• Is it a felony to possess a “dab pen” in Virginia? 

    Is it a felony to possess a “dab pen” in Virginia? 

    A dab pen is a device used to consume concentrates of THC, usually in the form of wax, budder, or shatter. They are similar in design and function to vape pens but vary in the type of substance used within them.

    Possessing a dab pen in Virginia used to be a felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail, a $2,500 fine, and probation. However, that is no longer the case. Since July 1, 2020, Virginia has treated hash oil, the concentrated cannabis extract used in dab pens, the same as other forms of marijuana. According to Virginia Code § 54.1-3401, the definition of marijuana includes “every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of [the cannabis plant], its seeds, its resin, or any extract containing one or more cannabinoids.”

    More recently, Virginia saw another major development regarding cannabis. On April 7, 2021, the Virginia General Assembly agreed to make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana on July 1, 2021, almost three years sooner than what had been approved in February. Originally, the legalization date was set for Jan. 1, 2024. However, Gov. Ralph Northam added amendments to fast-track the legalization. This makes Virginia the 16th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use and the first in the South to do so. However, retail sales will not begin until Jan. 1, 2024.

    Adults can possess up to one ounce of marijuana on condition they do not intend to distribute the drug. Marijuana cannot be smoked or vaped in public or while driving.

    In 2020, Virginia decriminalized marijuana and reduced possession penalties to a $25 civil penalty, which means that you will not have a mark on your criminal record. The law established that there would be no jail time for amounts up to an ounce. In the past, these offenses were criminal misdemeanors with punishments of a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

    For those who enjoy using dab pens, this means that a small amount in a dab pen is likely to be well under the ounce limit.

    Were You Arrested in Virginia? How a Marijuana Possession Lawyer Can Help

    If you’ve been arrested for possession of more than an ounce of marijuana, whether it is in flower form or concentrate (like wax, shatter, budder and other forms used in dab pens), contact a Fairfax drug defense lawyer at Leary Law, P.C. for help. We can determine whether the police violated search and seizure laws and had a reasonable suspicion to stop you. If the officer did not follow the correct procedures, the evidence they collected might not be admissible in court. We can explore whether police violations might have tainted the admissibility of evidence the prosecution will try to use against you at trial. We will do everything in our power to mount a convincing case on your behalf, and we’ll work to get the charges against you reduced or dropped.

    If you or a loved one are facing marijuana possession, sale, or distribution charges in Northern Virginia, contact attorney Christie A. Leary, and Leary Law, P.C. right away. She has extensive experience handling a wide variety of drug charges and will be ready to put her skills and experience to work for you.

    If you have been charged with a drug crime in Virginia, don’t wait until it is too late to fight back. If you have any questions about dab pens or other drug possession charges, we’ll be ready to discuss your situation in detail when you reach out to us. Contact our legal team now for a confidential consultation.



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