Cannabis is prohibited everywhere. Even in Netherlands it is prohibited. If you go ask around in a weed-friendly area of Richmond, you might get ripped off, get bad stuff or get mugged.
For you growing cannabis in Richmond, VA can be a positive experience.
It provides reliability, however you have to keep some things in mind.
Sunlight is the important thing for growing of cannabis. Without direct light cannabis plant will be stunted. The most important issue is to hide your pot from detection. That is why you consider indoor growing with grow lights.
Soil vs Hydroponics
There are many gardening methods available.
When marijuana is grown in dirt, organic nutrients should be added to the soil. If plants are grown with hydroponic system, the water contains nutrients.
Hydroponics also excludes insects or pesticides.