FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Richmond, Va - Senator Siobhan Dunnavant's SB1557 to clarify and improve the regulation of pharmaceutical processors is heading to the governor's desk after unanimously passing its final vote in the Senate.
Virginia medical cannabis patients can now look forward to a greater range of products available in full therapeutic strengths. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants will soon be able to register as authorized practitioners, reducing healthcare costs for both patients and providers.
SB1557 better aligns with prevailing medical cannabis research by allowing pharmaceutical processors to dispense full therapeutic-strength medical cannabis products.
“Last year we passed unanimously the historic Let Doctors Decide bill that expanded patient access to our medical cannabis program,” said Senator Dunnavant, a medical doctor from Henrico. “We got a lot of things right, but there are some screws that can be tightened so the law better benefits the health and well-being of all Virginians.”
Virginia NORML has worked alongside the senator in her continued efforts advancing patient-focused medical cannabis policies.
“Ensuring patient access and controlling costs are vital to the success of Virginia’s medical cannabis program,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML. “A positive outcome seen in states with robust programs is an average 25% reduction in opioid overdose fatalities, reduced opiate consumption, and reduced prescription drug-use. These adjustments will significantly increase the potential for similar benefits in the Commonwealth."
In addition, the bill will foster better health outcomes by promulgating regulations to allow a greater range of medical cannabis products.
“Virginia patients need safe access to full therapeutic-strength medical cannabis products,” said Pedini. “These common sense clarifications to the regulations will make for a smoother system, and better outcomes for patients, providers, and the community at large.”
Join Virginia NORML chapters around the state this month for Legislative Update and Volunteer Training events. In March, chapters will host presentations of Accessing Medical Cannabis in Virginia.