Virginia Cannabis Laws Have Changed

Virginia will allow for legal home cultivation, adult consumption and possession as of July 1, 2021. But these new laws don’t mean full on marijuana freedom. Let’s review what these changes mean and how to avoid getting caught up in illegal use.

What can you do?

In July of 2020, cannabis was decriminalized in the state of Virginia. This means that you will no longer be jailed or charged with a felony if you are caught possessing marijuana.

With the new law passed for this year, on July 1, 2021 it will be legal for adults to use, possess and cultivate marijuana legally.

Here is what you CAN do:

  • You can grow your own Cannabis at home, i.e. “home cultivation” Hooray, for cannabis freedom! Here’s the home-grow breakdown.

    • A maximum number of 4 plants can be grown per household. Note the number of adults in your home is irrelevant. So, don’t look for 5 new roommates to up your plant allowance, it won’t help you here.

    • Your plants must be tagged with three different points of information; 1. your Driver’s License number, 2. Your full name, and 3. a notation that the plant will be used for  “personal use”

    • Plants must be out of public view.

    • Plants must not be accessible to minor children. Currently there are no guidelines on how you should establish separation from minor access.

  • You can consume cannabis privately at home. There is no public consumption permitted in the state of Virginia.

  • You can possess up to one ounce of cannabis outside of your home without penalty. But it must be concealed at all times in a bag or pocket. And of course kept out of view or reach of children.

  • You can gift up to one ounce of Marijuana, without exchange. It is important to know this allowance is completely different from the laws in DC. You are not permitted to gift an item in exchange for money and use marijuana as the bonus gift. Given that our border to the north is shared with DC, they’ve made sure to nix the gifting option in this manner.


Now let’s talk about the things to be cautious of, or avoid completely. While marijuana laws are changing, we must be mindful that there are many holes in the new laws that can leave you in a grey area.

  • It is still illegal to buy seeds or clones since the sale of these has not been explicitly detailed and it is illegal to bring cannabis across state lines.

  • It is illegal to transport marijuana across state lines. Yes, even to legal districts and states like DC and Maryland.

  • Never use Cannabis while in a vehicle. Whether you are the driver or the passenger this is a No. This is viewed as a misdemeanor and will not be treated lightly. Furthermore, your vehicle can be seized in Civil proceeding regardless of what you are charged with.

  • Do not offer your cannabis to anyone in public, it is illegal regardless of whether or not they accept.

  • If you are going to travel with cannabis in your car, keep it out of reach and in a sealed container. The best practice here is to seal it up tight and keep it in your trunk.

Currently the only legal way to purchase cannabis is at a one of four medical dispensaries and you must hold a medical marijuana card. Without further change or elaboration on certain laws there is not a legal way to purchase seeds or clones in the state of Virginia. Our new laws allow for legal adult consumption, possession and home cultivation; but without the ability to lawfully purchase seeds or starter plants this leaves much in the legal grey area.

(Written by Sarah Keeney)