How does one grow marijuana without first breaking the law to acquire the seed? Am I committing a criminal offence if I possess, produce or deal in drugs? It is a criminal offence in the Netherlands to possess, produce or deal in drugs. This applies to soft drugs as well as
How you can legally grow marijuana in Virginia if buying and selling seeds is against the law
Diane Toscano said their law firm has been flooded with questions from clients about how to grow and to use recreational marijuana at home and not run afoul of the new laws.
RICHMOND, Va. — When Virginia’s new marijuana laws go into effect on July 1, it will become legal for adults 21+ to carry up to an ounce of marijuana. It will also become legal to grow up to four marijuana plants (per household) in Virginia.
However, it will remain illegal to buy or sell seeds with which to grow the plant.
How does one grow marijuana without first breaking the law to acquire the seed?
It’s a question that should be clarified once the new law officially takes effect and the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority jumps into action on July 1.
“Prior to decriminalization taking effect in 2020, the Commonwealth was arresting upwards of 30,000 Virginians annually for marijuana possession,” NORML development director Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the executive director of the state chapter, Virginia NORML, said. “So while Virginians may be asking, ‘Where can get I cannabis legally,’ it’s unlikely Virginians are asking, ‘Where can I get cannabis?'”
The new law does provide at least one legal loophole for interested parties to get started.
An adult can legally share or gift a marijuana plant with another adult as long as no money is exchanged or trade occurred.
It will not be legal for that “gift exchange” to happen in public.
Christopher Haynie, who co-founded Richmond-based CBD, hemp, and home grow products store Happy Tree Agricultural Supply advised
Virginians thinking of navigating the new regulations to grow the plants at home to proceed with clarity and caution.
“What we don’t want in Virginia is for people who think they’re doing the right thing to inadvertently break the law and get in trouble for it,” he said. “It’s incumbent on us as responsible adults now that cannabis is legal in Virginia to follow the rules. I’ve never been much of a rule follower, but a lot of us have been waiting for this for a long time, so we’re not going to mess it up.”
It will also be against the law for Virginians to order seeds from other states where marijuana is already legal.
VirginiaNORML has answered some frequently asked questions here.
In April, the Democrat-controlled Virginia General Assembly voted to accept Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed changes to a marijuana legalization bill that will allow limited possession and cultivation of the drug starting in July.
Republicans, who overwhelmingly opposed the bill when it initially went through the General Assembly, railed against the latest version.
Del. Chris Head (R – Roanoke County) called the bill “a train wreck.”
“The hard-fought compromise that barely made it out of this chamber and over to the Senate has just been discarded. And why is that? It’s because some activists want marijuana legalized and they want it legalized now, consequences be damned,” he said.
It will be years before legal retail sales is allowed in Virginia.
The bill lays out the complex process of creating a new state agency to oversee the marijuana marketplace, with sales beginning and regulations going into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Copyright 2021 Scripps Media, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Am I committing a criminal offence if I possess, produce or deal in drugs?
It is a criminal offence in the Netherlands to possess, produce or deal in drugs. This applies to soft drugs as well as hard drugs.
The use of drugs
The use of drugs by persons aged 18 years or older is not a criminal offence in the Netherlands. But to prevent nuisance, municipal authorities can include a provision in their general municipal bye-laws prohibiting drug use in designated areas. If you use drugs in one of these designated areas, you may be arrested or ordered to pay a fine.
Growing cannabis or marijuana plants at home
It is not permitted to grow cannabis or marijuana plants at home or anywhere else. If no more than 5 plants are present, the Public Prosecution Service will assume that there is no professional trade or business being conducted. It treats this situation in the same way as one in which only a small quantity of cannabis for personal use is present. If 5 or fewer plants are discovered, the grower will be required to relinquish them and, in most cases, will not be prosecuted. The Public Prosecution Service will prosecute individuals for growing more than 5 plants.
The sale of soft drugs in coffee shops
Businesses known as ‘coffee shops’ in the Netherlands are cafés that do not serve alcohol, and where customers can purchase and consume soft drugs. Although the sale of soft drugs is a criminal offence, coffee shops selling small quantities of soft drugs will not be prosecuted. However, they must comply with a number of conditions.
Prosecution for possessing and selling or producing soft drugs
Possession of soft drugs is a criminal offence in the Netherlands. In practice, the possession of small quantities for personal consumption is tolerated (under the policy of toleration). If you are in possession of no more than 5 grams of cannabis (marijuana or hash) or no more than 5 cannabis plants, the police will seize the drugs and the plants and, as a rule, you will not be prosecuted. If you have more than 5 grams of cannabis or more than 5 cannabis plants in your possession, you will be prosecuted.
The policy of toleration does not apply to people under the age of 18. It is against the law for minors to possess or purchase soft drugs.
The sale of small quantities of cannabis (hash and marijuana) in coffee shops is tolerated, if coffee shops stick to the prescribed rules. The sale of soft drugs outside coffee shops is not tolerated and may be prosecuted.
Prosecution for possessing, selling or producing hard drugs
It is against the law to possess, sell or produce hard drugs at any time. If you are in possession of hard drugs, or sell them or produce them, you may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and/or the payment of a fine.
Sentences for substances on Schedule I (hard drugs) of the Opium Act are heavier than for those on Schedule II (soft drugs).