What’s the current law in Virginia regarding cannabis containing products?
In Virginia, state law allows cannabinoid oils for medical use with certification from a doctor and with guidance from a pharmacist. These oils are only available from specially licensed Pharmaceutical Processors. Flowers & leaves of plants are not allowed by this legislation. CBD oil available online or in drugstores is also not permitted..
How does a patient purchase cannabinoid oils in Virginia?
- First, the patient or patient’s guardian must obtain a written certification from a registered physician
- Next, the patient or guardian may register with the Board of Pharmacy (only after getting a certification).
- Finally, patients may visit a Pharmaceutical Processor to meet with a pharmacist and purchase products
Where can I find a doctor who can write a certification?
Patients can find a list of doctors who are registered to write certifications on Virginia’s Department of Health Professions License Lookup page: https://dhp.virginiainteractive.org/Lookup/Index. Under “Occupation” select “Registered Physician For CBD/THC-A Oil.” Currently 209 providers are registered.
What conditions may be treated with CBD/THC-A oil?
Virginia doesn’t have a list of qualifying conditions. This means that physicians may write a certification for any indication where they feel the patient will benefit.
How do I register with the Board of Pharmacy?
Information about patient registration can be found on the VA Board of Pharmacy website: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/pharmacy/PharmaceuticalProcessing/FAQ.htm
Patients may only register after getting a written certification from a physician.
Can I buy cannabinoid-containing products at the drugstore, online, or in a different state?
No. Only these five processors are licensed to sell cannabinoid oils:
- Health Service Area 1: PharmaCann Virginia
- Health Service Area 2: Dalitso
- Health Service Area 3: Dharma Pharmaceuticals
- Health Service Area 4: Green Leaf Medical of Virginia
- Health Service Area 5: Columbia Care
View Health Service Areas here: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/pharmacy/docs/VAHealthServiceAreas.pdf
Why do I need to purchase oils from a licensed processor?
Virginia’s pharmaceutical processors are run by pharmacists. The pharmacist provides education, guidance, and will meet individually with each patient on their first visit to the facility. Also, processors are required to meet rigorous quality and safety standards. Unregulated products contain varying amounts of CBD and THC, and sometimes contain more or less active ingredient than it says on the label. Virginia only allows licensed processors to produce the oils so that you and your doctor can be confident that you are getting a safe and consistent dose under the guidance of a pharmacist.
Are unregulated CBD products safe?
In addition to containing varying amounts of active ingredient, dangerous chemicals have also been found in unregulated CBD products.
I’ve seen CBD oil for sale online, or in another state. Didn’t the 2018 Farm Bill make this legal?
The Board of Pharmacy cannot advise as to whether a pharmacy may legally sell industrial hemp-derived CBD products. Board counsel recommends that pharmacies consult with their attorneys should they need legal advice on this subject.
Will Virginia law ever change to allow oils with a higher concentration of THC-A or CBD? Or different dosage forms such as edibles?
This is a rapidly-changing area of law! Healthcare providers are likely to hear frequent patient questions about this topic, and the Virginia Pharmacists Association is watching this issue carefully. Healthcare providers are encouraged to join the Academy of Medical Cannabis to receive regular updates.