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Virginia Marijuana Laws

Below is information on Virginia drug laws concerning the possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids.

Sale, Gift, or Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (Section 18.2-248.1)

Although Section 18.2-248 covers the penalties associated with manufacture, sale, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute marijuana in large quantities (100+ kilograms), this section specifies the penalties for selling, distributing, or possessing with intent to distribute small, more common amounts of marijuana.

It is illegal for any individual to (1) sell, distribute, gift, or possess with intent to distribute (2) marijuana, with the amount of marijuana accompanied by the following penalties:

  • Less than half an ounce of marijuana: Class 1 misdemeanor (individual faces up to 12 months in jail and / or a fine of up to $2,500 – see Section 18.2-11(a)),
  • Half an ounce to five pounds of marijuana: Class 5 felony (individual faces a felony conviction with one to 10 years in prison, OR, at the discretion of a jury or the court trying the case, up to 12 months in jail and / or a fine of up to $2,500 – see Section 18.2-10(e)),
  • Five pounds or more of marijuana: felony conviction with a penalty of five to 30 years in prison (see Section 18.2-248.1(a)(3)).

If the individual can prove that the individual only distributed marijuana as an accommodation for another person (except for an inmate) with no intent to profit nor to make the other person dependent on marijuana, then the individual is only guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Section 18.2-248.1(a). In such a case, the individual faces up to 12 months in jail and / or a fine of up to $2,500. Section 18.2-11(a).

However, if the individual provided marijuana to an inmate as an accommodation with no intent to profit, then the individual is guilty of a Class 4 felony. Section 18.2-248.1(b). Thus, the individual in such a case would face a felony conviction with two to 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $100,000. Section 18.2-10(d).

If an individual is guilty of manufacturing marijuana or possession with intent to manufacture marijuana, not for his own use, then the individual is guilty of a felony punishable by five to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Section 18.2-248.1(c).

If an individual is guilty of this crime and has at least three prior convictions for violating this section (or any law from any jurisdiction that would fall under this section if it occurred in Virginia), then the individual faces a felony conviction with five years to life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. Section 18.2-248.1(d).

Synthetic Cannabinoids (Section 18.2-248.1:1)

If an individual knowingly possesses synthetic cannabinoids (defined in Section 18.2-248.1:1(A)) then the individual is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Section 18.2-248.1:1(B). In such a case, the individual would face up to 12 months in jail and / or a fine of up to $2,500. Section 18.2-11(a).

If an individual sells, gives, distributes, or possess with intent to distribute synthetic cannabinoids, then the individual is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Section 18.2-248.1:1(C). In such a case, the individual would face a felony conviction and one to five years in prison, OR, at the discretion of the court or a jury trying the case, up to 12 months in jail and / or a fine of up to $2,500. Section 18.2-10(f).

If an individual can prove that the individual only gave, distributed, or possessed with such intent to accommodate another person (not an inmate) without any intent to profit nor with the intent to get the other person dependent on the synthetic cannabinoids, then the individual is only guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor– up to 12 months in jail and / or a fine of up to $2,500. Sections 18.2-248.1:1(D); 18.2-11(a).

However, if an individual proves the individual was only accommodating an inmate at a correctional facility, then the individual is guilty of a Class 4 felony– two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Sections 18.2-248.1:1(D); 18.2-10(d).

If an individual manufactures synthetic cannabinoids or possesses with intent to manufacture synthetic cannabinoids, not for the individual’s own use, then the individual is guilty of a felony punishable by five to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Section 18.2-248.1:1(E).