Updated on January 28, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Medical marijuana legislation has passed in states throughout the U.S., but there are a few stringent states that have held out. Virginia is no longer one of those states. Although heretofore they passed a law that allowed patients to receive a doctor’s certification for marijuana oil to treat intractable epilepsy, this hyper-restrictive program is about to change.
As of February 2018, both Virginia’s House and Senate unanimously passed bills that will broadly expand the current medical marijuana law. Before now, only patients with epilepsy were allowed to pursue cannabis certifications from physicians.
However, the new bills also called “Let Doctors Decide” medical marijuana legislation will give physicians the ability to prescribe medical marijuana to patients they feel would benefit from its use. Only two forms of cannabis will be permissible:
Currently, the only condition which qualifies for any kind of medical marijuana treatment in Virginia is epilepsy. However, when Senate Bill 726 and House Bill 1251 were presented to their respective branches, many patients with debilitating conditions testified how cannabis oil could benefit in their treatment.
Both bills leave it in the hands of the healthcare practitioner to decide whether the patient should receive medical marijuana treatments. The only preface is that the marijuana oil must only be used to alleviate the symptoms of a diagnosed disease or condition. When passed, the new Virginia medical marijuana law will offer a broad acceptance policy.
It’s expected that medical marijuana treatments will be used for such conditions as:
Until the new medical marijuana legislation is passed into law, only patients with intractable epilepsy can receive medical marijuana treatments in Virginia. If a patient has epilepsy and would like to pursue cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil medication, they must do the following:
When the new medical marijuana law passes, the process will be much the same. However, physicians will be able to prescribe cannabis oil to any patient they feel would benefit from its use.
Unlike many states, Virginia does not have a medical marijuana card program. Although the Virginia Department of Health Professions oversees the certification process, the doctor is responsible for getting cannabis medication into the appropriate hands.
Currently, a patient may only access a 30-day supply of THC-A or CBD oil for the treatment of epilepsy. However, when the new legislation passes this amount will increase to a 90-day supply. Once they’ve been certified, patients will be able to access their recommended dosage from a pharmaceutical processor.
With the unanimous passage of both the House and Senate bills, the future looks bright for patients wishing to access medical marijuana in Virginia. Because both bills are identical, the steps to passing this legislation are straightforward. The bills will be sent over to the opposite houses for a vote. From there, the new law will head to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk.
Governor Northam, a doctor himself, has already openly stated he believes that physicians should be allowed to decide whether to give patients cannabis treatments. When he passes this new medical marijuana legislation, it will bring much relief to patients throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
As things progress, stay up-to-date with the latest news from MarijuanaDoctors.com. We will report the passage of any new legislation. When the time comes to find a marijuana doctor in Virginia, we will provide you with access to trusted doctors in your area.