Virginia is one of the most conservative states in the nation when it comes to recreational products. The state has a highly restrictive medical cannabis program and licenses for only five dispensaries in the entire state.
Virginia's alcohol laws are almost as strict.
There are no bars in Virginia - full-service restaurants can sell alcohol, but a dedicated wine bar is prohibited. Every liquor store in the state is owned by the government, and hard alcohol sales are banned entirely in 10 of Virginia's counties.
So it would be understandable if you don't consider Virginia a viable candidate to legalize recreational cannabis anytime soon.
But Virginia might just have a shocking surprise in store. There's a movement afoot to legalize adult-use cannabis sooner rather than later. That's right - there's even a summit hearing scheduled this week to discuss next steps, which means they're backing up the talk with action.
It would be an understatement to say I'm incredibly excited about this. And here's why you will be, too... [mmpazkzone name="in-story" network="9794" site="307044" id="137008" type="4"]
Virginia's Likely Headed Down the "Green" Path, Thanks to This Guy
The instigator of this amazing news is Attorney General Mark Herring. That in itself is remarkable - the idea of a state's chief law enforcement officer organizing to legalize cannabis would have been unthinkable just a couple of years ago, particularly in Virginia.
Attorney General Herring has called for a summit this upcoming Wednesday, Dec. 11. Four panels of experts will talk about cannabis policy and what a Virginia legalization might look like.
His motives are clear. He wants to give the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, the information he needs to support legalization.
The governor is currently in favor of decriminalization of cannabis, but not a full recreational-use regime. Attorney General Herring wants to change the governor's mind.
He also wants to inform legislators about what is happening in other cannabis-friendly states, such as Colorado, California, and Michigan (the latest state to join the list).
The voters are in a mood to legalize, too. A recent poll showed that 61% of Virginia voters support legalization for adult use.
Virginia's legislature only meets for 60 days each year, so legalization might not make it within the next year. But it's a good probability for 2021.
Attorney General Herring is running for governor himself then, since Governor Northam is term-limited. He'd love to run on a platform of ushering in a brand-new industry creating jobs and generating taxes in Virginia.
Most people previously believed that Virginia would be among the last states in the country to legalize adult-use cannabis.
It looks like that won't be the case.
With the way things are shaping up, I strongly believe that 2020 will be the year when we'll start seeing even more "Red" states going "Green." And that's exactly the direction we want to be headed.
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About the Author
Greg Miller started working on Wall Street in September, 1987, just a month before the “Black Monday” stock market crash.
During his career there, he became an expert in just about every kind of publicly traded security - from blue-chip and small-cap stocks to municipals, junk bonds, and derivatives. As a portfolio manager, Greg was responsible for over $500 million of assets in mutual funds and insurance company accounts.
After leaving the Street, he designed a successful options trading strategy and made lucrative tech investments for a financial publication. He has also helped develop new products and worked with other editors to hone their strategies. He’s always been dedicated to deep, fundamental research - and he always will be - because he believes buying the very best companies at the right price is the best way to amass wealth in the stock market.