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Virginia Marijuana Laws

Possession

Knowingly or intentionally possessing marijuana is a Class I misdemeanor with punishment upon conviction consisting of imprisonment for up to 30 days and/or a fine of up to $500, for a first offense, and imprisonment for up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500 for the second and each subsequent offense. Possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana is simple possession (possession for personal use).

Conditional Release – Convicted first time offenders may be placed on probation instead of sentenced to jail time with the probation conditional upon the offender undergoing a substance abuse screening, “educational programs,” a series of drug tests during probation, and a drug treatment program, all paid for by the offender. Probation may also require up to 24 community service hours for a misdemeanor conviction and up to 100 hours for a felony conviction. The conviction still shows up on the offender’s record as a conviction and applicable driver’s license revocation proceedings are not waived. Violations of the terms of probation can lead to the full penalty as otherwise applicable.

Sale/Delivery

In VA, having a large quantity of marijuana is not proof of intent to distribute alone. Distributing more than a half ounce of marijuana, but less than 5 lbs., is a Class 5 felony, punishable by confinement in jail at least 1 year, but not more than 10 years. For a first offense, the judge may use his discretion to sentence the offender to a term in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500.

Distributing more than 5 lbs., but less than 100kg., of marijuana is a felony and is punishable by not less than 5, no more than 30, years in prison.

Distributing more than 100kg. of marijuana brings an automatic 20 years to life sentence, with 20 years being the mandatory minimum sentence. This mandatory minimum may be reduced by the judge if:

the person does not have a prior conviction for an drug-related offense;

the person did not use violence or credible threats of violence or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon in committing the offense and did not convince another participant in the offense to do so;

he offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury to any person;

the person was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense, and was not engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise;

the offender cooperates with police and judicial officials by providing to the State all information and evidence the person has concerning the offense, but the fact that the person has no relevant or useful other information to provide or that the Commonwealth already is aware of the information shall not preclude a determination by the court that the defendant has complied with this requirement.

A third sale or intent to distribute conviction brings a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years.

Gifting marijuana to an inmate in a state or local correctional facility is guilty of a Class 4 felony, and may be punished with a term of imprisonment for not less than 2 years, nor more than 10 years, and subject to a fine of not more than $100,000.

Distributing more than 1 ounce of marijuana to any person under 18 years of age who is at least 3 years younger than the offender, or using such a minor to distribute more than 1 ounce of marijuana, is a felony and will be punished with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 5 years, a maximum sentence of 50 years, and a fine of no more than $100,000.

Distributing 1 ounce of marijuana or less to any person under 18 years of age who is at least 3 years younger than the offender, or using such a minor to distribute less than 1 ounce of marijuana, is a felony and will be punished with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 2 years, a maximum sentence of 50 years, and a fine of no more than $100,000.

Distributing more than a half ounce of marijuana within 1,000 ft. of a school or school bus stop is a felony, punishable with a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year, a maximum sentence of 5 years, and a fine not to exceed $100,000. However, if such person proves that he sold such controlled substance or marijuana only as an accommodation to another individual and not with intent to profit thereby, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by confinement in jail for not longer than 12 months and a fine not to exceed $2,500.

Manufacture – Any person who manufactures marijuana, or possesses marijuana with the intent to manufacture such substance, not for his own use is guilty of a felony punishable by mandatory imprisonment of not less than five, nor more than 30, years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Trafficking – Transporting 5 or more pounds of marijuana into Virginia with the intent to distribute it is a felony, punishable with a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, a maximum sentence of 40 years, and a fine not to exceed $1,000,000. A second or subsequent conviction for the same crime raises the mandatory minimum sentence to 10 years.

Hash & Concentrates

In Virginia, hashish and concentrates fall under the definition of marijuana as long as they contain less than 12 percent of THC by weight. This means that the restrictions and penalties associated with marijuana also apply to hashish and concentrates.

Hashish oil, however, falls outside the definition of marijuana and is Schedule I substance. Hashish oil is defined as “liquid marijuana; liquid hashish; any oily extract containing one or more cannabinoids, but shall not include any such extract with a tetrahydrocannabinol content of less than 12 percent by weight.”

Possessing hashish oil is a Class 5 felony punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 1 year and no greater than 10 years. For a first offense, the judge or jury may reduce the sentence to a term of imprisonment no greater than 1 year and/or a fine of $2,500.

Manufacturing, selling, giving, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture, sell, or give hashish oil is a crime. This crime is punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 5 years and no greater than 40 years and a fine no greater than $500,000. A second conviction carries a term of imprisonment no less than 5 years, years of which are mandatory, and up to the remainder of the offender’s life. A third conviction carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for no less than five years and up to the remainder of the offender’s life.

Bringing more than 1 ounce of hashish oil into Virginia is a felony. The felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 5 years and no greater than 40 years with a minimum term of 3 years and a fine no greater than $1,000,000. A second conviction increases the minimum term of imprisonment to 10 years.

Distributing hashish oil to a person under 18 years of age, or using a person under the age of 18 in the distribution of hashish oil is a crime if the minor is 3 years the offenders junior. The crime is punishable by a fine of $100,000 and a term of imprisonment no less than 10 years and no greater than 50 years, with a minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years.

Manufacturing, selling, distributing, or possessing with intent to sell, give, or distribute hashish oil near certain designated areas is a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 1 year and no greater than 5 years and/or a fine no greater than $100,000. A second conviction is punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment no less than 1 year and no greater than 5 years and/or a fine no greater than $100,000. The designated areas are:

• all areas open to the public within 1,000 feet of any school or marked child day care facility

• school buses

• all areas open to the public within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop during hours where the bus stop is in use

• public community or recreation centers

• public libraries

• all areas open to the public within 1,000 feet of a hospital, out-patient center, or any other state operated medical facility

Paraphernalia

Any person who sells or possesses with intent to sell drug paraphernalia, knowing, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that it is either designed for use or intended by such person for use to illegally plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body marijuana shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable with confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500.

Any person eighteen years of age or older who sells drug paraphernalia to a minor who is at least three years junior to the accused shall be guilty of an additional Class 6 felony, which is punishable by not more than 12 months in jail and a fine of not more than $2,500.
Advertising for the sale of drug paraphernalia is a Class I misdemeanor with a punishment of confinement for not more than 12 months in jail and a fine of not more than $2,500.

Knowingly distributing any printed material the distributor knows contains advertisements for drug paraphernalia is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500.

Miscellaneous

Fortified drug house – Maintaining a fortified drug house is a Class 5 felony, punishable with a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year, and a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Driver’s license suspension – In addition to any other sanction or penalty imposed for a violation of this article, the (i) judgement of conviction under this article or (ii) placement on probation following deferral of further proceedings… shall itself operate to deprive the person so convicted or placed on probation… of the privilege to drive or operate a motor vehicle… for a period of six months.

OFFENSE PENALTY INCARCERATION MAX FINE

Possession

Less than 1/2 oz (first offense) misdemeanor 30 days $ 500
Less than 1/2 oz (subsequent offense) misdemeanor 1 year $ 2,500

Sale/Manufacture/Trafficking

1/2 oz – 5 lbs felony 1* – 10 years $ 2,500
5 lbs – 100 kg felony 5* – 30 years $ 1,000
More than 100 kg felony 20 years* – life $ 100,000
To a minor who is at least 3 years younger felony 2* – 50 years $ 100,000
Within 1000 ft of a school or school bus stop felony 1* – 5 years $ 100,000
Manufacture of marijuana felony 5* – 30 years $ 10,000
Transporting more that 5 lbs into the state felony 5* – 40 years $ 1,000,000

Includes possession with intent to distribute

* Mandatory minimum sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Possessing hashish oil felony 1 – 10 years $ 2,500
Manufacturing, selling, giving, distributing, or possessing with intent felony 5 – 40 years $ 500,000
Bringing more than 1 oz of hashish oil into the state felony 5 – 40 years $ 1,000,000

Subsequent offenses carry greater penalties

Paraphernalia

Sale or possession with intent to sell paraphernalia misdemeanor 1 year $ 2,500
To a minor who is at least 3 years younger felony 1 year $ 2,500

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Vehicles and other assets can be seized in a civil proceeding, regardless of whether criminal charges are brought.

Miscellaneous (license suspensions, civil damages, etc…)

Gifting marijuana to an inmate in a correctional facility felony 2* – 10 years $ 100,000
Maintaining a fortified drug house felony 1* – 10 years $ 0

A convicted person shall be deprived of driving privileges for 6 mos.

* Mandatory minimum sentence

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