Christiansburg business sees higher profits thanks to new marijuana law

New River Valley News

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Dave Rash, owner of Groundworks Garden and Hydroponic Supply Co. in Christiansburg, is just a little excited about a new law in Virginia.

“It’s not like any other plant out there, you know. “I love it, I love the smell, I love the growth, I love how fast it grows,” he gushed.

Cannabis inside a grow tent at Groundworks Garden and Hydroponics Supply Co.

It’s safe to say he’s very excited about cannabis.

“It doesn’t grow like anything else,” said Rash.  

He’s waited years for marijuana to be legal in the Commonwealth. In fact, he started preparing seven and a half years ago.

“That was the game plan,” explained Rash. “If you look at any other legal state, the green rush that came with legalization.”

His patience is paying off because as soon as Virginia’s Cannabis Bill was signed into law, things changed quickly.

“Sales have more than doubled, almost tripled over the last three months,” Rash said.

Now, he’s moving. 

“I expanded from 2,100 square feet to almost 8,000,” said Rash. 

At four times the space, he’ll have room to teach classes. He’s got high hopes for their first subject: Cannabis.

“It is a difficult plant to grow well,” Rash said.

A peek inside the set up of a grow tent at Groundworks Garden and Hydroponics Supply Co.

He’s not blowing smoke either.

“Lots of different lighting requirements, nutrient requirements, pest problems, nutrient deficiency problems,” explained Rash. 

However, it may be harder to get started. 

“That’s the number one question, is where can I get seeds?” said Rash.  

To be blunt, the law might leave you bit dazed and confused.

It’s still illegal to sell marijuana seeds, clippings, or any part of the plant before 2024. In addition, the “gifting market,” like in Washington D.C., isn’t legal either. 

So what can you do? It might take a joint effort with fellow growers. 

“Just network,” Rash said. “Talk to your neighbors, talk to you know, start little groups and trade plants and do like we’ve been doing with houseplants for years around here.” 

The law calls it “adult sharing,” or transferring one ounce or less as long as it’s not considered payment for a service.

How to acquire those seeds for it to become a plant legally is still hazy.

DIGITAL EXTRA: Dave Rash gives WFXR News a look at his set up to grow Cannabis indoors.

After calls to a number of a state agencies, WFXR News finally heard back from Gov. Ralph Northam’s Office. Here’s what we were told: 

“Adult sharing” refers to sharing one ounce or less of marijuana, or marijuana seeds, between persons who are 21 years or older without remuneration. It does not include instances in which (i) marijuana is given away contemporaneously with another reciprocal transaction between the same parties; (ii) a gift of marijuana is offered or advertised in conjunction with an offer for the sale of goods or services; or (iii) a gift of marijuana is contingent upon a separate reciprocal transaction for goods or services.”

Even though Rash can’t give you seeds at his store, he’s still ready to be your best bud.

“It’s a difficult plant to grow so people have a lot of questions,” he said.  

According to Rash, he’s got answers now that the marijuana business is officially open in Virginia.

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