Virginia continues to make it unlawful for an individual to sell, give, distribute, or possess with an intent to sell, give, or distribute marijuana. In fact, Section 18.2-248.1 of the Virginia Code, updated as recently as 2020, makes it a felony offense to distribute any amount above one ounce of marijuana, and a misdemeanor offense to distribute less than one ounce of marijuana.
However, in 2021 the Virginia General Assembly enacted Section 4.1-1101.1 of the Virginia Code, which legalized “adult sharing of marijuana.” Specifically, this code section legalized transferring less than one ounce of marijuana between persons who are 21 years of age or older so long as no money or goods are exchanged, and so long as no other reciprocal transaction is occurring at the same time as the marijuana exchange.
Language in the new gifting law under Section 4.1-1101.1 invalidates the misdemeanor offense of gifting marijuana under Section 18.2-248.1, but gifts of one ounce or more of marijuana remains a felony offense in Virginia. Likewise, selling any amount of marijuana, or masking the sale by making a contemporaneous transaction as a condition of the gift, also remains illegal.
With the gifting law, Virginia continues to inch towards expanding the rights of adult cannabis users.