Marijuana Submission Guidelines

Marijuana Submission Guidelines – As of July 1, 2023

The table below summarizes current submission guidelines for marijuana evidence, based on the marijuana legislation that went into effect on July 1, 2023. This guidance is applicable to evidence submitted alone or with other suspected controlled substances.



  • Possession of marijuana and marijuana products (§ 4.1-1100)  

Accepted: Quantities over 4 ounces   

Accepted with Limitations: Contested civil offenses (greater than 1 ounce but less than 4 ounces) submitted by law enforcement   

Not Accepted: Quantities under 1 ounce OR uncontested civil offenses 

Accepted: Five or more separately packaged plants or portions thereof, if a plant count is needed   

Not Accepted: Four or less plants, or portions thereof 

  • Possession of marijuana and marijuana products by individuals under the age of 21 (§ 4.1-1105.1) 
  •  Other misdemeanors with no weight thresholds (§§ 4.1-1107, 4.1-1108, 4.1-1109, and 4.1-1110) 
  •  Manufacture, Sell, Distribute or PWID Marijuana (§ 18.2-248.1) 
  • Offering for sale or selling at retail a substance that has total THC that is outside the legal limit for hemp products (§ 3.2-4112) or industrial hemp extracts (§ 3.2-5145.1) and would, therefore, meet the definition of marijuana under Virginia Code §§ 4.1-600 and 18.2-247    
  • Possession of marijuana by prisoners (§ 53.1-203(6)) and delivery of marijuana to prisoners (§ 18.2-474.1)   

Accepted: All weighable quantities (not residue amounts) seized during criminal investigations or were the subject of controlled purchases 

Not Accepted: Edibles in violation of labeling and packaging requirements as described in §§ 3.2-4123 or 3.2-5145.4:1 or inhalants in violation of labeling and packaging requirements as described in § 3.2-4123 [contact the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) for enforcement guidance] 


DFS remains unable to distinguish whether any cannabinoids identified in edibles, seeds, or residues are hemp-derived or marijuana-derived due to low THC concentration, insufficient sample quantity, or complex sample matrix.

For cannabis edibles, DFS can currently identify cannabinoids that may be present in a food product but cannot quantify the THC concentration. The Department, however, has established a contract to allow for outsourcing evidence to a private laboratory to provide this analysis. For edible items, initial examination and qualitative identification of THC isomers will be performed by the Department. Should the item(s) be suitable for THC quantitation, DFS examiners will contact submitting agencies to determine if this type of analysis is needed. The Department will use caseload and customer needs to guide the decision whether to develop and validate an in-house method for food products.

For more information, see the Policy Notice

Statutory References:

§ 4.1-1100 – Possession, etc., of marijuana and marijuana products by persons 21 years of age or older lawful; penalties

§ 4.1-1105.1 – Possession of marijuana or marijuana products unlawful in certain cases; venue; exceptions; penalties; treatment and education programs and services

§ 4.1-1107 – Using or consuming marijuana or marijuana products while in a motor vehicle being driven upon a public highway; penalty

§ 4.1-1108 – Consuming marijuana or marijuana products, or offering to another, in public place; penalty

§ 4.1-1109 – Consuming or possessing marijuana or marijuana products in or on public school grounds; penalty

§ 4.1-1110 – Possessing or consuming marijuana or marijuana products while operating a school bus; penalty

§ 18.2-248.1 – Penalties for sale, gift, distribution or possession with intent to sell, give or distribute marijuana