Is Virginia a Medical Marijuana State?

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Shatha Atiya on March 6, 2024

Welcome to our overview of whether Virginia is a medical marijuana state.

By the end of this page, you will have the answers to these questions:

  • Is Virginia a medical marijuana state?
  • Does Virginia have a medical marijuana program?
  • How do I apply for a medical marijuana card in Virginia?

All the information on this page comes from the official Virginia Cannabis Control Authority website. So, you can trust you are reading an accurate and up-to-date resource. Let’s proceed.

Does Virginia have a Medical Marijuana Program?

Unlike most states that have legalized medical marijuana, Virginia doesn’t have a dedicated medical marijuana program. Instead, the Virginia Department of Health Professions, through the Board of Pharmacy, regulates medical marijuana in the state. Some functions include enabling patient access to medicinal cannabis, approving practitioners to certify patients, and regulating marijuana processors; essentially, the roles of a medical marijuana program.

As mentioned earlier, patients have two options. First, they can get certified by a Board of Pharmacy-licensed physicians and use their certification to obtain cannabis. Alternatively, they can get certified and then proceed to apply for a Virginia medical marijuana card. Either way, you must get certified by a medical marijuana doctor in VA. 

Also, there are no qualifying conditions for a medical card in Virginia. So, it is up to your MMJ doctor to determine whether you could benefit from cannabis treatment. In most cases, cannabis doctors will consider cannabis treatment if you are suffering from:

  • A chronic medical condition whose treatment could lead to physical or psychological dependence.
  • Or a chronic medical condition that causes severe, debilitating psychiatric disorders.

To get an idea of what medical conditions may qualify you for medical cannabis in Virginia, review our Virginia Medical Card Requirements page.

How to Register with the Virginia Medical Marijuana Program

Registering as a patient with the Virginia medical marijuana state program is an easy process. To begin, patients must book an appointment with a registered Virginia medical marijuana doctor and get certified. Next, certified patients should create an account with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy Web Portal (DHP Virginia). After creating an account, patients need to complete their application on the portal and then scan and email the required documents to the Board of Pharmacy.

All patients should keep in mind the following basic Virginia medical card requirements:

  • Only residents of Virginia qualify for the state medical marijuana program.
  • Only Board-registered medical marijuana doctors in VA can provide valid written marijuana recommendations.
  • The minimum age requirement for medical marijuana is eighteen (18) years old.
  • Minor patients may qualify if their parent or legal guardian applies on their behalf.

Patients must pay a non-refundable $50 government fee, and parents or legal guardians applying for minor patients must pay a $25 fee.

Which documents do I need to register for the Virginia medical marijuana state program?

When applying for the Virginia medical marijuana card, you must scan and email the following documentation to the Board of Pharmacy to complete your application:

1. Proof of identity. For example:

  • Virginia Identification card
  • U.S. passport
  • Virginia driver’s license

2. Proof of residency. For instance:

  • Virginia driver’s license
  • Virginia identification card
  • Tax receipt

3. Proof of age. For example:

  • Birth certification
  • VA identification card
  • VA driver’s license

4. A copy of a written certification issued by a registered medical marijuana doctor in Virginia.

When did Virginia Become a Medical Marijuana State?

Virginia’s legislative history with medical marijuana started back in 1979 with the Code of Virginia. The Code protected patients with a valid cannabis prescription from a doctor to treat glaucoma or the side effects of chemotherapy. Nowadays, doctors can’t prescribe medical marijuana, instead, they can recommend it to their patients. You can read more about the difference between a marijuana prescription and a recommendation, and how to get one.

Fast forward to 2018 with the passing of HB 1251. This law allowed practitioners to issue written certifications for the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil or THC-A oil for the treatment or to ease symptoms of any condition the practitioner determined would benefit from such use. In 2019, SB 1557 expanded further on the Code of Virginia. As a result, nurse practitioners and physician assistants could now also issue written certifications for patients to use cannabis extracts. Additionally, this legislation specified that each dose could contain a maximum of 10 milligrams of THC.

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Virginia Medical Marijuana State Rules

Patients with a VA medical marijuana card have the added benefit of legal protection when in possession of medical marijuana besides enjoying the healing properties of the cannabis they can access. Still, patients may find their registration to the Virginia medical marijuana program revoked if they break any of the Virginia marijuana laws. So what are patients not allowed?

  • The Board of Pharmacy may revoke a patient’s registration if a committee establishes evidence that the patient provided incorrect or misleading information during the registration process.
  • Patients, parents, or legal guardians CANNOT let another person use their registration. Moreover, tampering or modifying the registration may also lead to the cancellation of the VA medical marijuana card.
  • Patients CANNOT acquire more than a 90-day supply of medical cannabis oil within 90 days.
  • The Board of Pharmacy may suspend a patient’s, parent’s, or legal guardian’s VA medical card if they fail to report its theft, loss, or damage within five days of becoming aware of the incident.

Where to buy cannabis products: VA dispensary locations

You can buy medical cannabis from any dispensary in Virginia approved to operate by the Board of Pharmacy as soon as you get your medical marijuana card. There are currently four operational Virginia medical marijuana dispensaries. For example:

1. gLeaf Medical in Richmond, VA.

2. BEYOND / HELLO Manassas Cannabis Dispensary in Bristow, VA.

3. Dharma Pharmaceuticals Cannabis Dispensary in Washington County, VA.

4. Columbia Care Portsmouth Dispensary in Portsmouth, VA.

Also, when buying medicinal cannabis from dispensaries in VA, patients must provide a valid Virginia medical marijuana card or a valid written certification plus government-issued identification.

Key Highlights

  • Practitioners started issuing medical cannabis certifications in 2018.
  • A Virginia cannabis doctor must certify you for MMJ before you can access medical marijuana in the state.
  • A marijuana certification is all you need to get medical cannabis in Virginia. Therefore, registering with the Cannabis Control Authority is not necessary.
  • The state fee for the Virginia medical marijuana card is $50.

Common Questions about the Virginia Medical Marijuana State Program

Below are the answers to common questions patients have concerning the Virginia Medical Marijuana State Program.

My primary care physician is not registered. Can I still get an MMJ certification from them?

No. Only practitioners of medicine or osteopathy and physician assistants licensed with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy can certify patients for medical marijuana.

Also, nurse practitioners licensed with the Board of Medicine and Board of Nursing can recommend medicinal cannabis.

Is it easy to get a medical card in Virginia?

With Quick Med Cards, it’s easier than ever to find a licensed cannabis doctor to certify you for medical marijuana in Virginia. We can help you connect with a qualified medical marijuana doctor in Virginia to certify you for medical cannabis treatment.

All you have to do is fill out the information form and create your account with Quick Med Cards. Then, you pick an appropriate time to have a marijuana evaluation through a video call.

Where can I get my medical card in Virginia?

You will receive your Virginia medical marijuana card in the mail once the Board of Pharmacy approves your application.

After you have been certified by one of our doctors you’ll need to register as a patient with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to get your medical marijuana card.

How long does my Virginia medical marijuana registration card last?

The Virginia medical marijuana card is valid for one year from the date of issue. Similarly, the written certification from your medical marijuana doctor also lasts a year.

Patients must renew their VA medical card and marijuana certification annually to keep buying medical cannabis.

Does Virginia sell medical marijuana?

The following dispensaries sell medical marijuana in Virginia: Rise dispensaries based in Salem, Beyond/Hello in Manassas, gLeaf Medical Cannabis in Richmond, Columbia Care in Portsmouth, and Dharma Pharmaceuticals, Abingdon.

Whereas recreational cannabis is legal in Virginia, sales do not begin until 2024.

What types of cannabis products will Virginia be allowing?

Patients can buy raw flower, tinctures, oils, creams, gels, pills, patches, capsules, sprays, suppositories, extracts, and inhalation products.

It is worth noting that patients are limited to four ounces of cannabis flower every thirty days.

How much is medical marijuana in VA?

The price of medical marijuana depends on the dispensary you make your purchase from, plus the type and amount of cannabis you buy.

Below are the starting prices for different forms of medical marijuana in Virginia:

  • 0.5g vape cartridge for $55
  • 90-100mg (pack of 10) cannabis ingestible at $50
  • 30ml tinctures for $90
  • 75g jar of marijuana topicals for $28
  • 100mg (pack of 10) suppositories at $55
  • 1g inhale refill syringes from $100
  • 1g cannabis extracts for $90
  • Marijuana concentrates (1g) at $75

When will botanical cannabis products be available?

Botanical or flower cannabis has been available in Virginia since September 2021.

How much botanical cannabis can be dispensed to a registered patient?

Patients can buy at most 4 ounces of cannabis flower every 30 days.

It is worth noting that the amount of botanical cannabis (flower) patients get will count on the 90-day supply of medical cannabis products they can buy.

Once I am registered in Virginia as a patient, can I purchase cannabis in other states?

You can use your Virginia medical card to buy and use medical cannabis in some states. But, the state must have reciprocity laws that accept the Virginia med card.

For instance, you can use your VA MMJ card to buy and possess medical cannabis in Hawaii and Oklahoma. However, to do so, you must use your VA medical card to register for a temporary medical card in the state you’re visiting.

Can you own a gun and have a medical card in Virginia?

No. When buying guns, potential customers must declare whether they use or are addicted to a controlled substance.

Marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance according to federal law. Therefore, you cannot own or buy a gun if you have a medical marijuana card in Virginia.

Patient Resources and Forms

Contact details for the Virginia Board of Pharmacy

State Agency: Virginia Department of Health Professions

Fax: (804) 527-4472

Mailing Address:

Virginia Board of Pharmacy
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233

Email: cbd@dhp.virginia.gov

Website: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/pharmacy/PharmaceuticalProcessing/default.htm