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Northam Says "Last-Minute Negotiations" Over Marijuana Legalization Measure Underway

AP Photo / Andrew Harnik

Governor Ralph Northam is waiting until the last possible minute to take action on one of the major pieces of legislation this year – a bill legalizing marijuana.During the session, he was pushing lawmakers to legalize marijuana in 2024 to give the state time to set up a new regulatory agency to oversee sales. But advocates have been lobbying hard to move up the timeline to this summer.

The governor says he hasn't made up his mind yet.

Read More: Marijuana Advocates Believe Northam has Heard Their Message to Speed Up Legalization

"We're still in kind of last-minute negotiations with the House and Senate, but I really feel we're going to come out with some good amendments and really move this a large step forward," the governor says.

He has until the end of the day Wednesday to act on the bill or amend it. Lawmakers would then consider his amendments in April.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.