Qualified patients for the first time have above-ground access to cannabis products dispensed at state-licensed facilities. On Saturday, the state’s first operational dispensary will begin providing products to state-qualified patients.
State lawmakers first approved legislation in 2015 to provide an affirmative defense from prosecution for select patients who possess CBD-dominant extract products. Lawmakers later amended and expanded the law to establish a state-regulated cannabis access program and to ensure that no one may be penalized for their participation in it. Under the program, patients with a recommendation from their physician may possess up to a 90-day supply cannabis products.
Medical cannabis products, as defined under the law, must contain a minimum of 5 mg of CBD or THC-A, and may contain up to 10 mg of THC per dose. Products permitted under the law may be in any formulation, including but not limited to preparations like inhalation products, oils, tinctures, creams, sprays, suppositories, lozenges, and gummies. Nearly 6,000 Virginians are registered to participate in the program.
“Five long years after beginning the legislative process to bring medical cannabis to Virginians, we are thrilled to celebrate the grand opening of the Commonwealth’s first dispensary,” said NORML Development Director Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as Virginia NORML Executive Director. “This day could not come soon enough for the thousands of Virginians who have been waiting patiently for in-state access to safe, regulated products. Virginia NORML has been on the front lines of this effort every step of the way, and I’m so proud of our members’ tireless work to make this a reality.”