4/20 fizzle: Pot industry tested as virus slams economy

Virginia is moving toward decriminalizing simple possession of marijuana
Virus Outbreak Marijuana Holiday
Virus Outbreak Marijuana Holiday
Posted at 5:20 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 06:59:17-04

The unofficial holiday saluting all things cannabis arrives at a challenging time for the nation's legal marijuana industry.

Monday is April 20, or 4/20. That’s the code for marijuana’s high holiday, which is usually marked with outdoor festivals and communal smoking sessions.

But this year, stay-at-home orders have moved the party online as the marijuana market braces for an economic blow from the coronavirus crisis.

In a relatively new legal industry, there's no template for how consumers will react during an expected economic downturn.

Sales soared at the start of lockdowns in March, but business generally has flattened or tapered off since then.

Virginia is moving toward decriminalizing simple possession of marijuana. The state House on Monday passed a decriminalization bill with bipartisan support.

The state Senate is expected to pass its own version shortly. Gov. Ralph Northam has signaled his support for the measure.

If passed, the legislation would scrap criminal charges for possessing marijuana and replace them with small fines.

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