Changes in Virginia marijuana laws take effect July 1

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:50 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - New laws take effect July 1 in Virginia, and one of them will make it easier for people to purchase medical marijuana.

Current law requires a medical cannabis card issued by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, but starting Friday, patients will only need a written certification from a registered practitioner.

“It’s a huge win for the patients of the Commonwealth, which will really help drive the medical cannabis industry in Virginia,” said Trent Woloveck, Chief Commercial Director at Jushi, one of the companies that is authorized to grow, process and retail medical marijuana in the state.

In an interview with WDBJ7, Woloveck said the current process has created a backlog of applications

“That process to get that card back was taking upwards of 5 to 6 months, when your registration from your practitioner only lasted 12 months, so it was really the bottleneck in the process.”

Hearings during the General Assembly produced little or no opposition to the change.

JM Pedini is with NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

“We hear from dozens of patients each week who are trying to navigate the registration process, so this is a huge improvement and will make the process much easier for those looking to access medical cannabis in Virginia,” Pedini said Thursday afternoon.

July 1 will bring a another change in Virginia law that marijuana advocates were not happy to see.

Public possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana will now be subject to a criminal misdemeanor. In the case of edible products, four ounces could represent a relatively small amount.

“Virginians can quickly run afoul of this new law by possessing edibles in public,” Pedini said, “so our advice is leave the edibles at home.”

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