WHEREAS, a growing number of states have legalized the use of marijuana with certain restrictions and conditions, such as for personal medical use under the care of a doctor; and
WHEREAS, as society changes, products that were deemed illegal at one time are made legal and even sold by stores that are operated by government agencies in the attempt to control the sale of the products; and
WHEREAS, the sale of alcoholic beverages by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has served the purpose of controlling the sale of alcoholic beverage products while at the same time generating millions of dollars to help fund state government programs; and
WHEREAS, a growing number of states continue to examine the possibility of legalizing the use of marijuana under various conditions and restrictions; and
WHEREAS, it may be time to study the potential revenue impact on the Commonwealth of legalizing the sale and use of marijuana, under certain conditions and restrictions, and regulate its sale in the same way the Commonwealth regulates the sale and use of distilled spirits by selling them through Virginia’s ABC stores; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That a joint subcommittee be established to study the potential revenue impact on the Commonwealth of legalizing the sale and use of marijuana, with certain restrictions and conditions, and selling it through Virginia’s ABC stores. The joint subcommittee shall have a total membership of eight members. Members shall be appointed as follows: five members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; and three members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. If a companion joint resolution of the other chamber is agreed to, written authorization of both Clerks shall be required. The joint subcommittee shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from among its membership.
In conducting its study, the joint subcommittee shall examine the feasibility and practicality of selling marijuana under the restrictions and conditions as allowed by law, the impact of these sales in Virginia’s ABC stores and on its patrons, as well as the potential revenue impact upon the Commonwealth.
Administrative staff support shall be provided by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Delegates. Legal, research, policy analysis, and other services as requested by the joint subcommittee shall be provided by the Division of Legislative Services. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the joint subcommittee for this study, upon request.
The joint subcommittee shall be limited to six meetings for the 2012 interim, and the direct costs of this study shall not exceed $15,040 without approval as set out in this resolution. Approval for unbudgeted nonmember-related expenses shall require the written authorization of the chairman of the joint subcommittee and the respective Clerk. If a companion joint resolution of the other chamber is agreed to, written authorization of both Clerks shall be required.
The joint subcommittee shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2012, and the chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2013 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall state whether the joint subcommittee intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and the report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly’s website.
Implementation of this resolution is subject to subsequent approval and certification by the Joint Rules Committee. The Committee may approve or disapprove expenditures for this study, extend or delay the period for the conduct of the study, or authorize additional meetings during the 2012 interim.