Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday afternoon signed a bill into law allowing residents 21 and older to legally grow and possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
The bill, which has awaited legalization since this past summer and met lawmakers’ approval earlier this month, now makes the drug available in 2024.
Virginia will become the first southern U.S. state to legalize marijuana once the law takes effect on July 1, Northam’s office said.
Meanwhile, Black Virginians are still four times more likely than whites to face a court summons for possession of marijuana, according to court records analyzed by Virginia Public Media.