choices they made. regardless of the new law.
However, Katz believes the new law is poorly designed. “I think the way our legislature did what it did was bad public policy. There is no public market for anyone to buy what they have legalized, and that means for anyone to buy what they have legalized. ‘a person owns marijuana, he has to either grow it themselves or buy it from a street level drug dealer – and that’s what we see. “
“Unlike lawmakers,” Katz added, “I’ve seen the fruits of search warrants [executed by his officers]. And I know our meth dealers, our fentanyl dealers, our opioid dealers, our marijuana dealers, are all the same. And what we did was we just opened up a black market for marijuana and we made the criminal element richer. He’s a populist political, but it’s dangerous. “
The sale of marijuana will continue to be illegal until the state launches the regulated legal market in 2024 and issues licenses for cultivation, processing and retail. To that end, the General Assembly created the Cannabis Control Authority, a new regulatory board that will work to launch the new marijuana market in Virginia and ensure compliance with state rules.