Jul 10, 2023 - News

Youngkin "not interested" in legalizing marijuana sales

Illustration of a "no" symbol in the shape of a joint and a ring of smoke

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Gov. Youngkin's administration gave its clearest indication yet that the governor has no plans to open a retail marijuana market during his term.

What they're saying: “Governor Youngkin has stated that he is not interested in any further moves towards legalization of adult recreational use marijuana,” Joseph Guthrie, Youngkin's commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Safety, said during a recent state meeting on cannabis, per the Daily Progress.

  • “So I wouldn’t expect that during his administration.”

Context: In past remarks, Youngkin has avoided taking a firm stance on the issue and has often responded to questions by saying it was up to lawmakers to send him legislation.

Why it matters: Virginia's marijuana laws are a mess after lawmakers legalized possession of the drug but failed to reach an agreement on a legal marketplace for recreational users.

Between the lines: Guthrie's remarks could help explain why GOP leaders in the House of Delegates refused to bring up legislation on the subject for hearings over the past two years — even in cases when the bills were proposed by members of their own caucus.

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