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Slate of new laws take effect in Virginia on Friday

The Virginia State Capitol
Crixell Matthews
After a contentious 2022 General Assembly session, which saw budget negotiations go down to the wire, a range of hard-fought new laws take effect in Virginia on Friday. (File photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

After a contentious General Assembly session this year, a range of hard-fought new laws take effect in Virginia on Friday. 

Virginians will no longer have to register with the state to buy medical cannabis from dispensaries. Instead, they just need approval from a medical practitioner. 

But lawmakers did bring back some penalties for pot possession. Now, carrying between four ounces and one pound of marijuana in public is a misdemeanor. If someone is convicted of misdemeanor possession more than once, they could face jail time. 

On the education front, the Virginia Department of Education has until the end of the month to develop policies for schools to inform parents of instructional materials containing sexually explicit content.  And starting this fall, college students in certain extracurricular groups must receive hazing prevention training under Adam’s Law — named for  the VCU freshman who died in a 2021 hazing incident. 

Additionally, police departments are no longer allowed to set ticket and arrest quotas for officers, and law enforcement officials can’t judge an officer’s performance based on those metrics alone. 

As for July Fourth plans, alcohol and cocktail delivery have been extended until 2024, though retailers will now need a special permit to participate. 

Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.