Virginia Medical Cannabis FAQs

  

Did Virginia legalize medical cannabis?

Yes, July 1, 2020, possession of authorized medical cannabis products by those registered to participate in the state's program are provided explicit statutory legal protection. 

Are dispensaries open in Virginia?

Yes, Dharma Pharmaceuticals in Bristol opened October 17, 2020. Please visit Virginia Medical Cannabis Dispensaries for more information. 

gLeaf in Richmond has indicated they hope to by November 2020. There has not yet been any public statement from Columbia Care in Portsmouth or Beyond/Hello in Manassas regarding opening dates. 

How many medical cannabis dispensaries are there in Virginia?

In 2017, Virginia approved a regulatory program for the in-state production of extraction-based medical cannabis products by five providers, initially, one per Health Service Area (HSA), who will grow, extract, dispense and deliver the products. These licensed providersare called “pharmaceutical processors” in Code, and are simply vertically-integrated cannabis companies, meaning everything from growth through dispensation is done on one site by one company. 

Additionally, 2020 legislation allows the licensed processors to open an additional five "cannabis dispensing facilities" (dispensaries) in their Health Service Area.

What should I bring to the dispensary?

Patients must bring a valid, government issued ID, their medical cannabis card issued by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, and a printed copy of their unexpired written certification. 

Only patients and registered agents may enter the dispensary. Children, spouses, and aids are not permitted unless they are registered.

How much medical cannabis can I get?

A "90-day supply." This is ultimately determined by the pharmacist in consultation with the patient.

How do I register for a medical cannabis card in Virginia?

Please visit How to Register for more information.

Is there a list of practitioners who will make recommendations?

Yes, please visit Find a Practitioner for more information on finding a registered practitioner.

Can my doctor make a recommendation for me?

Only registered practitioners may issue the required written certification. Talk to your doctor and ask if they know about the medical cannabis program. Share the with them Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids, A Review of Recent Scientific Literature. Ask them to register with the Board of Pharmacy.

How much does it cost to register?

Fee is $50 for patients; $25 for parent/legal guardian or registered agent. 

What documentation is required to register?

  • Completed Certification from a registered practitioner
  • Proof of Patient’s Residency
  • Proof of Patient’s Identity
  • Proof of Patient’s Age
  • Proof of Parent/Guardian Residency
  • Proof of Parent/Guardian Identity
  • Proof of Parent/Guardian Age

 

How do I contact Board of Pharmacy?

Email pharmbd@dhp.virginia.gov
Phone: (804) 367-4444
Fax (804) 527-4472
Virginia Board of Pharmacy
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233-1463

Where are the pharmaceutical processors be located?  

HSA I 

A Request for Applications process for HSA I is open through 12/4/20.

HSA II DALITSO LLC

Dalitso LLC is dedicated to producing quality medical cannabis products for Virginians suffering from debilitating medical conditions.

This Northern Virginia-based provider of medical cannabis looks forward to serving patients in 2020.

HSA III DHARMA PHARMACEUTICALS

Dharma Pharmaceuticals is a locally owned company based in Bristol, Virginia and is committed to bringing high quality medical cannabis products to Virginia’s patients. With deep ties to southwest Virginia, we look forward to providing medical cannabis to Virginians seeking these new treatments.

HSA IV GREEN LEAF MEDICAL OF VIRGINIA, LLC

Green Leaf Medical of Virginia, LLC is committed to providing patients with safe and effective pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis products. Green Leaf also operates cannabis businesses in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio. For its Virginia operations, Green Leaf has partnered with local business owners, and is collaborating with physicians and medical researchers to offer residents the highest level of patient centered care.  Green Leaf Medical of Virginia is located in the capital city of Richmond.  

HSA V COLUMBIA CARE

Columbia Care is a patient-centered healthcare company setting the standard-of-care for medical cannabis. Its leadership draws seasoned professionals from medicine, law, finance, healthcare and operations who believe in this new frontier in medicine.

Is this only for oils?

No, SB1557 clarifies that "any formulation" may be dispensed. Patients can expect to see preparations like capsules, sprays, tinctures, oils, creams, gels, lozenges, patches, troches, suppositories, lollipops, and inhalation products.

Is it only CBD or low-THC preparations?

No, the products may contain up to 10 mg THC per dose. “Dose" means a single unit, like one capsule or one dropperful. “Dosage" is the total amount taken each time, for example 2 sprays 4 time per day. There are no limits on dosage.

Is flower allowed?

No, products allowed under the program are limited to extraction-based preparations.

Are edibles allowed?

Yes, edible products will be in forms such as lozenges, gelatin cubes, and lollipops.

Will doctors write prescriptions for medical cannabis?

No, doctors in the US cannot “prescribe" medical cannabis, but they can recommend it. Virginia practitioners issue written certifications, not prescriptions. 

Are the products psychoactive?

Yes, psychoactive means to affect the brain. Psychoactive does not​ explicitly mean intoxicating, psychotropic or hallucinogenic. 

Cannabidiol is psychoactive. If CBD were not psychoactive, it would not be an anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, or antidepressant. It is accurate to instead say CBD products are ​non-intoxicating​.

Preparations that contain higher amounts of THC may be intoxicating to some users.

Isn’t CBD already legal in all 50 states?

No, cannabidiol (CBD), like all organic cannabinoids, is considered by DEA, Congress, FDA, and NIDA to be a schedule I controlled substance under federal law. The DEA recently reaffirmed its position here.

But you can already buy CBD oil online!

These products are not required to meet any safety, quality, consistency, or labeling standards. Buyer beware!

Can I get medical cannabis at a medical dispensary in another state?

Maybe. States that offer reciprocity might allow you to purchase medicine for use while in that state. Calling the dispensary you plan to visit is the best way to answer that question. Washington, DC did not include Virginia in its list of states to which it offers reciprocity. Maryland’s program intended to allow non-resident participation but is still denying out-of-state applicants. 

Do I have to give up my legally obtained firearms?

The consensus at NORML is that the conclusion reached by the ATF and Justices of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is based on a broad interpretation of a 1968 federal law forbidding the sale of firearms to those considered an "unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance." At this point in time, no state is engaged in the sharing of data related to state-sanctioned activities of medical cannabis patients. So, unless a person responds "yes" to the question regarding their marijuana use on the NICS background check, the federal government has no real way to enforce this outdated law. Furthermore, since the passage of Rohrabacher-Farr, the DOJ cannot use federal funds to prosecute medical cannabis patients who are engaged in state-sanctioned activity. 

To address this current conflict between state-legal medical cannabis use and federal law related to purchasing firearms, Representative Denver Riggleman (R-VA) has cosponsored H.R. 2071 which states, “an individual shall not be treated as an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance based on the individual using marijuana for medical purposes in accordance with State law.”

There is no credible justification for a ‘marijuana exception’ to the US Constitution. Responsible patients who use cannabis in a manner that is compliant with the laws of their state or territory ought to receive the same legal rights and protections as do other citizens. That's why members of Congress must act swiftly to protect the Second Amendment Rights of medical cannabis patients from undue federal interference. Contact your Representative in support here.

Remember, make good choices.

  1. Don't consume your cannabis medicine in public.
  2. Don't take it out of your home unless absolutely necessary.
  3. Keep your patient registration card with your cannabis medicine at all times.
  4. If you must travel with your cannabis medicine, place it in a locked container in your trunk.
  5. Don't drive impaired. Ever.
  6. Don't post on social media about your cannabis medicine. 

  

I have more questions!

Great! We’re here to help. Feel free to contact Virginia NORML at 804-464-7050 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM.