Virginia’s General Assembly has passed a bill overnight allowing for the legal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, making it the 16th US state to legalise recreational use.

Residents aged 21 and over will be able to possess, use and grow marijuana from July 1, but it could take several years for recreational dispensaries to receive licences.

Governor Ralph Northam has indicated his willingness to sign the bill, and previously moved its implementation date forward to July from January 1, 2024.