Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 4.1. Alcoholic Beverage Control Act
Chapter .
10/19/2021

Chapter 6. General Provisions.

§ 4.1-600. Definitions.

As used in this subtitle, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Advertisement" or " advertising" means any written or verbal statement, illustration, or depiction that is calculated to induce sales of retail marijuana, retail marijuana products, marijuana plants, or marijuana seeds, including any written, printed, graphic, digital, electronic, or other material, billboard, sign, or other outdoor display, publication, or radio or television broadcast.

"Authority" means the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority created pursuant to this subtitle.

"Board" means the Board of Directors of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority.

"Cannabis Control Act" means Subtitle II (§ 4.1-600 et seq.).

"Child-resistant" means, with respect to packaging or a container, (i) specially designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for a typical child under five years of age to open and not to be significantly difficult for a typical adult to open and reseal and (ii) for any product intended for more than a single use or that contains multiple servings, resealable.

"Cultivation" or "cultivate" means the planting, propagation, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, grading, trimming, or other similar processing of marijuana for use or sale. "Cultivation" or "cultivate" does not include manufacturing or testing.

"Edible marijuana product" means a marijuana product intended to be consumed orally, including marijuana intended to be consumed orally or marijuana concentrate intended to be consumed orally.

"Immature plant" means a nonflowering marijuana plant that is no taller than eight inches and no wider than eight inches, is produced from a cutting, clipping, or seedling, and is growing in a container.

"Licensed" means the holding of a valid license granted by the Authority.

"Licensee" means any person to whom a license has been granted by the Authority.

"Manufacturing" or "manufacture" means the production of marijuana products or the blending, infusing, compounding, or other preparation of marijuana and marijuana products, including marijuana extraction or preparation by means of chemical synthesis. "Manufacturing" or "manufacture" does not include cultivation or testing.

"Marijuana" means any part of a plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, its seeds or resin; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds, its resin, or any extract containing one or more cannabinoids. "Marijuana" does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalk, or oil or cake made from the seed of such plant, unless such stalks, fiber, oil, or cake is combined with other parts of plants of the genus Cannabis. "Marijuana" does not include (i) industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is possessed by a person registered pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 or his agent or (ii) a hemp product, as defined in § 3.2-4112, containing a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no greater than 0.3 percent that is derived from industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is grown, dealt, or processed in compliance with state or federal law.

"Marijuana concentrate" means marijuana that has undergone a process to concentrate one or more active cannabinoids, thereby increasing the product's potency. Resin from granular trichomes from a marijuana plant is a concentrate for purposes of this subtitle.

"Marijuana cultivation facility" means a facility licensed under this subtitle to cultivate, label, and package retail marijuana; to purchase or take possession of marijuana plants and seeds from other marijuana cultivation facilities; to transfer possession of and sell retail marijuana, immature marijuana plants, and marijuana seeds to marijuana wholesalers and retail marijuana stores; to transfer possession of and sell retail marijuana, marijuana plants, and marijuana seeds to other marijuana cultivation facilities; to transfer possession of and sell retail marijuana to marijuana manufacturing facilities; and to sell immature marijuana plants and marijuana seeds to consumers for the purpose of cultivating marijuana at home for personal use.

"Marijuana establishment" means a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana testing facility, a marijuana manufacturing facility, a marijuana wholesaler, or a retail marijuana store.

"Marijuana manufacturing facility" means a facility licensed under this subtitle to manufacture, label, and package retail marijuana and retail marijuana products; to purchase or take possession of retail marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility or another marijuana manufacturing facility; and to transfer possession of and sell retail marijuana and retail marijuana products to marijuana wholesalers, retail marijuana stores, or other marijuana manufacturing facilities.

"Marijuana paraphernalia" means all equipment, products, and materials of any kind that are either designed for use or are intended for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, strength testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body marijuana.

"Marijuana products" means (i) products that are composed of marijuana and other ingredients and are intended for use or consumption, ointments, and tinctures or (ii) marijuana concentrate.

"Marijuana testing facility" means a facility licensed under this subtitle to develop, research, or test marijuana, marijuana products, and other substances.

"Marijuana wholesaler" means a facility licensed under this subtitle to purchase or take possession of retail marijuana, retail marijuana products, immature marijuana plants, and marijuana seeds from a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana manufacturing facility, or another marijuana wholesaler and to transfer possession and sell or resell retail marijuana, retail marijuana products, immature marijuana plants, and marijuana seeds to a marijuana cultivation facility, marijuana manufacturing facility, retail marijuana store, or another marijuana wholesaler.

"Non-retail marijuana" means marijuana that is not cultivated, manufactured, or sold by a licensed marijuana establishment.

"Non-retail marijuana products" means marijuana products that are not manufactured and sold by a licensed marijuana establishment.

"Place or premises" means the real estate, together with any buildings or other improvements thereon, designated in the application for a license as the place at which the cultivation, manufacture, sale, or testing of retail marijuana or retail marijuana products shall be performed, except that portion of any such building or other improvement actually and exclusively used as a private residence.

"Public place" means any place, building, or conveyance to which the public has, or is permitted to have, access, including restaurants, soda fountains, hotel dining areas, lobbies and corridors of hotels, and any park, place of public resort or amusement, highway, street, lane, or sidewalk adjoining any highway, street, or lane.

"Residence" means any building or part of a building or structure where a person resides, but does not include any part of a building that is not actually and exclusively used as a private residence, nor any part of a hotel or club other than a private guest room thereof.

"Retail marijuana" means marijuana that is cultivated, manufactured, or sold by a licensed marijuana establishment.

"Retail marijuana products" means marijuana products that are manufactured and sold by a licensed marijuana establishment.

"Retail marijuana store" means a facility licensed under this subtitle to purchase or take possession of retail marijuana, retail marijuana products, immature marijuana plants, or marijuana seeds from a marijuana cultivation facility, marijuana manufacturing facility, or marijuana wholesaler and to sell retail marijuana, retail marijuana products, immature marijuana plants, or marijuana seeds to consumers.

"Sale" and "sell" includes soliciting or receiving an order for; keeping, offering, or exposing for sale; peddling, exchanging, or bartering; or delivering otherwise than gratuitously, by any means, retail marijuana or retail marijuana products.

"Special agent" means an employee of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority whom the Board has designated as a law-enforcement officer pursuant to this subtitle.

"Testing" or "test" means the research and analysis of marijuana, marijuana products, or other substances for contaminants, safety, or potency. "Testing" or "test" does not include cultivation or manufacturing.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-601. Virginia Cannabis Control Authority created; public purpose.

A. The General Assembly has determined that there exists in the Commonwealth a need to control the possession, sale, transportation, distribution, and delivery of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products in the Commonwealth. Further, the General Assembly determines that the creation of an authority for this purpose is in the public interest, serves a public purpose, and will promote the health, safety, welfare, convenience, and prosperity of the people of the Commonwealth. To achieve this objective, there is hereby created an independent political subdivision of the Commonwealth, exclusive of the legislative, executive, or judicial branches of state government, to be known as the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. The Authority's exercise of powers and duties conferred by this subtitle shall be deemed the performance of an essential governmental function and a matter of public necessity for which public moneys may be spent.

B. The Board of Directors of the Authority is vested with control of the possession, sale, transportation, distribution, and delivery of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products in the Commonwealth, with plenary power to prescribe and enforce regulations and conditions under which retail marijuana and retail marijuana products are possessed, sold, transported, distributed, and delivered, so as to prevent any corrupt, incompetent, dishonest, or unprincipled practices and to promote the health, safety, welfare, convenience, and prosperity of the people of the Commonwealth. The exercise of the powers granted by this subtitle shall be in all respects for the benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth and for the promotion of their safety, health, welfare, and convenience. No part of the assets or net earnings of the Authority shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, any private individual, except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for the Authority affecting one or more of its purposes, and benefits may be conferred that are in conformity with said purposes, and no private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets on dissolution of the Authority.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-602. Virginia Cannabis Control Authority; composition.

A. The Virginia Cannabis Control Authority shall consist of the Board of Directors, the Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council, the Chief Executive Officer, and the agents and employees of the Authority.

B. Nothing contained in this subtitle shall be construed as a restriction or limitation upon any powers that the Board might otherwise have under any other law of the Commonwealth.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-603. Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council; purpose; membership; quorum; meetings; compensation and expenses; duties.

A. The Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council (the Advisory Council) is established as an advisory council to the Board. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to assess and monitor public health issues, trends, and impacts related to marijuana and marijuana legalization and make recommendations regarding health warnings, retail marijuana and retail marijuana products safety and product composition, and public health awareness, programming, and related resource needs.

B. The Advisory Council shall have a total membership of 21 members that shall consist of 14 nonlegislative citizen members and seven ex officio members. Nonlegislative citizen members of the Council shall be citizens of the Commonwealth and shall reflect the racial, ethnic, gender, and geographic diversity of the Commonwealth. Nonlegislative citizen members shall be appointed as follows: four to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, one of whom shall be a representative from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, one of whom shall be a representative from the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, one of whom shall be a representative from the Medical Society of Virginia, and one of whom shall be a representative from the Virginia Pharmacists Association; six to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, one of whom shall be a representative from a community services board, one of whom shall be a person or health care provider with expertise in substance use disorder treatment and recovery, one of whom shall be a person or health care provider with expertise in substance use disorder prevention, one of whom shall be a person with experience in disability rights advocacy, one of whom shall be a person with experience in veterans health care, and one of whom shall be a person with a social or health equity background; and four to be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, one of whom shall be a representative of a local health district, one of whom shall be a person who is part of the cannabis industry, one of whom shall be an academic researcher knowledgeable about cannabis, and one of whom shall be a registered medical cannabis patient.

The Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Commissioner of Health, the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Director of the Department of Health Professions, the Director of the Department of Forensic Science, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority, or their designees, shall serve ex officio with voting privileges. Ex officio members of the Advisory Council shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office.

After the initial staggering of terms, nonlegislative citizen members shall be appointed for a term of four years. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired terms. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments. All members may be reappointed.

The Advisory Council shall be chaired by the Secretary of Health and Human Resources or his designee. The Advisory Council shall select a vice-chairman from among its membership. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. The Advisory Council shall meet at least two times each year and shall meet at the call of the chairman or whenever the majority of the members so request.

The Advisory Council shall have the authority to create subgroups with additional stakeholders, experts, and state agency representatives.

C. Members shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties but shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825.

D. The Advisory Council shall have the following duties, in addition to duties that may be necessary to fulfill its purpose as described in subsection A:

1. To review multi-agency efforts to support collaboration and a unified approach on public health responses related to marijuana and marijuana legalization in the Commonwealth and to develop recommendations as necessary.

2. To monitor changes in drug use data related to marijuana and marijuana legalization in the Commonwealth and the science and medical information relevant to the potential health risks associated with such drug use, and make appropriate recommendations to the Department of Health and the Board.

3. Submit an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly for publication as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports. The chairman shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an annual executive summary of the interim activity and work of the Advisory Council no later than the first day of each regular session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall be submitted as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-604. Powers and duties of the Board.

The Board shall have the following powers and duties:

1. Promulgate regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and § 4.1-606;

2. Control the possession, sale, transportation, and delivery of marijuana and marijuana products;

3. Grant, suspend, and revoke licenses for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, and testing of marijuana and marijuana products as provided by law;

4. Determine the nature, form, and capacity of all containers used for holding marijuana products to be kept or sold and prescribe the form and content of all labels and seals to be placed thereon;

5. Maintain actions to enjoin common nuisances as defined in § 4.1-1113;

6. Establish standards and implement an online course for employees of retail marijuana stores that trains employees on how to educate consumers on the potential risks of marijuana use;

7. Establish a plan to develop and disseminate to retail marijuana store licensees a pamphlet or similar document regarding the potential risks of marijuana use to be prominently displayed and made available to consumers;

8. Establish a position for a Cannabis Social Equity Liaison who shall lead the Cannabis Business Equity and Diversity Support Team and liaise with the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on matters related to diversity, equity, and inclusion standards in the marijuana industry;

9. Establish a Cannabis Business Equity and Diversity Support Team, which shall (i) develop requirements for the creation and submission of diversity, equity, and inclusion plans by persons who wish to possess a license in more than one license category pursuant to subsection C of § 4.1-805, which may include a requirement that the licensee participate in social equity apprenticeship plan, and an approval process and requirements for implementation of such plans; (ii) be responsible for conducting an analysis of potential barriers to entry for small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses interested in participating in the marijuana industry and recommending strategies to effectively mitigate such potential barriers; (iii) provide assistance with business planning for potential marijuana establishment licensees; (iv) spread awareness of business opportunities related to the marijuana marketplace in areas disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement; (v) provide technical assistance in navigating the administrative process to potential marijuana establishment licensees; and (vi) conduct other outreach initiatives in areas disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement as necessary;

10. Establish a position for an individual with professional experience in a health related field who shall staff the Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council, established pursuant to § 4.1-603, liaise with the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and relevant health and human services agencies and organizations, and perform other duties as needed.

11. Establish and implement a plan, in coordination with the Cannabis Social Equity Liaison and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to promote and encourage participation in the marijuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities;

12. Sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, and complain and defend in all courts;

13. Adopt, use, and alter at will a common seal;

14. Fix, alter, charge, and collect rates, rentals, fees, and other charges for the use of property of, the sale of products of, or services rendered by the Authority at rates to be determined by the Authority for the purpose of providing for the payment of the expenses of the Authority;

15. Make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties, the furtherance of its purposes, and the execution of its powers under this subtitle, including agreements with any person or federal agency;

16. Employ, at its discretion, consultants, researchers, architects, engineers, accountants, financial experts, investment bankers, superintendents, managers, and such other employees and special agents as may be necessary and fix their compensation to be payable from funds made available to the Authority. Legal services for the Authority shall be provided by the Attorney General in accordance with Chapter 5 (§ 2.2-500 et seq.) of Title 2.2;

17. Receive and accept from any federal or private agency, foundation, corporation, association, or person grants or other aid to be expended in accomplishing the objectives of the Authority, and receive and accept from the Commonwealth or any state and any municipality, county, or other political subdivision thereof or from any other source aid or contributions of either money, property, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied only for the purposes for which such grants and contributions may be made. All federal moneys accepted under this section shall be accepted and expended by the Authority upon such terms and conditions as are prescribed by the United States and as are consistent with state law, and all state moneys accepted under this section shall be expended by the Authority upon such terms and conditions as are prescribed by the Commonwealth;

18. Adopt, alter, and repeal bylaws, rules, and regulations governing the manner in which its business shall be transacted and the manner in which the powers of the Authority shall be exercised and its duties performed. The Board may delegate or assign any duty or task to be performed by the Authority to any officer or employee of the Authority. The Board shall remain responsible for the performance of any such duties or tasks. Any delegation pursuant to this subdivision shall, where appropriate, be accompanied by written guidelines for the exercise of the duties or tasks delegated. Where appropriate, the guidelines shall require that the Board receive summaries of actions taken. Such delegation or assignment shall not relieve the Board of the responsibility to ensure faithful performance of the duties and tasks;

19. Conduct or engage in any lawful business, activity, effort, or project consistent with the Authority's purposes or necessary or convenient to exercise its powers;

20. Develop policies and procedures generally applicable to the procurement of goods, services, and construction, based upon competitive principles;

21. Develop policies and procedures consistent with Article 4 (§ 2.2-4347 et seq.) of Chapter 43 of Title 2.2;

22. Acquire, purchase, hold, use, lease, or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the Authority; lease as lessee any property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, at such annual rental and on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board; lease as lessor to any person any property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, at any time acquired by the Authority, whether wholly or partially completed, at such annual rental and on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board; sell, transfer, or convey any property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, at any time acquired or held by the Authority on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board; and occupy and improve any land or building required for the purposes of this subtitle;

23. Purchase, lease, or acquire the use of, by any manner, any plant or equipment that may be considered necessary or useful in carrying into effect the purposes of this subtitle, including rectifying, blending, and processing plants;

24. Appoint every agent and employee required for its operations, require any or all of them to give bonds payable to the Commonwealth in such penalty as shall be fixed by the Board, and engage the services of experts and professionals;

25. Hold and conduct hearings, issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of records, memoranda, papers, and other documents before the Board or any agent of the Board, and administer oaths and take testimony thereunder. The Board may authorize any Board member or agent of the Board to hold and conduct hearings, issue subpoenas, administer oaths and take testimony thereunder, and decide cases, subject to final decision by the Board, on application of any party aggrieved. The Board may enter into consent agreements and may request and accept from any applicant or licensee a consent agreement in lieu of proceedings on (i) objections to the issuance of a license or (ii) disciplinary action. Any such consent agreement shall include findings of fact and may include an admission or a finding of a violation. A consent agreement shall not be considered a case decision of the Board and shall not be subject to judicial review under the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), but may be considered by the Board in future disciplinary proceedings;

26. Make a reasonable charge for preparing and furnishing statistical information and compilations to persons other than (i) officials, including court and police officials, of the Commonwealth and of its subdivisions if the information requested is for official use and (ii) persons who have a personal or legal interest in obtaining the information requested if such information is not to be used for commercial or trade purposes;

27. Assess and collect civil penalties and civil charges for violations of this subtitle and Board regulations;

28. Review and approve any proposed legislative or regulatory changes suggested by the Chief Executive Officer as the Board deems appropriate;

29. Report quarterly to the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security on the law-enforcement activities undertaken to enforce the provisions of this subtitle;

30. Establish and collect fees for all permits set forth in this subtitle, including fees associated with applications for such permits;

31. Develop and make available on its website guidance documents regarding compliance and safe practices for persons who cultivate marijuana at home for personal use, which shall include information regarding cultivation practices that promote personal and public safety, including child protection, and discourage practices that create a nuisance;

32. Develop and make available on its website a resource that provides information regarding (i) responsible marijuana consumption; (ii) health risks and other dangers associated with marijuana consumption, including inability to operate a motor vehicle and other types of transportation and equipment; and (iii) ancillary effects of marijuana consumption, including ineligibility for certain employment opportunities. The Board shall require that the web address for such resource be included on the label of all retail marijuana and retail marijuana product as provided in § 4.1-1402; and

33. Do all acts necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this subtitle.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-605. Additional powers; mediation; alternative dispute resolution; confidentiality.

A. As used in this section:

"Appropriate case" means any alleged license violation or objection to the application for a license in which it is apparent that there are significant issues of disagreement among interested persons and for which the Board finds that the use of a mediation or dispute resolution proceeding is in the public interest.

"Dispute resolution proceeding" means the same as that term is defined in § 8.01-576.4.

"Mediation" means the same as that term is defined in § 8.01-576.4.

"Neutral" means the same as that term is defined in § 8.01-576.4.

B. The Board may use mediation or a dispute resolution proceeding in appropriate cases to resolve underlying issues or reach a consensus or compromise on contested issues. Mediation and other dispute resolution proceedings as authorized by this section shall be voluntary procedures that supplement, rather than limit, other dispute resolution techniques available to the Board. Mediation or a dispute resolution proceeding may be used for an objection to the issuance of a license only with the consent of, and participation by, the applicant for licensure and shall be terminated at the request of such applicant.

C. Any resolution of a contested issue accepted by the Board under this section shall be considered a consent agreement as provided in § 4.1-604. The decision to use mediation or a dispute resolution proceeding is in the Board's sole discretion and shall not be subject to judicial review.

D. The Board may adopt rules and regulations, in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), for the implementation of this section. Such rules and regulations may include (i) standards and procedures for the conduct of mediation and dispute resolution proceedings, including an opportunity for interested persons identified by the Board to participate in the proceeding; (ii) the appointment and function of a neutral to encourage and assist parties to voluntarily compromise or settle contested issues; and (iii) procedures to protect the confidentiality of papers, work products, or other materials.

E. The provisions of § 8.01-576.10 concerning the confidentiality of a mediation or dispute resolution proceeding shall govern all such proceedings held pursuant to this section except where the Board uses or relies on information obtained in the course of such proceeding in granting a license, suspending or revoking a license, or accepting payment of a civil penalty or investigative costs. However, a consent agreement signed by the parties shall not be confidential.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-606. Regulations of the Board.

A. The Board may promulgate reasonable regulations, not inconsistent with this subtitle or the general laws of the Commonwealth, that it deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this subtitle and to prevent the illegal cultivation, manufacture, sale, and testing of marijuana and marijuana products. The Board may amend or repeal such regulations. Such regulations shall be promulgated, amended, or repealed in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and shall have the effect of law.

B. The Board shall promulgate regulations that:

1. Govern the outdoor cultivation of marijuana by a marijuana cultivation facility licensee, including security requirements to include lighting, physical security, and alarm requirements, provided that such requirements do not prohibit the cultivation of marijuana outdoors or in a greenhouse;

2. Establish requirements for securely transporting marijuana between marijuana establishments;

3. Establish sanitary standards for retail marijuana product preparation;

4. Establish a testing program for retail marijuana and retail marijuana products pursuant to Chapter 14 (§ 4.1-1400 et seq.);

5. Establish an application process for licensure as a marijuana establishment pursuant to this subtitle in a way that, when possible, prevents disparate impacts on historically disadvantaged communities;

6. Establish requirements for health and safety warning labels to be placed on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products to be sold or offered for sale by a licensee to a consumer in accordance with the provisions of this subtitle;

7. Establish a maximum tetrahydrocannabinol level for retail marijuana products, which shall not exceed (i) five milligrams per serving for edible marijuana products and where practicable an equivalent amount for other marijuana products or (ii) 50 milligrams per package for edible marijuana products and where practicable an equivalent amount for other marijuana products. Such regulations may include other product and dispensing limitations on tetrahydrocannabinol;

8. Establish requirements for the form, content, and retention of all records and accounts by all licensees;

9. Provide alternative methods for licensees to maintain and store business records that are subject to Board inspection, including methods for Board-approved electronic and offsite storage;

10. Establish (i) criteria by which to evaluate new licensees based on the density of retail marijuana stores in the community and (ii) metrics that have similarly shown an association with negative community-level health outcomes or health disparities. In promulgating such regulations, the Board shall coordinate with the Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council established pursuant to § 4.1-603;

11. Require retail licensees to file an appeal from any hearing decision rendered by a hearing officer within 30 days of the date the notice of the decision is sent. The notice shall be sent to the licensee at the address on record with the Board by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail;

12. Prescribe the schedule of proration for refunded license fees to licensees who qualify pursuant to subsection C of § 4.1-1002;

13. Establish criteria by which to evaluate social equity license applicants, which shall be an applicant who has lived or been domiciled for at least 12 months in the Commonwealth and is either (i) an applicant with at least 66 percent ownership by a person or persons who have been convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for any misdemeanor violation of § 18.2-248.1, former § 18.2-250.1, or subsection A of § 18.2-265.3 as it relates to marijuana; (ii) an applicant with at least 66 percent ownership by a person or persons who is the parent, child, sibling, or spouse of a person who has been convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for any misdemeanor violation of § 18.2-248.1, former § 18.2-250.1, or subsection A of § 18.2-265.3 as it relates to marijuana; (iii) an applicant with at least 66 percent ownership by a person or persons who have resided for at least three of the past five years in a jurisdiction that is determined by the Board after utilizing census tract data made available by the United States Census Bureau to have been disproportionately policed for marijuana crimes; (iv) an applicant with at least 66 percent ownership by a person or persons who have resided for at least three of the last five years in a jurisdiction determined by the Board after utilizing census tract data made available by the United States Census Bureau to be economically distressed; or (v) an applicant with at least 66 percent ownership by a person or persons who graduated from a historically black college or university located in the Commonwealth;

14. For the purposes of establishing criteria by which to evaluate social equity license applicants, establish standards by which to determine (i) which jurisdictions have been disproportionately policed for marijuana crimes and (ii) which jurisdictions are economically distressed;

15. Establish standards and requirements for (i) any preference in the licensing process for qualified social equity applicants, (ii) what percentage of application or license fees are waived for a qualified social equity applicant, and (iii) a low-interest business loan program for qualified social equity applicants;

16. Establish guidelines, in addition to requirements set forth in this subtitle, for the personal cultivation of marijuana that promote personal and public safety, including child protection, and discourage personal cultivation practices that create a nuisance, including a nuisance caused by odor;

17. Establish reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on outdoor advertising of retail marijuana or retail marijuana products, not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, so that such advertising displaces the illicit market and notifies the public of the location of marijuana establishments. Such regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with § 4.1-1404;

18. Establish restrictions on the number of licenses that a person may be granted to operate a marijuana establishment in single locality or region; and

19. Establish restrictions on pharmaceutical processors and industrial hemp processors that have been granted a license in more than one license category pursuant to subsection C of § 4.1-805 that ensure all licensees have an equal and meaningful opportunity to participate in the market. Such regulations may limit the amount of products cultivated or manufactured by the pharmaceutical processor or industrial hemp processor that such processor may offer for sale in its retail marijuana stores.

C. The Board may promulgate regulations that:

1. Limit the number of licenses issued by type or class to operate a marijuana establishment; however, the number of licenses issued shall not exceed the following limits:

a. Retail marijuana stores, 400;

b. Marijuana wholesalers, 25;

c. Marijuana manufacturing facilities, 60; and

d. Marijuana cultivation facilities, 450.

In determining the number of licenses issued pursuant to this subdivision, the Board shall not consider any license granted pursuant to subsection C of § 4.1-805 to (i) a pharmaceutical processor that has been issued a permit by the Board of Pharmacy pursuant to Article 4.2 (§ 54.1-3442.5 et seq.) of the Drug Control Act or (ii) an industrial hemp processor registered with the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to Chapter 41.1 (§ 3.2-4112 et seq.) of Title 3.2.

2. Prescribe any requirements deemed appropriate for the administration of taxes under §§ 4.1-1003 and 4.1-1004, including method of filing a return, information required on a return, and form of payment.

3. Limit the allowable square footage of a retail marijuana store, which shall not exceed 1,500 square feet.

4. Allow certain persons to be granted or have interest in a license in more than one of the following license categories: marijuana cultivation facility license, marijuana manufacturing facility license, marijuana wholesaler license, or retail marijuana store license. Such regulations shall be drawn narrowly to limit vertical integration to small businesses and ensure that all licensees have an equal and meaningful opportunity to participate in the market.

D. Board regulations shall be uniform in their application, except those relating to hours of sale for licensees.

E. Courts shall take judicial notice of Board regulations.

F. The Board shall consult with the Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council in promulgating any regulations relating to public health, including regulations promulgated pursuant to subdivision B 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, or 16, and shall not promulgate any such regulation that has not been approved by a majority of the members of the Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council.

G. With regard to regulations governing licensees that have been issued a permit by the Board of Pharmacy to operate as a pharmaceutical processor or cannabis dispensing facility pursuant to Article 4.2 (§ 54.1-3442.5 et seq.) of the Drug Control Act, the Board shall make reasonable efforts (i) to align such regulations with any applicable regulations promulgated by the Board of Pharmacy that establish health, safety, and security requirements for pharmaceutical processors and cannabis dispensing facilities and (ii) to deem in compliance with applicable regulations promulgated pursuant to this subtitle such pharmaceutical processors and cannabis dispensing facilities that have been found to be in compliance with regulations promulgated by the Board of Pharmacy that mirror or are more extensive in scope than similar regulations promulgated pursuant to this subtitle.

H. The Board's power to regulate shall be broadly construed.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-607. Board membership; terms; compensation.

A. The Authority shall be governed by a Board of Directors, which shall consist of five citizens at large appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the affirmative vote of a majority of those voting in each house of the General Assembly. Each appointee shall (i) have been a resident of the Commonwealth for a period of at least three years next preceding his appointment, and his continued residency shall be a condition of his tenure in office; (ii) hold, at a minimum, a baccalaureate degree in business or a related field of study; and (iii) possess a minimum of seven years of demonstrated experience or expertise in the direct management, supervision, or control of a business or legal affairs. Appointees shall reflect the racial, ethnic, gender, and geographic diversity of the Commonwealth. Appointees shall be subject to a background check in accordance with § 4.1-609.

B. After the initial staggering of terms, members shall be appointed for a term of five years. All members shall serve until their successors are appointed. Any appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the unexpired term. No member appointed by the Governor shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms; however, a member appointed to fill a vacancy may serve two additional consecutive terms. Members of the Board may be removed from office by the Governor for cause, including the improper use of its police powers, malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetence, misconduct, neglect of duty, absenteeism, conflict of interests, failure to carry out the policies of the Commonwealth as established in the Constitution or by the General Assembly, or refusal to carry out a lawful directive of the Governor.

C. The Governor shall appoint the chairman and vice-chairman of the Board from among the membership of the Board. The Board may elect other subordinate officers, who need not be members of the Board. The Board may also form committees and advisory councils, which may include representatives who are not members of the Board, to undertake more extensive study and discussion of the issues before the Board. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the Authority's business, and no vacancy in the membership shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise the rights and perform all duties of the Authority.

D. The Board shall meet at least every 60 days for the transaction of its business. Special meetings may be held at any time upon the call of the chairman of the Board or the Chief Executive Officer or upon the written request of a majority of the Board members.

E. Members of the Board shall receive annually such salary, compensation, and reimbursement of expenses for the performance of their official duties as set forth in the general appropriation act for members of the House of Delegates when the General Assembly is not in session, except that the chairman of the Board shall receive annually such salary, compensation, and reimbursement of expenses for the performance of his official duties as set forth in the general appropriation act for a member of the Senate of Virginia when the General Assembly is not in session.

F. The provisions of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.) shall apply to the members of the Board, the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, and the employees of the Authority.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-608. Appointment, salary, and powers of Chief Executive Officer; appointment of confidential assistant to the Chief Executive Officer.

A. The Chief Executive Officer of the Authority shall be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the affirmative vote of a majority of those voting in each house of the General Assembly. The Chief Executive Officer shall not be a member of the Board, shall hold, at a minimum, a baccalaureate degree in business or a related field of study, and shall possess a minimum of seven years of demonstrated experience or expertise in the direct management, supervision, or control of a business or legal affairs. The Chief Executive Officer shall receive such compensation as determined by the Board and approved by the Governor, including any performance bonuses or incentives as the Board deems advisable. The Chief Executive Officer shall be subject to a background check in accordance with § 4.1-609. The Chief Executive Officer shall (i) carry out the powers and duties conferred upon him by the Board or imposed upon him by law and (ii) meet performance measures or targets set by the Board and approved by the Governor. The Chief Executive Officer may be removed from office by the Governor for cause, including the improper use of the Authority's police powers, malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetence, misconduct, neglect of duty, absenteeism, conflict of interests, failure to meet performance measures or targets as set by the Board and approved by the Governor, failure to carry out the policies of the Commonwealth as established in the Constitution or by the General Assembly, or refusal to carry out a lawful directive of the Governor.

B. The Chief Executive Officer shall devote his full time to the performance of his official duties and shall not be engaged in any other profession or occupation.

C. The Chief Executive Officer shall supervise and administer the operations of the Authority in accordance with this subtitle.

D. The Chief Executive Officer shall:

1. Serve as the secretary to the Board and keep a true and full record of all proceedings of the Authority and preserve at the Authority's general office all books, documents, and papers of the Authority;

2. Exercise and perform such powers and duties as may be delegated to him by the Board or as may be conferred or imposed upon him by law;

3. Employ or retain such special agents or employees subordinate to the Chief Executive Officer as may be necessary to fulfill the duties of the Authority conferred upon the Chief Executive Officer, subject to the Board's approval; and

4. Make recommendations to the Board for legislative and regulatory changes.

E. Neither the Chief Executive Officer nor the spouse or any member of the immediate family of the Chief Executive Officer shall make any contribution to a candidate for office or officeholder at the local or state level or cause such a contribution to be made on his behalf.

F. To assist the Chief Executive Officer in the performance of his duties, the Governor shall also appoint one confidential assistant for administration who shall be deemed to serve on an employment-at-will basis.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-609. Background investigations of Board members and Chief Executive Officer.

All members of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer shall be fingerprinted before, and as a condition of, appointment. These fingerprints shall be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history records search and to the Department of State Police for a Virginia criminal history records search. The Department of State Police shall be reimbursed by the Authority for the cost of investigations conducted pursuant to this section. No person shall be appointed to the Board or appointed by the Board who (i) has defrauded or attempted to defraud any federal, state, or local government or governmental agency or authority by making or filing any report, document, or tax return required by statute or regulation that is fraudulent or contains a false representation of a material fact; (ii) has willfully deceived or attempted to deceive any federal, state, or local government or governmental agency or governmental authority by making or maintaining business records required by statute or regulation that are false and fraudulent; or (iii) has been convicted of (a) a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude or (b) a violation of any law applicable to the manufacture, transportation, possession, use, or sale of marijuana within the five years immediately preceding appointment.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-610. Financial interests of Board, employees, and family members prohibited.

No Board member or employee of the Authority shall (i) be a principal stockholder or (ii) otherwise have any financial interest, direct or indirect, in any licensee subject to the provisions of this subtitle or in any entity that has submitted an application for a license under Chapter 8 (§ 4.1-800 et seq.). No Board member and no spouse or immediate family member of a Board member shall make any contribution to a candidate for office or officeholder at the local or state level or cause such a contribution to be made on his behalf.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-611. Seed-to-sale tracking system.

To ensure that no retail marijuana or retail marijuana products grown or processed by a marijuana establishment are sold or otherwise transferred except as authorized by law, the Board shall develop and maintain a seed-to-sale tracking system that tracks retail marijuana from either the seed or immature plant stage until the retail marijuana or retail marijuana product is sold to a customer at a retail marijuana store.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-612. Moneys of Authority.

All moneys of the Authority, from whatever source derived, shall be paid in accordance with § 4.1-614.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-613. Forms of accounts and records; audit; annual report.

A. The accounts and records of the Authority showing the receipt and disbursement of funds from whatever source derived shall be in a form prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts. The Auditor of Public Accounts or his legally authorized representatives shall annually examine the accounts and books of the Authority. The Authority shall submit an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly on or before December 15 of each year. Such report shall contain the audited annual financial statements of the Authority for the year ending the previous June 30. The Authority shall also submit a six-year plan detailing its assumed revenue forecast, assumed operating costs, number of retail facilities, capital costs, including lease payments, major acquisitions of services and tangible or intangible property, any material changes to the policies and procedures issued by the Authority related to procurement or personnel, and any proposed marketing activities.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in exercising any power conferred under this subtitle, the Authority may implement and maintain independent payroll and nonpayroll disbursement systems. These systems and related procedures shall be subject to review and approval by the State Comptroller. Upon agreement with the State Comptroller, the Authority may report summary level detail on both payroll and nonpayroll transactions to the State Comptroller through the Department of Accounts' financial management system or its successor system. Such reports shall be made in accordance with policies, procedures, and directives as prescribed by the State Comptroller. A nonpayroll disbursement system shall include all disbursements and expenditures, other than payroll. Such disbursements and expenditures shall include travel reimbursements, revenue refunds, disbursements for vendor payments, petty cash, and interagency payments.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-614. Disposition of moneys collected by the Board.

A. All moneys collected by the Board shall be paid directly and promptly into the state treasury, or shall be deposited to the credit of the State Treasurer in a state depository, without any deductions on account of salaries, fees, costs, charges, expenses, refunds, or claims of any description whatever, as required by § 2.2-1802.

All moneys so paid into the state treasury, less the net profits determined pursuant to subsection C, shall be set aside as and constitute an Enterprise Fund, subject to appropriation, for the payment of (i) the salaries and remuneration of the members, agents, and employees of the Board and (ii) all costs and expenses incurred in the administration of this subtitle.

B. The net profits derived under the provisions of this subtitle shall be transferred by the Comptroller to the general fund of the state treasury quarterly, within 50 days after the close of each quarter or as otherwise provided in the appropriation act. As allowed by the Governor, the Board may deduct from the net profits quarterly a sum for the creation of a reserve fund not exceeding the sum of $2.5 million in connection with the administration of this subtitle and to provide for the depreciation on the buildings, plants, and equipment owned, held, or operated by the Board. After accounting for the Authority's expenses as provided in subsection A, net profits shall be appropriated in the general appropriation act as follows:

1. Forty percent to pre-kindergarten programs for at-risk three-year-olds and four-year-olds;

2. Thirty percent to the Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund established pursuant to § 2.2-2499.8;

3. Twenty-five percent to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, which shall distribute such appropriated funds to community services boards for the purpose of administering substance use disorder prevention and treatment programs; and

4. Five percent to public health programs, including public awareness campaigns that are designed to prevent drugged driving, discourage consumption by persons younger than 21 years of age, and inform the public of other potential risks.

C. As used in this section, "net profits" means the total of all moneys collected by the Board, less local marijuana tax revenues collected under § 4.1-1004 and distributed pursuant to § 4.1-614 and all costs, expenses, and charges authorized by this section.

D. All local tax revenues collected under § 4.1-1004 shall be paid into the state treasury as provided in subsection A and credited to a special fund, which is hereby created on the Comptroller's books under the name "Collections of Local Marijuana Taxes." The revenues shall be credited to the account of the locality in which they were collected. If revenues were collected from a marijuana establishment located in more than one locality by reason of the boundary line or lines passing through the marijuana establishment, tax revenues shall be distributed pro rata among the localities. The Authority shall provide to the Comptroller any records and assistance necessary for the Comptroller to determine the locality to which tax revenues are attributable.

On a quarterly basis, the Comptroller shall draw his warrant on the Treasurer of Virginia in the proper amount in favor of each locality entitled to the return of its tax revenues, and such payments shall be charged to the account of each such locality under the special fund created by this section. If errors are made in any such payment, or adjustments are otherwise necessary, whether attributable to refunds to taxpayers, or to some other fact, the errors shall be corrected and adjustments made in the payments for the next quarter.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-615. Leases and purchases of property by the Board.

The making of leases and the purchasing of real estate by the Board under the provisions of this subtitle are exempt from the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.). The Authority shall be exempt from the provisions of § 2.2-1149 and from any rules, regulations, and guidelines of the Division of Engineering and Buildings in relation to leases of real property into which it enters.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-616. Exemptions from taxes or assessments.

The exercise of the powers granted by this subtitle shall be in all respects for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth, for the increase of their commerce and prosperity, and for the improvement of their living conditions, and as the undertaking of activities in the furtherance of the purposes of the Authority constitutes the performance of essential governmental functions, the Authority shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any property acquired or used by the Authority under the provisions of this subtitle or upon the income therefrom, including sales and use taxes on the tangible personal property used in the operations of the Authority. The exemption granted in this section shall not be construed to extend to persons conducting on the premises of any property of the Authority businesses for which local or state taxes would otherwise be required.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-617. Exemption of Authority from personnel and procurement procedures; information systems; etc.

A. The provisions of the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) and the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) shall not apply to the Authority in the exercise of any power conferred under this subtitle. Nor shall the provisions of Chapter 20.1 (§ 2.2-2005 et seq.) of Title 2.2 or Article 2 (§ 51.1-1104 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 51.1 apply to the Authority in the exercise of any power conferred under this subtitle.

B. To effect its implementation, the Authority's procurement of goods, services, insurance, and construction and the disposition of surplus materials shall be exempt from:

1. State agency requirements regarding disposition of surplus materials and distribution of proceeds from the sale or recycling of surplus materials under §§ 2.2-1124 and 2.2-1125;

2. The requirement to purchase from the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired under § 2.2-1117; and

3. Any other state statutes, rules, regulations, or requirements relating to the procurement of goods, services, insurance, and construction, including Article 3 (§ 2.2-1109 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 2.2, regarding the duties, responsibilities, and authority of the Division of Purchases and Supply of the Department of General Services, and Article 4 (§ 2.2-1129 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 2.2, regarding the review and the oversight by the Division of Engineering and Buildings of the Department of General Services of contracts for the construction of the Authority's capital projects and construction-related professional services under § 2.2-1132.

C. The Authority (i) may purchase from and participate in all statewide contracts for goods and services, including information technology goods and services; (ii) shall use directly or by integration or interface the Commonwealth's electronic procurement system subject to the terms and conditions agreed upon between the Authority and the Department of General Services; and (iii) shall post on the Department of General Services' central electronic procurement website all Invitations to Bid, Requests for Proposal, sole source award notices, and emergency award notices to ensure visibility and access to the Authority's procurement opportunities on one website.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-618. Reversion to the Commonwealth.

In the event of the dissolution of the Authority, all assets of the Authority, after satisfaction of creditors, shall revert to the Commonwealth.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-619. Certified mail; subsequent mail or notices may be sent by regular mail; electronic communications as alternative to regular mail; limitation.

A. Whenever in this subtitle the Board is required to send any mail or notice by certified mail and such mail or notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested, then any subsequent, identical mail or notice that is sent by the Board may be sent by regular mail.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, whenever in this subtitle the Board is required or permitted to send any mail, notice, or other official communication by regular mail to persons licensed under Chapter 8 (§ 4.1-800 et seq.), upon the request of a licensee, the Board may instead send such mail, notice, or official communication by email, text message, or other electronic means to the email address, telephone number, or other contact information provided to the Board by the licensee, provided that the Board retains sufficient proof of the electronic delivery, which may be an electronic receipt of delivery or a certificate of service prepared by the Board confirming the electronic delivery.

C. No notice required by § 4.1-903 to a licensee of a hearing that may result in the suspension or revocation of his license or the imposition of a civil penalty shall be sent by the Board by email, text message, or other electronic means, nor shall any decision by the Board to suspend or revoke a license or impose a civil penalty be sent by the Board by email, text message, or other electronic means.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-620. Reports and accounting systems of Board; auditing books and records.

A. The Board shall make reports to the Governor as he may require covering the administration and enforcement of this subtitle. Additionally, the Board shall submit an annual report to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority on or before December 15 each year, which shall contain:

1. The number of state licenses of each category issued pursuant to this subtitle;

2. Demographic information concerning the licensees;

3. A description of enforcement and disciplinary actions taken against licensees;

4. A statement of revenues and expenses related to the implementation, administration, and enforcement of this subtitle;

5. A statement showing the taxes collected under this subtitle during the year;

6. General information and remarks about the working of the cannabis control laws within the Commonwealth;

7. A description of the efforts undertaken by the Board to promote diverse business ownership within the cannabis industry; and

8. Any other information requested by the Governor.

B. The Board shall maintain an accounting system in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles and approved in accordance with § 2.2-803.

C. A regular postaudit shall be conducted of all accounts and transactions of the Board. An annual audit of a fiscal and compliance nature of the accounts and transactions of the Board shall be conducted by the Auditor of Public Accounts on or before October 1. The cost of the annual audit and postaudit examinations shall be borne by the Board. The Board may order such other audits as it deems necessary.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-621. Certain information not to be made public.

Neither the Board nor its employees shall divulge any information regarding (i) financial reports or records required pursuant to this subtitle; (ii) the purchase orders and invoices for retail marijuana or retail marijuana products filed with the Board by marijuana wholesaler licensees; (iii) taxes collected from, refunded to, or adjusted for any person; or (iv) information contained in the seed-to-sale tracking system maintained by the Board pursuant to § 4.1-611. The provisions of § 58.1-3 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to taxes collected pursuant to this subtitle and to purchase orders and invoices for retail marijuana or retail marijuana products filed with the Board by marijuana wholesaler licensees.

Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the use or release of such information or documents by the Board to any governmental or law-enforcement agency, or when considering the granting, denial, revocation, or suspension of a license or permit, or the assessment of any penalty against a licensee or permittee, n or shall this section prohibit the Board or its employees from compiling and disseminating to any member of the public aggregate statistical information pertaining to (a) tax collection, as long as such information does not reveal or disclose tax collection from any identified licensee; (b) the total amount of retail marijuana or retail marijuana products sales in the Commonwealth by marijuana wholesaler licensees collectively; or (c) the total amount of purchases or sales submitted by licensees, provided that such information does not identify the licensee.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-622. Criminal history records check required on certain employees; reimbursement of costs.

All persons hired by the Authority whose job duties involve access to or handling of the Authority's funds or merchandise shall be subject to a criminal history records check before, and as a condition of, employment.

The Board shall develop policies regarding the employment of persons who have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.

The Department of State Police shall be reimbursed by the Authority for the cost of investigations conducted pursuant to this section.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-623. Employees of the Authority.

Employees of the Authority shall be considered employees of the Commonwealth. Employees of the Authority shall be eligible for membership in the Virginia Retirement System or other retirement plan as authorized by Article 4 (§ 51.1-125 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 51.1 and participation in all health and related insurance and other benefits, including premium conversion and flexible benefits, available to state employees as provided by law. Employees of the Authority shall be employed on such terms and conditions as established by the Board. The Board shall develop and adopt policies and procedures that afford its employees grievance rights, ensure that employment decisions shall be based upon the merit and fitness of applicants, and prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Board shall develop, implement, and administer a paid leave program, which may include annual, personal, and sick leave or any combination thereof. All other leave benefits shall be administered in accordance with Chapter 11 (§ 51.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 51.1, except as otherwise provided in this section.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-624. Police power of members, agents, and employees of Board.

Members of the Board are vested, and such agents and employees of the Board designated by it shall be vested, with like power to enforce the provisions of (i) this subtitle and the criminal laws of the Commonwealth as is vested in the chief law-enforcement officer of a county, city, or town; (ii) § 3.2-4207; (iii) § 18.2-371.2; and (iv) § 58.1-1037.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-625. Liability of Board members; suits by and against Board.

A. No Board member may be sued civilly for doing or omitting to do any act in the performance of his duties as prescribed by this subtitle, except by the Commonwealth, and then only in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond. Such proceedings by the Commonwealth shall be instituted and conducted by the Attorney General.

B. The Board may, in the name of the Commonwealth, be sued in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond to enforce any contract made by it or to recover damages for any breach thereof. The Board may defend the proceedings and may institute proceedings in any court. No such proceedings shall be taken against, or in the names of, the members of the Board.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-626. Counsel for members, agents, and employees of Board.

If any member, agent, or employee of the Board shall be arrested, indicted, or otherwise prosecuted on any charge arising out of any act committed in the discharge of his official duties, the Board chairman may employ special counsel approved by the Attorney General to defend such member, agent, or employee. The compensation for special counsel employed pursuant to this section, shall, subject to the approval of the Attorney General, be paid in the same manner as other expenses incident to the administration of this subtitle are paid.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-627. Hearings; representation by counsel.

Any licensee or applicant for any license granted by the Board shall have the right to be represented by counsel at any Board hearing for which he has received notice. The licensee or applicant shall not be required to be represented by counsel during such hearing. Any officer or director of a corporation may examine, cross-examine, and question witnesses, present evidence on behalf of the corporation, and draw conclusions and make arguments before the Board or hearing officers without being in violation of the provisions of § 54.1-3904.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-628. Hearings; allowances to witnesses.

Witnesses subpoenaed to appear on behalf of the Board shall be entitled to the same allowance for expenses as witnesses for the Commonwealth in criminal cases in accordance with § 17.1-611. Such allowances shall be paid out of the fund from which other costs incurred by the Board are paid upon certification to the Comptroller.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-629. Reserved.

Reserved.

Chapter 7. Administration of Licenses; General Provisions.

§ 4.1-700. Reserved.

Reserved.

Chapter 8. Administration of Licenses; Licenses Granted By Board.

§ 4.1-800. Reserved.

Reserved.

Chapter 9. Administration of Licenses; Suspension and Revocation.

§ 4.1-900. Reserved.

Reserved.

Chapter 10. Administration of Licenses; Applications for Licenses; Fees; Taxes.

§ 4.1-1000. Reserved.

Reserved.

Chapter 11. Possession of Retail Marijuana and Retail Marijuana Products; Prohibited Practices Generally.

§ 4.1-1100. Possession, etc., of marijuana and marijuana products by persons 21 years of age or older lawful; penalties.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person 21 years of age or older may lawfully possess on his person or in any public place not more than one ounce of marijuana or an equivalent amount of marijuana product as determined by regulation promulgated by the Board.

B. Any person who possesses on his person or in any public place marijuana or marijuana products in excess of the amounts set forth in subsection A is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25. The penalty for any violations of this section by an adult shall be prepayable according to the procedures in § 16.1-69.40:2.

C. With the exception of a licensee in the course of his duties related to such licensee's marijuana establishment, any person who possesses on his person or in any public place more than one pound of marijuana or an equivalent amount of marijuana product as determined by regulation promulgated by the Board is guilty of a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 10 years and a fine of not more than $250,000, or both.

D. The provisions of this section shall not apply to members of federal, state, county, city, or town law-enforcement agencies, jail officers, or correctional officers, as defined in § 53.1-1, certified as handlers of dogs trained in the detection of controlled substances when possession of marijuana is necessary for the performance of their duties.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1101. Home cultivation of marijuana for personal use; penalties.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision c of § 18.2-248.1, a person 21 years of age or older may cultivate up to four marijuana plants for personal use at their place of residence; however, at no point shall a household contain more than four marijuana plants. For purposes of this section, a "household" means those individuals, whether related or not, who live in the same house or other place of residence.

A person may only cultivate marijuana plants pursuant to this section at such person's main place of residence.

B. A person who cultivates marijuana for personal use pursuant to this section shall:

1. Ensure that no marijuana plant is visible from a public way without the use of aircraft, binoculars, or other optical aids;

2. Take precautions to prevent unauthorized access by persons younger than 21 years of age; and

3. Attach to each marijuana plant a legible tag that includes the person’s name, driver’s license or identification number, and a notation that the marijuana plant is being grown for personal use as authorized under this section.

C. A person shall not manufacture marijuana concentrate from home-cultivated marijuana. The owner of a property or parcel or tract of land may not intentionally or knowingly allow another person to manufacture marijuana concentrate from home-cultivated marijuana within or on that property or land.

D. The following penalties or punishments shall be imposed on any person convicted of a violation of this section:

1. For possession of more than four marijuana plants but no more than 10 marijuana plants, (i) a civil penalty of $250 for a first offense, (ii) a Class 3 misdemeanor for a second offense, and (iii) a Class 2 misdemeanor for a third and any subsequent offense;

2. For possession of more than 10 but no more than 49 marijuana plants, a Class 1 misdemeanor;

3. For possession of more than 49 but no more than 100 marijuana plants, a Class 6 felony; and

4. For possession of more than 100 marijuana plants, a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 10 years and a fine of not more than $250,000, or both.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1101.1. Adult sharing of marijuana.

A. For the purposes of this section, "adult sharing" means transferring marijuana between persons who are 21 years of age or older without remuneration. "Adult sharing" does not include instances in which (i) marijuana is given away contemporaneously with another reciprocal transaction between the same parties; (ii) a gift of marijuana is offered or advertised in conjunction with an offer for the sale of goods or services; or (iii) a gift of marijuana is contingent upon a separate reciprocal transaction for goods or services.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 18.2-248.1, no civil or criminal penalty may be imposed for adult sharing of an amount of marijuana that does not exceed one ounce or of an equivalent amount of marijuana products.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1102. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 4.1-1105.1. Possession of marijuana or marijuana products unlawful in certain cases; venue; exceptions; penalties; treatment and education programs and services.

A. No person younger than 21 years of age shall consume or possess, or attempt to consume or possess, any marijuana or marijuana products, except by any federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer or his agent when possession of marijuana or marijuana products is necessary in the performance of his duties. Such person may be prosecuted either in the county or city in which the marijuana or marijuana products were possessed or consumed or in the county or city in which the person exhibits evidence of physical indicia of consumption of marijuana or marijuana products.

B. Any person 18 years of age or older who violates subsection A is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25 and shall be ordered to enter a substance abuse treatment or education program or both, if available, that in the opinion of the court best suits the needs of the accused.

C. Any juvenile who violates subsection A is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25 and the court shall require the accused to enter a substance abuse treatment or education program or both, if available, that in the opinion of the court best suits the needs of the accused. For purposes of §§ 16.1-266, 16.1-273, 16.1-278.8, 16.1-278.8:01, and 16.1-278.9, the court shall treat the child as delinquent.

D. Any such substance abuse treatment or education program to which a person is ordered pursuant to this section shall be provided by (i) a program licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services or (ii) a program or services made available through a community-based probation services agency established pursuant to Article 9 (§ 9.1-173 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, if one has been established for the locality. When an offender is ordered to a local community-based probation services agency, the local community-based probation services agency shall be responsible for providing for services or referring the offender to education or treatment services as a condition of probation.

E. Any civil penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Drug Offender Assessment and Treatment Fund established pursuant to § 18.2-251.02.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1106. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 4.1-1107. Using or consuming marijuana or marijuana products while in a motor vehicle being driven upon a public highway; penalty.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Open container" means any vessel containing marijuana or marijuana products, except the originally sealed manufacturer's container.

"Passenger area" means the area designed to seat the driver of any motor vehicle, any area within the reach of the driver, including an unlocked glove compartment, and the area designed to seat passengers. "Passenger area" does not include the trunk of any passenger vehicle; the area behind the last upright seat of a passenger van, station wagon, hatchback, sport utility vehicle or any similar vehicle; the living quarters of a motor home; or the passenger area of a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation, including a bus, taxi, or limousine, while engaged in the transportation of such persons.

B. It is unlawful for any person to use or consume marijuana or marijuana products while driving a motor vehicle upon a public highway of the Commonwealth or while being a passenger in a motor vehicle being driven upon a public highway of the Commonwealth.

C. A judge or jury may make a permissive inference that a person has consumed marijuana or marijuana products in violation of this section if (i) an open container is located within the passenger area of the motor vehicle, (ii) the marijuana or marijuana products in the open container have been at least partially removed and (iii) the appearance, conduct, speech, or other physical characteristic of such person, excluding odor, is consistent with the consumption of marijuana or marijuana products. Such person may be prosecuted either in the county or city in which the marijuana was used or consumed, or in the county or city in which the person exhibits evidence of physical indicia of use or consumption of marijuana.

D. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1108. Consuming marijuana or marijuana products, or offering to another, in public place; penalty.

A. No person shall consume marijuana or a marijuana product or offer marijuana or a marijuana product to another, whether accepted or not, at or in any public place.

B. Any person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25 for a first offense. A person who is convicted under this section of a second offense is subject to a $25 civil penalty and shall be ordered to enter a substance abuse treatment or education program or both, if available, that in the opinion of the court best suits the needs of the accused. A person convicted under this section of a third or subsequent offense is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1109. Consuming or possessing marijuana or marijuana products in or on public school grounds; penalty.

A. No person shall possess or consume any marijuana or marijuana product in or upon the grounds of any public elementary or secondary school during school hours or school or student activities.

B. In addition, no person shall consume and no organization shall serve any marijuana or marijuana products in or upon the grounds of any public elementary or secondary school after school hours or school or student activities.

C. Any person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1110. Possessing or consuming marijuana or marijuana products while operating a school bus; penalty.

Any person who possesses or consumes marijuana or marijuana products while operating a school bus and transporting children is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. For the purposes of this section, "school bus" has the same meaning as provided in § 46.2-100.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1111. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 4.1-1112. Limitation on carrying marijuana or marijuana products in motor vehicle transporting passengers for hire; penalty.

The transportation of marijuana or marijuana products in any motor vehicle that is being used, or is licensed, for the transportation of passengers for hire is prohibited, except when carried in the possession of a passenger who is being transported for compensation at the regular rate and fare charged other passengers.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1113. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 4.1-1120. Persons charged with first offense may be placed on probation; conditions; substance abuse screening, assessment treatment, and education programs or services; drug tests; costs and fees; violations; discharge.

A. Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of any offense under this subtitle pleads guilty to or enters a plea of not guilty to an offense under this subtitle, the court, upon such plea if the facts found by the court would justify a finding of guilt, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the accused, may defer further proceedings and place the accused on probation upon terms and conditions.

B. As a term or condition, the court shall require the accused to undergo a substance abuse assessment pursuant to § 19.2-299.2 and enter treatment or an education program or services, or any combination thereof, if available, such as, in the opinion of the court, may be best suited to the needs of the accused based upon consideration of the substance abuse assessment. The program or services may be located in the judicial district in which the charge is brought or in any other judicial district as the court may provide. The services shall be provided by (i) a program licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, or a similar program that is made available through the Department of Corrections; (ii) a local community-based probation services agency established pursuant to § 9.1-174; or (iii) an alcohol safety action program (ASAP) certified by the Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP).

C. The court shall require the person entering such program under the provisions of this section to pay all or part of the costs of the program, including the costs of the screening, assessment, testing, and treatment, based upon the accused's ability to pay, unless the person is determined by the court to be indigent.

D. As a condition of probation, the court shall require the accused (i) to successfully complete treatment or education programs or services, (ii) to remain drug-free and alcohol-free during the period of probation and submit to such tests during that period as may be necessary and appropriate to determine if the accused is drug-free and alcohol-free, (iii) to make reasonable efforts to secure and maintain employment, and (iv) to comply with a plan of up to 24 hours of community service. Such testing shall be conducted by personnel of the supervising probation agency or personnel of any program or agency approved by the supervising probation agency.

E. Upon violation of a term or condition, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against him. Discharge and dismissal under this section shall be without adjudication of guilt and is a conviction only for the purposes of applying this section in subsequent proceedings.

F. When any juvenile is found to have committed a violation of subsection A, the disposition of the case shall be handled according to the provisions of Article 9 (§ 16.1-278 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1121. Issuance of summonses for certain offenses; civil penalties.

Any violation under this subtitle that is subject to a civil penalty is a civil offense and shall be charged by summons. A summons for a violation under this subtitle that is subject to a civil penalty may be executed by a law-enforcement officer when such violation is observed by such officer. The summons used by a law-enforcement officer pursuant to this section shall be in a form the same as the uniform summons for motor vehicle law violations as prescribed pursuant to § 46.2-388. Any civil penalties collected pursuant to this subtitle shall be deposited into the Drug Offender Assessment and Treatment Fund established pursuant to § 18.2-251.02.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

Chapter 12. Prohibited Practices By Licensees.

§ 4.1-1200. Reserved.

Reserved.

Chapter 13. Prohibited Practices; Procedural Matters.

§ 4.1-1300. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 4.1-1302. Search without warrant; odor of marijuana.

A. No law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101, may lawfully stop, search, or seize any person, place, or thing and no search warrant may be issued solely on the basis of the odor of marijuana and no evidence discovered or obtained pursuant to a violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the person's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

B. The provisions of subsection A shall not apply in any airport as defined in § 5.1-1 or if the violation occurs in a commercial motor vehicle as defined in § 46.2-341.4.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1303. Reserved.

Reserved.

Chapter 14. Cannabis Control; Testing; Advertising.

§ 4.1-1400. Reserved.

Reserved.

Chapter 15. Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Program and Fund.

§ 4.1-1500. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"CDFI" means a community development financial institution that provides credit and financial services for underserved communities.

"Fund" means the Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Fund established in § 4.1-1501.

"Funding" means loans made from the Fund.

"Program" means the Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Program established in § 4.1-1502.

"Social equity qualified cannabis licensee" means a person or business who meets the criteria in § 4.1-606 to qualify as a social equity applicant and who either holds or is in the final stages of acquiring, as determined by the Board, a license to operate a marijuana establishment.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1501. Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Fund.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Fund, referred to in this section as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All funds appropriated for such purpose and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of providing low-interest and zero-interest loans to social equity qualified cannabis licensees in order to foster business ownership and economic growth within communities that have been the most disproportionately impacted by the former prohibition of cannabis. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1502. Selection of CDFI; Program requirements; guidelines for management of the Fund.

A. The Authority shall establish a Program to provide loans to qualified social equity cannabis licensees for the purpose of promoting business ownership and economic growth by communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the prohibition of cannabis. The Authority shall select and work in collaboration with a CDFI to assist in administering the Program and carrying out the purposes of the Fund. The CDFI selected by the Authority shall have (i) a statewide presence in Virginia, (ii) experience in business lending, (iii) a proven track record of working with disadvantaged communities, and (iv) the capability to dedicate sufficient staff to manage the Program. Working with the selected CDFI, the Authority shall establish monitoring and accountability mechanisms for businesses receiving funding and shall report annually the number of businesses funded; the geographic distribution of the businesses; the costs of the Program; and the outcomes, including the number and types of jobs created.

B. The Program shall:

1. Identify social equity qualified cannabis licensees who are in need of capital for the start-up of a cannabis business properly licensed pursuant to the provisions of this subtitle;

2. Provide loans for the purposes described in subsection A;

3. Provide technical assistance; and

4. Bring together community partners to sustain the Program.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1503. Annual reports.

On or before December 1 of each year, the Authority shall report to the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, the Officer of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Governor, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations on such other matters regarding the Fund as the Authority may deem appropriate, including the amount of funding committed to projects from the Fund, or other items as may be requested by any of the foregoing persons to whom such report is to be submitted.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.