It looks like Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is on a mission to get a grip on the wild world of hemp in the state. In his latest budget proposal, he's set aside a whopping $2.1 million to fund a new hemp registration and inspection program, which will be staffed by a team of 15 brave individuals. This move comes after a state task force recommended that businesses selling intoxicating hemp products like delta-8 should be required to apply for permits, and those who break the rules should face tougher consequences.
But that's not all! The budget also includes funding for a number of other cannabis-related initiatives. For example, there's $50,000 set aside for prison funding, which is apparently necessary for any proposal that could lead to more people being locked up. This funding is tied to a proposed change in the definition of marijuana to include hemp products "that contain a certain amount" of THC.
And if that wasn't enough, the budget also includes $513,374 in new funding for the attorney general's office to hire five "cannabis consumer protection enforcement investigators." These investigators will be tasked with cracking down on businesses selling potentially illegal products, with a particular focus on "copycat" edibles that are packaged to look like popular snack and candy brands.
Finally, the budget includes $371,780 for three new positions related to hemp regulation in the attorney general's office.
So, it looks like Virginia is taking hemp regulation very seriously. But unfortunately, it doesn't look like the state is ready to legalize recreational marijuana sales anytime soon. Despite the efforts of Democrats to get the legalization process started, power is currently split between the two parties, and they have been unable to reach a deal on moving forward. But hey, at least we'll have a team of 15 people making sure our hemp is up to snuff!