Virginia Legal Information
February of 2015 marked the signing of HB 1445, extending some legal protections to patients using CBD or THCA extracts. This law protects patients using those specific medicines from prosecution but not arrest. HB 1445 failed to develop any kind of cultivation, production or distribution system thereby forcing Virginians to travel to another state that extends medical access to non-residents.
However, in 2016, the legislature pass SB 701 which authorized the Board of Pharmacy to develop regulations for the licensing of cultivation and distribution organizations. SB 701 required re-authorization by the General Assembly again in 2017.
Governor McAuliffe signed SB 1027 into law in March of 2017, which authorizes a pharmaceutical processor, after obtaining a permit from the Board of Pharmacy (the Board) and under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, to manufacture and provide cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil to be used for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.
In early 2018, Governor Ralph Northam signed HB1251, expanding the affirmative defense for possession of medical cannabis oils to any diagnosed condition, allowing doctors to recommend rather than the legislature.
In This Section
The law does not provide for legal protections to caregivers. SB 701 permits pharmaceutical processors who has obtained a permit from the Board of Pharmacy to manufacture CBD or THC-A.
HB1445 creates an affirmative legal defense for patients who use certain CBD or THC-A extracts with the written certification of a doctor.
HB 1251 creates an affirmative legal defense for patients 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 doctors written certification.
In order to complete a written certification in Virginia, a physician must be licensed by the Board of Medicine. Doctors may recommend low THC cannabis oils for individuals with any condition if the doctor believes it will benefit the patient.
Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.