The First Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Virginia Opens This Month

However, legalization doesn't take effect for another three years.

By Arianna Coghill
August 10, 2020

A total of four dispensaries are set to open this year, as Virginia catches up with other states on legalized cannabis.

Medical marijuana is officially coming to the commonwealth this month. 

According to Virginia NORML, four medical marijuana dispensaries are opening: Dharma in Bristol, Green Leaf in Richmond, Columbia Care in Portsmouth and Beyond/Hello in Manassas. 

Dharma said that they plan to open in mid-August while Green Leaf said they hope to open in October. Columbia Care and Beyond/Hello have not yet provided opening dates. 

And recent legislation will allow licensed processors to open five more dispensaries in designated ”Health Serivce” regions throughout the state.

This isn’t the only change in Virginia when it comes to marijuana. In July, Virginians are no longer going to get jail time for having marijuana. The citation is now treated more like a traffic ticket, with a potential monetary fine. 

Here’s everything you need to know about registering for medical marijuana. 

Am I Eligible for the Medical Marijuana Program in Virginia? 

You can qualify for the medical marijuana program as long as you have a condition that a registered practitioner thinks could benefit from cannabis treatment. If you’re unsure if your condition qualifies, talk to your provider about your symptoms. 

How Do I Register?

Currently, there are three separate registration processes depending on whether or not you’re a practitioner, patient or parent/ guardian of a patient, or a registered agent. However, all the applications must be processed through the Virginia Department of Health Professions (DHP) Initial Applications site

Each application reportedly takes 7 to 10 days to process and must be renewed annually. 

The fee is $50 for patients and $25 practitioners, parents/guardians and registered agents. For further details, visit NORML’s site

What Do I Need in Order To Register? 

The following 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

You also need to provide written certification from a Board of Pharmacy registered practitioner. 

Can My Doctor Give Me a Written Certification?  

Only a registered practitioner can supply written certification for medical cannabis products. However, if your doctor isn’t currently registered, they can do so if they get in contact with the Board of Pharmacy. 

To find a practitioner, go here

For further information on medical cannabis in the commonwealth, visit the Virginia Medical Cannabis Coalition or Virginia NORML

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