Virginia Cannabis Licenses

How will the cannabis industry in VA be regulated?

On July 1, 2021, the law authorized the creation of the Cannabis Control Authority (CCA), a new, independent political subdivision (“an authority”) to regulate the marijuana industry, including issuing licenses for businesses, creating health and safety guidelines, and promoting diversity within the industry. . On July 19, 2021, Governor Northam appointed members of the Cannabis Control Authority’s Board of Directors. The Board, along with a CEO, will lead the creation of an adult-use marketplace. The CCA will not complete marijuana regulations or begin accepting applications for businesses before 2023.

When can I apply for a cannabis business license in Virginia?

It will not be legal to sell marijuana before 2024. Until then, it remains a crime to sell any amount of marijuana. If the licensing provisions of the bill are reenacted (approved again) in the 2022 General Assembly session, you will likely be able to apply for a marijuana business license in 2023. More instructions and guidance for people wanting to start a marijuana business will be released before the application period begins.

Are there any steps I need to take before applying in 2023?

Not at this time. The Cannabis Control Authority will be created this summer, and will hire staff, begin the regulatory process, and start engaging more directly with interested stakeholders over the next two years.

Will Virginia’s Cannabis licensing process be similar to ABC?

The law authorizing the creation of Virginia’s Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) took effect on July 1, 2021. However, the CCA will need time to hire staff and create regulations before licensing can begin. Additionally, many of the regulatory sections of the bill must be reenacted (approved again) by the 2022 General Assembly before becoming law. So, it is too early to say what the Virginia cannabis licensing process will entail. If the licensing provisions are reenacted, you will likely be first able to apply for marijuana business licenses in 2023. More instructions and guidance for people wanting to start a marijuana business will be released prior to that date.

Is there an application fee for a VA marijuana business? if so, how much?

As written, HB2312 and SB1406 contemplate application fees to start a marijuana business. However, these fees may vary depending on the type of business and your application status. For example, individuals or companies that qualify for a “social equity applicants” license will qualify for technical support and reduced or waived fees. There will be a Cannabis Equity Business Support Team within the Cannabis Control Authority that will provide guidance and support during the licensing process for applicants who qualify. Notably, the details of the licensing process must be reenacted (approved again) by the 2022 General Assembly before becoming law. So, it is too early to say precisely what the licensing process will entail.

Work with our experts to get your business ready


Pre-Virginia Cannabis License Services


Leasing, Audits, Zoning, Real Estate, Site Evidence Package, Interior Design, and Physical Security Plan (PSP)


Cannabis (Marijuana) Retail Standard Operating Procedures, Background checks, Human Resources


Quality Assurance Protocols (QA), Quality System Management, Deviation Audits, Security Protocol


Cannabis Business Plans, Growth Projections, Machinery Sourcing, HVAC Coordination

Post Virginia Cannabis License Services

Cannabis Cultivation

Department Mock Audits, Growth Plans, Operational Support, Acquisitions and Mergers, New Product License, Cannabis Research License

Cannabis Manufacturing

Facility Improvements, Department Mock Audits, Quality System Management, Digital Transformation, Expansion

Cannabis Retail

Cannabis-specific Marketing, Product Placement, Franchising Growth Strategy, Acquisition and Mergers, Human Resources, Training

Cannabis Wholesale

Expansion, Budtender and Manager Training, Product Launches, Site Audits, Security, Expansion