In 2017, a law was enacted in Virginia that allowed people with specific types of intractable epilepsy to access cannabis oil, as long as they had a doctor certify they needed it and it could help with their condition. Since then, the medical cannabis program in the state has grown and improved exponentially.
On July 1, 2020, Virginia lawmakers passed perhaps the most significant improvements. Essentially, patients who have access to MMJ in Virginia now cannot be prosecuted for possession of marijuana. Amendments also gave patients with conditions other than epilepsy access to medical marijuana if a certified physician recommends it.
More people than ever now have access to a viable new treatment for a variety of different conditions. But how do you apply to the Virginia MMJ program? If you’re wondering “How can I get a medical marijuana card in Virginia?”, read on – we’ve got all the details you need to know right here.
How to get a medical cannabis card in Virginia
To get a medical marijuana card in Virginia, a person must first be diagnosed with a medical condition that benefits from the use of cannabis; have a written certification from a medical marijuana doctor registered in the state; and have proof that they live in Virginia.
As mentioned above, any disorder presenting with symptoms that can benefit from medical marijuana can qualify for a Virginia MMJ card. However, there is a list of the most common conditions that are treated using cannabis in the state.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
- Wasting syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Non-epileptic seizure disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s disease
- IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sickle cell anemia
- Tourette’s syndrome
People without the conditions listed above can contact their physician for direction to see if they may also qualify for a Virginia medical marijuana card.
How much is a medical marijuana card in VA?
The fees for getting a medical marijuana card vary depending on the state. In Virginia, the cost is $50 per year for every year you are eligible. An initial $50 is also required for registration. This cost keeps patients up to date and able to access their medicinal marijuana when they need it.
The cost of purchasing medical marijuana in Virginia will be set by each dispensary as per their own discretion, so how much you will have to pay for your medicine will differ depending on where you go. Insurance does not cover medical marijuana.
How long does it take to get a medical marijuana card after approval?
The approval process for getting a medical card in Virginia does not take a long time. Your application will first be reviewed and processed by the Board of Pharmacy to determine if you have all your documentation and are eligible for the program.
Once that is complete and you are approved, you will only have to wait 30 days or less to get your card. The state is also looking to hire more people at the Board of Pharmacy to decrease these waiting times in the future.
What are the benefits of getting a medical cannabis card?
If you suffer from a condition that qualifies, getting access to medical marijuana can benefit you greatly. Many people who choose MMJ as part of their treatment plan report better outcomes in symptom management and a return to daily activities.
Medical marijuana can be especially helpful for those who haven’t found any relief from their symptoms through traditional forms of treatment, or those who need a supplemental and more natural course of treatment because they cannot tolerate certain medications or their side effects.
What are the rules in Virginia for medical marijuana card holders?
There are various rules that people with Virginia medical marijuana cards have to follow to ensure they are staying within the legal parameters of use. These laws revolve around the use, products, and amounts of cannabis a person can possess.
When it comes to the products available, cannabis extracts that have five to ten milligrams of CBD or THC-A per dose are the only type Virginia residents can access. These cannabis extracts can come in the form of:
- Inhalation products
- Cannabis flower
Patients with valid Virginia medical cards are limited to a 90-day supply of medical cannabis, which will range depending on their prescribed dosage and their doctor’s recommendations. However, when it comes to possessing whole plant cannabis, you can only have up to four ounces in a 30-day period.
Virginia was the 34th state to jump on board with the legalization of medical cannabis, and they are continuing to improve policies that provide access and protection to people who require MMJ treatment. If you’re an eligible patient, why not start your application to get a medical marijuana card in Virginia today?