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House GOP blocks recreational marijuana sales from beginning this year

A House of Delegates subcommittee Monday voted down legislation that would have allowed recreational marijuana sales to begin this September.

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A House of Delegates subcommittee Monday voted down legislation that would have allowed recreational marijuana sales to begin this September.

The bill, which had passed the Democratic-controlled Senate last week, died on a party-line vote, with Republicans opposing.

“I think this is a bigger issue than we can correct in two weeks’ time,” said Del. Jeff Campbell, R-Smyth.

Democrats on the panel urged their GOP colleagues to reconsider. “The longer we wait to have a regulated market, the harder it will be to compete with that illicit market,” said Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond.

The General Assembly voted last year to allow people to possess and grow marijuana, but lawmakers have so far been unable to agree on legalized recreational sales. Democrats had set an initial goal of opening sales in 2024 but decided over the summer that was too long to wait, citing concerns that people were openly flouting the state’s ban on sales.

Marijuana is still illegal to sell in Va., but that’s not stopping retailers (including a senator)

Currently, the only legal way to obtain marijuana in Virginia is to grow it, get it as a gift or buy it from a medical dispensary with a prescription.

The politics became more complex after Democrats lost their majority in the House of Delegates in the November elections, leaving Republicans who opposed legalization to broker a final deal.

Coming into the legislative session, Republicans said they would address the issue, framing it as a mess Democrats had left them to clean up.  But as the session progressed, it became clear the House GOP caucus was unable to reach an internal consensus on the issue.

The chamber never docketed GOP bills that would have advanced legalization alongside Republican priorities like dedicating new tax revenue to school construction.

With Monday’s vote, Republicans promised to revisit the issue next year, making some time in mid to late 2023 the earliest retail sales could begin.

“Virginia Democrats made a great big mess when they legalized marijuana without putting any regulatory or retail structure in place,” said House Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, in a tweet. “We are left having to clean up their mess and we will not make it worse by rushing to fix it.”

House Republicans did advance legislation proposed by Del. Emmet Hanger, R-Augusta, which would regulate sales of delta-8 THC products, which give users a similar high as traditional marijuana but whose producers argue is technically legal under state and federal law.

The products have sprung up in specialty shops, gas stations, and health markets.

Hanger’s bill would unambiguously bar sales until the recreational marijuana market opens.

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Business

New full-service commercial kitchen, fast casual food hall opens Wednesday

The new facility consists of 16 kitchen suites, each operating unique dining concepts. For the initial launch, ChefSuite has announced three restaurant concepts available for pick-up or delivery through their website, order.chefsuite.com, or through DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, and other delivery apps.

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ChefSuite, a full-service commercial cooking facility and fast-casual food hall, will open its flagship location in midtown at 4711 W. Broad Street this Wednesday. The brainchild of co-founders Jay Modi and Jarnail Tucker, and Chairman Andrew Kadish, ChefSuite provides ghost kitchens for both new restaurateurs and seasoned chefs, allowing them to open or expand their restaurant business at a fraction of the cost of a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant.

“ChefSuite’s mission is to provide a seamless experience for restaurateurs to focus on their dream,” Kadish said in a news release. “ChefSuite features a fool-proof system that supports our chef tenants with every opportunity to succeed.”

The new facility consists of 16 kitchen suites, each operating unique dining concepts. For the initial launch, ChefSuite has announced three restaurant concepts available for pick-up or delivery through their website, order.chefsuite.com, or through DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, and other delivery apps.

Restaurants at launch include On A Roll Italian Subs; Latin Quarter Kitchen, specializing in smashed plantain sandwiches; and A Pinch of Sugar, offering comfort food. Additional restaurant concepts will be added to ChefSuite’s offerings in the coming months, owners say.

For chef tenants, each suite is equipped with a CaptiveAire exhaust hood, commercial use sinks, gas/fire safety systems, grease traps, hot/cold water lines, industrial water heater, shelving, tablet, and order printer. ChefSuite also provides cold storage, a cooking oil removal system, third party app onboarding, consulting services, financial reporting, and substantial vendor discounts. ChefSuite offers tenants flexible lease terms with options to include cooking equipment.

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Business

Richmond Flying Squirrels hosting series of job fairs ahead of 2023 season

Positions are available in food & beverage, ticketing and operations for the team’s home games from April through September.

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The Richmond Flying Squirrels are looking to hire part-time, game-day positions for the upcoming baseball season. The team has three upcoming job fairs for interested candidates to fill out applications and find out information about available positions.

Positions are available in food & beverage, ticketing and operations for the team’s home games from April through September. Information on the Flying Squirrels’ upcoming job fairs can be found here. The 2023 game schedule can be found here.

The job fairs will take place at The Diamond (3001 N Arthur Ashe Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23230) on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, March 8, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 30, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Available positions include:

FOOD & BEVERAGE

TICKETING

OPERATIONS

Questions regarding game-day positions with the Flying Squirrels can be directed to [email protected].

The Flying Squirrels open the 2023 on Friday, April 7 against the Reading Fightin Phils. Individual-game tickets, including tickets for Opening Night, are available now online at SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, by phone at 804-359-FUNN (3866) or in person at the Flying Squirrels ticket office.

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Business

Feed More relocating food bank and other operations to new $40 million facility north of city

The local nonprofit confirmed to BizSense that it’s behind Project Nourish, the development plan recently filed with Henrico County for a wooded site at 8020 Villa Park Drive.

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From Richmond BizSense:

A code-named industrial project in the works near St. Joseph’s Villa has turned out to be the planned new home for regional food bank Feed More, setting the stage for a move that would free up some prime real estate near Richmond’s Diamond District.

The local nonprofit confirmed to BizSense that it’s behind Project Nourish, the development plan recently filed with Henrico County for a wooded site at 8020 Villa Park Drive.

The project name is a reference to Feed More’s slogan of “nourishing communities and empowering lives.”

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