The state of Virginia is looking to officially legalise Marijuana by July 1st, 2021 and this news has got the whole city abuzz. Happy Tree Agricultural Supply, which is a store that focuses on gardening, has claimed business has doubled this month since the Lawmakers in Virginia agreed to allow the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. Although the store sells hemp, home grown products and seeds, they would not be allowed to sell the Marijuana seeds.
Under the Virginia law, Marijuana cultivation would be allowed as long as the plants are adequately labelled, shielded away from children and the public eye. Selling of these seeds or transporting them would remain illegal and punishable by law if caught. However, 21 year olds and older would be allowed to give marijuana as gifts in no less than an ounce in private.
To this end, Happy Trees claim this law has provided a boom in customers who have come with questions and consultations on how to carefully manage a private marijuana plant. “Business has been doubling month to month over month and we have a lot of people excited to get into this sector,” said co-founder Josiah Ickes. “There was this elderly couple, and they actually came in and all they did was drop a newspaper down that said marijuana legalization on it. Then, they just stared at me. It was really interesting because it was like they didn’t know what to do next, and that’s how a lot of people in the Commonwealth are.”
Happy Trees have also set up a grow room where it carefully shows and details how Marijuana should be cultivated at home using the right tools, materials and even best soil for quick growth. They also grow local tomato plants and their tomato gains are donated to nonprofits.
Co-founder Christopher Haynie, who is in charge of the store's cultivation growth, claimed that even when legal sales begin in Virginia in about three years from now, he doesn't see it being sold in their retail stores. “The leaf doesn’t need to be there, then it goes away. It makes me happy,” Haynie said. “No marijuana will be grown here until the cannabis control authority releases strict regulations, and we get a license.”
Haynes, who has experience in the legal marijuana market after working in three other states it has been legalised, claimed this is a new wave for the people of Virginia and navigating the growth at home with the new regulation should be done 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. As a responsible adult, the best thing you can do is read the regulations and/or consult an attorney.”
As such, Happy Trees would only provide growing advice to people and equipment too. “I think we need to continue focusing on what we’re best at, and that’s helping educate people on how to grow the best plants possible,” Ickes stated.
The state of Virginia has also launched a state website where clarification has been made on what goes and what doesn't as July 1st approaches. Visit cannabis.virginia.gov for more information. Also, an advocacy group, Virginia Normal has released an FAQ for those seeking more information regarding the new laws. Visit https://www.vanorml.org/legalization_faqs for more information.