Becoming a Patient in Virginia

In 2015, HB 1445 was signed into law. The law associated with CBD/THC-A was updated in 2016 through SB 701.  These acts create an affirmative legal defense for patients with intractable epilepsy using CBD or THC-A cannabis extracts which contain at least 15% CBD or THC-A and less than 5% THC by weight with a doctor’s written certification.

What's Legal

Legal protections for medical cannabis patients in Virginia are limited to an affirmative legal protection against prosecution. Only patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy may possess and use cannabis oil that contains no more than 5% THC or 15% CBD. SB 701 permits pharmaceutical processors who has obtained a permit from the Board of Pharmacy to manufacture CBD or THC-A. 

Eligible Conditions

A patient must be diagnosed with intractable epilepsy.

Application Process

A practitioner (either a neurologist or a doctor who specializes in treatment of epilepsy) completes a written certification for his or her patient, which may be used as an affirmative legal defense in case of prosecution.

Doctor

A neurologist or a doctor who specializes in treatment of epilepsy licensed by the Board of Medicine may issue a written certification that CBD or THC-A extracts will alleviate the symptoms of their patients’ intractable epilepsy.

Access/Caregivers

The law does not provide for legal protections to caregivers. 

Consumption

The law does not restrict where patients may consume cannabis oil.

Age Limits

There are no age restrictions for patients under the Virginia law.

Confidentiality

The Board of Pharmacy will provide regulations to implement a registration process including a mechanism for identifying the practitioner issuing the written certification, and the patient being treated.  Information obtained under the registration process shall be confidential and not subject to disclosure provisions under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.  However, reasonable access to the information shall be provided to (i) the Chairmen of the House and Senate Committees for Courts of Justice, (ii) state and federal agencies or local law enforcement for the purpose of investigating or prosecuting a specific individual for a specific violation of law, (iii) licensed physicians or pharmacists for the purpose of providing patient care and drug therapy management and monitoring of drugs obtained by a registered patient, (iv) a pharmaceutical processor involved in the treatment of a registered patient, or (v) a registered patient or, if such patient is a minor or an incapacitated adult as defined in §18.2-369, the patient's parent or legal guardian, but only with respect to information related to such registered patient.

Housing

The law does not contain housing discrimination protection for patients.

Employment

The law does not contain employment discrimination protection for patients.

Insurance

The law does not require insurance companies to pay for cannabis oil treatment.

Out of State Patients

There are no protections for patients with an out of state medical marijuana ID card or physician's recommendation, even for intractable epilepsy.