Richmond Marijuana Delivery: The Cat’s Out of the Bag

by | Jun 13, 2023 | CANNABIS CULTURE, COMMUNITY, OPINION, OUTDOORS, POLITICS, SMALL BUSINESS, VIRGINIA POLITICS

Oh no! The RTD has caught wind of what is really happening in the city, now everyone knows what’s up. City Hall been caught with their pants down, but let’s be real, it’s not the fault of our city’s green entrepreneurs. It’s the head-scratcher of a legal framework, or rather lack thereof, that’s brought us to this bonanza in Richmond. So what did the government expect to happen from their inaction on legal marijuana sales? We enjoy weed, we want weed on demand, and there are going to be people that provide.

From under their noses of the people in charge, Richmond has turned into a weed wonderland, where cannabis comes a-knocking right at your doorstep. All you need is an Instagram account and exact change – like ordering a pizza, but greener. Since the state gave a thumbs up to recreational use in 2021, weed delivery services have popped up faster than mushrooms in a rainforest.

Now it’s like the whole of Richmond is in on this secret society — just message a seller on Instagram, and before you know it, you’re making an exchange on the sidewalk for some green goodies. And for those that didn’t know, this has been happening for years now.

One particular Richmond weed Insta-page has amassed an entourage of 10,000 followers, not to mention they’re moonlighting as merch and ticket vendors. Richmond Times-Dispatch tried to crack the code and messaged them, and lo and behold, they received a full menu from a phone number within minutes.

Now here’s the rub — this all is as illegal as a three-dollar bill. Virginia, in its infinite wisdom, legalized possession but didn’t think through the selling part. So, voila! We’ve got an underground market going strong. We’re talking a whopping $2.4 billion illegal sales nationwide. Here is a thought, how about making this all legal and taxing it?

And the guardians of law? So far, they seem as clueless as a cat in a dog show. Richmond’s very own Commonwealth’s Attorney is like, “Wait, what? That’s a thing?!” We paraphrase but essentially she had turned a blind eye to the whole idea. That is most likely going to change in the near term, but that puts everyone on a tough spot, what would the police charge people knowing that full legalization will most likely anyway?

The state is caught in a twilight zone, with an illegal market running rampant, politicians embroiled in debate, and consumers caught in the crossfire. The situation calls for urgent, well-thought-out legislation to ensure that the market operates safely and within the bounds of the law.

So to the people providing this service and the people creating the demand, we are in uncharted waters. So, be smart. Be safe, and maybe stash away that pirate flag for now as there will be short terms repercussions from the newspaper reporting on this, but hopefully this will lead a new conversation on next steps to full legalization in Virginia.

R. Anthony Harris

R. Anthony Harris

I created Richmond, Virginia’s culture publication RVA Magazine and brought the first Richmond Mural Project to town. Designed the first brand for the Richmond’s First Fridays Artwalk and promoted the citywide “RVA” brand before the city adopted it as the official moniker. I threw a bunch of parties. Printed a lot of magazines. Met so many fantastic people in the process. Professional work: www.majormajor.me




more in politics

Editorial Roundtable on the Richmond & Virginia Elections 

As we find ourselves in the middle point of summer, the upcoming months will bring pivotal decisions for our community as we elect our next mayor, city council and school board members followed by the gubernatorial election next year. Over the past few months, we have...

Dispatch From Cuba 2015

I wanted to give a bit of context for this piece. I was introduced to Bill one afternoon at the local watering hole by a mutual friend. Bill, a talented and experienced writer, shared some of his work with me, and I was interested to read more. When I asked if he had...

News or Noise: How Irresponsible Journalism Threatens Our Democracy

Immediately after the first presidential debate, journalists wasted no time amplifying Biden’s poor performance. And so the narrative begins. Or rather, continues. Over the last few years, news outlets have been reporting on the advanced ages of both presidential...

RVA 5×5 | Bonding With (Or Against) The People?

There has been a lot of activity across the region recently about bond ratings and localities issuing bonds. It is a timely comparison of priorities of local leaders, a glimpse of a possible future, and what happens if you have people in charge who worry more about...