Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has vetoed a bill that would have established adult-use cannabis sales in the state.

Youngkin, a Republican, said in his veto statement that the proposed legalization would “endanger Virginians’ health and safety.”

“States following this path have seen adverse effects on children’s and adolescent’s health and safety, increased gang activity and violent crime, significant deterioration in mental health, decreased road safety, and significant costs associated with retail marijuana that far exceed tax revenue,” he said. “It also does not eliminate the illegal black-market sale of cannabis, nor guarantee product safety.”

Youngkin also said states that have legalized adult-use cannabis have “generally failed” at controlling the illicit market, adding that “meaningful net increase in state tax revenues” have not materialized.

“States with legal retail cannabis have been challenged in transitioning their existing, robust black-markets into legal, regulated and taxed markets,” he said. “As a result, their projected revenues have fallen short of expectations and forecasts.”

Virginia’s Senate and House of Delegates passed identical cannabis control bills in February. The legislation would’ve allowed the state’s Cannabis Control Authority to begin issuing licenses in September, but retail sales wouldn’t have begun until May 1, 2025.

In terms of edibles, this legislation would have set the THC cap at 10 mg per serving and 100 mg per package.

Virginia originally adopted adult-use cannabis in 2021, with sales to begin Jan. 1, 2024. However, a re-enactment clause requiring Virginia’s legislature to reapprove a sales provision was not revisited after the Republican takeover of the House of Delegates that same year.

Democrats regained control of Virginia’s House last year. Senator Aaron R. Rouse and Delegate Paul E. Krizek, both Democrats, introduced the new adult-use legislation in January.

Nonetheless, Youngkin has been a vocal opponent of adult-use cannabis, telling reporters in January, as reported by the Associated Press, that it was an area he had “no interest in.”