The Status of Marijuana Laws & Cannabis Legalization in VA
In recent Virginia cannabis news, Senate Bill 1133 was passed. This legislation establishes a framework for the creation of a retail marijuana market in the Commonwealth, which would be administered by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. The bill allows the Authority to begin issuing marijuana licenses on July 1, 2024.
Until COVID-19, Virginia’s strictly limited cannabis program was one of the most restrictive in the U.S. Though the state decriminalized small amounts of cannabis before COVID-19, fining residents the lowest U.S. fine of $25, it still had a limited list of qualifying conditions. But that changed. Now that list can now be broadened based on a physician’s diagnosis and approval.
According to the bill, SB 1557, the medical cannabis program now “authorizes licensed physician assistants and licensed nurse practitioners to issue a written certification for use of cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil,” and “the bill requires the Board to promulgate regulations establishing dosage limitations, which shall require that each dispensed dose of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil not exceed 10 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol.”
On April 7, 2021, the state house voted to create an automatic expungement of criminal records for misdemeanors. It allows VA residents to expunge their criminal records with the police and state regarding marijuana possession, along with underage possession charges of alcohol or tobacco. This is set to begin on July 1, 2022 and cannabis possession charges should be automatically expunged no later than July 1, 2026.
In addition to decriminalization, Virginia has approved the sale, cultivation, and manufacture of retail marijuana sales that is set to begin on January 1, 2024.
In April 2022, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed two pieces of legislation—HB 933 and SB 671—that eliminated the requirement that MMJ patients register with the Board of Pharmacy after receiving their written certification from a registered practitioner.
According to an update posted on the Virigina Board of Pharmacy’s website, “As of July 1, 2022, medical cannabis patients, parents or legal guardians are no longer required to register with the Board of Pharmacy. A Written Certification for the Use of Medical Cannabis from a Registered Practitioner for Medical Cannabis will still be required and must be presented at the dispensary, along with a government-issued ID, to obtain medical cannabis products. Showing proof of registration with the Board of Pharmacy will no longer be required.”
Patients who desire a physical MMJ card can request one by registering with the Board of Pharmacy for a fee of $50.
Please check out our dispensary locator to find the Virginia medical cannabis dispensary that is the closest to you.
Virginia Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions
Since 2019, Virginia allows either a doctor or other specified medical assistant to diagnose and prescribe CBD and THC-infused oils. Now that the list has broadened, patients who suffer from several conditions relieved by medical cannabis can now seek the needed relief. Some of the most common conditions that medical cannabis patients seek mmj cards for include:
Along with having any diagnosable condition, a patient must also prove they are a resident of Virginia with a valid driver’s license or state identification card.
Possession and Cultivation
The state allows up to 10 milligrams of THC in a single dose, which can be taken as many times a day as prescribed by a certified physician or medical assistant. Forms of allowable medical cannabis include capsules, sprays, tinctures, lozenges, creams, gels, patches, edibles, and inhalation devices. At present, 4 ounces of botanical cannabis (flower) is permitted per 30 days.
According to Virginia’s state website, home cultivation became legal on July 1, 2021. Adults 21 and over may grow up to four marijuana plants per household for personal use.
Someone who grows plants must:
- Ensure that no plant is visible from a public way;
- Take precautions to prevent unauthorized access by persons younger than 21 years of age; and
- Attach to each plant a legible tag that includes the person’s name, driver’s license or ID number, and a notation that the marijuana plant is being grown for personal use as authorized by law.
Registering as a Caregiver in VA
A Virginia caregiver must be designated by the state-registered patient as an assistant to be considered for approval. Once named, the caregiver must prove they are a resident of Virginia with a valid driver’s license or state identification card.
If the caregiver is applying to help a minor, they must include a copy of the patient’s birth certificate as part of their application. As a caregiver, you can only be registered to help two patients at a time. You will be charged a registration fee of $25 when applying as a parent or legal guardian to a minor.
Once approved, the caregiver will be allowed to purchase medicinal cannabis for the patient.
Accessing Medical Marijuana
Virginia, like many states, now has a formal medical cannabis program. The certification process was overseen by the Virginia Department of Health Professions and the Pharmacy Board, but as of July 1, 2022, patients are no longer required to wait for certification from the Pharmacy Board.
Patients must obtain a written certification for the use of medical cannabis from a registered MMJ practitioner in Virginia and present this certification at the dispensary in order to access medical cannabis.
A registered patient can currently access a 90-day supply of THC-A or CBD oil, or four ounces of botanical cannabis (flower), per 30 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
The medical marijuana program is only available to Virginia residents. In applying for a medical marijuana card, one must provide the following: full name, date of birth, address, telephone number, and email address if any, a valid ID, and at least 18 years of age, else you will need to provide consent from a parent or guardian. And a statement that indicates your age and residency. Book your appointment with a doctor provided to you by Veriheal first to review your ailments and medical condition.
The medical evaluation usually takes 10-15 minutes. If you are not approved then your consultation is free. We entail a network of highly qualified medical practitioners who are willing to evaluate any patient to see if they qualify for medical cannabis. We have a 99% approval rate so if you are not approved, you are refunded in full.
No, you can not. You can only get approved for medical marijuana from a practitioner that has registered with the Virginia medical marijuana program. And for that, we provide you a physician so you do not need to go through your primary care physicians.
Any diagnosed condition or disease determined by the physician to benefit from the use of cannabis will qualify you for medical cannabis.
If you have medical records, be sure to provide them. If not, the physician will establish them with you.
The cost is $149 and that covers your medical evaluation, your consultation with a licensed VA practitioner registered with the state, and an authorized certification for medical marijuana purchases.
Dispensaries in Virginia have begun to open! Also, Washington, DC dispensaries now offer reciprocity to VA residents. We’ll do our best to continue to add new dispensaries here for you to view.
Virginia is currently allowing several forms of medical cannabis to be purchased at statewide dispensaries including edibles, extracts and concentrates, topicals, tinctures, and vape products. However, you are still unable to buy cannabis flower in any of the state-approved medical dispensaries.
Yes, the process for renewing your card with Veriheal is simple in Virginia. Annually, Veriheal will get in touch with you when your certification is approaching its expiration to help you set up a renewal consultation.