Marijuana seed giveaway draws crowd in Richmond, legislators consider faster timeline for recreational sales

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)–Virginia state leaders are considering a plan that would allow people to buy recreational marijuana before 2024.

Virginia legalized simple possession and limited home cultivation for adults earlier this year, but retail sales were delayed until 2024.

State Senator Adam Ebbin, a member of the General Assembly’s Cannabis Oversight Commission, said they’re recommending a shift in the timeline for retail sales of recreational marijuana.

“We’re recommending accelerating efforts to January 2023,” he said. “We felt like it is a legal product now, but without a legal way to obtain it we’re disadvantaging some Virginians.”

The commission’s recommendation to speed up the timeline is leaving some people like Thomas Rawlings hopeful.

“It’s more of a liberation thing for the people that have been judged harshly for finding something that works for them and being able to produce it all on their own,” he said.

He said he’s used it for medicinal purposes before, but wants to learn more about growing it.

A santa seed giveaway at Happy Trees Agricultural Supply in Scott’s Addition drew a large crowd of people Wednesday morning.

The store gave away cannabis seeds from Jolly Pond Farm to help people who have been looking to get seeds following changes to state law over the summer.

Chris Haynie, the owner of Happy Trees’ Richmond store, said their huge turnout is indicative of people’s interest in growing marijuana and the demand for plant medicine.

“People are now not afraid to stand in line on a 38-degree morning on broad street and boulevard, expressing their interest in growing cannabis,” he said. “This is really good for the entire community.”

Senator Ebbin said a bill will come forward in the next General assembly session in 2022 to discuss if the 2023 timeline is realistic.

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