Sales of cannabis flower in Virginia began this month when dispensaries in Manassas, Portsmouth, and Richmond received the final product approvals from the Board of Pharmacy, the state agency which currently regulates medical cannabis.
Under the state’s prior medical cannabis law, licensed cultivators were required to process cannabis into non-herbal formulations, such as oils and tinctures. This new measure expands the pool of legal products available to consumers to also include "botanical cannabis."
NORML’s Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the Executive Director for Virginia NORML says, "Virginia patients are finally able to seek the relief they need with the products that work best for their symptoms. Botanical cannabis remains the most popular formulation among consumers and among older consumers in particular. Limiting patients' options to extracted formulations was not in their best interests. Botanical cannabis contains more than 100 distinct cannabinoids, many of which act synergistically with one another, producing an effect many scientists believe is necessary in order for patients to achieve maximum therapeutic benefit."
Democratic Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation, House Bill 2218 and Senate Bill 1333, amending the state’s medical cannabis access law to allow for the production and dispensing of botanical cannabis products. The measure took effect July 1, 2021. Medical cannabis dispensaries began operating in Virginia in the fall of 2020.