FOREST, Va. (WDBJ) – After losing their jobs because of the pandemic, Lynchburg couple Kendall and Melissa Witt have fully embraced a new Virginia law that allows the personal use of marijuana.
They’ve just opened a business called Peaks View Hydro, and it’s an organic gardening store with a newly-public customer base.
“Since the legalization of marijuana, we have everything that you would need to literally grow,” says owner Melissa Witt. “That would include soils, nutrients, grow tents, lights, meters to make sure that you have the perfect environment and pH to make your plants grow.”
The couple says this is the only grow store mostly catered to cannabis growers in a 40-mile radius.
With all the supplies available, a few things will not be found in the new store.
“We don’t grow anything here and we can’t give seeds out,” adds Witt.
“It is very clearly legal to sell ancillary products if you don’t sell marijuana or marijuana seeds,” notes Greg Habeeb, a consultant with Gentry Locke Law firm.
This distinction resulted from Governor Northam’s legalization of personal marijuana use this past July ahead of the legal commercialization of marijuana that is scheduled to take place in the coming years.
Currently, individuals are allowed to have four marijuana each plants for personal use in their homes, carry up to one ounce outside their home, and consume marijuana in a private setting. It is illegal to sell marijuana or marijuana seeds in the state of Virginia. Those laws will change in the coming years per the Virginia General Assembly, as more formal regulations and processes are finalized.
“It’s not unprecedented for a state to have this sort of limbo between legalization and commercialization, but it is a very awkward time,” notes Habeeb, adding this phase can make it confusing for the public to thoroughly understand the laws.
However, for the Witts, it’s a time to plant their business while returning to their roots in the Roanoke Valley.
“I want all this to be 100% legit,” says owner Kendall Witt. “And I want to stay legit because I want the community to see that we respect everything that they ask us to do and moving forward, we’d like to get that respect in return.”
The owners say about 70% of their inventory is geared toward cannabis growers; the rest includes supplies for organic fruit and gardening materials.
Peaks View Hydro will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The business is at 2767 E. Lynchburg Salem Turnpike. Forest, VA 24551.
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