Laws change so quickly that when it comes to how to get a medical marijuana card in Virginia people don’t know where to start. But don’t worry, it is not as difficult as it may seem.
Virginia has changed the way patients can access medical marijuana. And now it is easier than ever to get your card.
Keep reading and I will walk you through exactly how to get your VA medical card with no hassle at all!
Virginia Medical Marijuana Program History
Virginia doesn’t have a typical medical marijuana program like a lot of other states. The initial state program only permitted the use of medical marijuana with freedom from prosecution. This was approved in March of 2015.
Medical patients previously needed to have an Affirmative Defense Certificate. They were only able to buy THC-A oil or CBD oils with less than 10mg of THC.
In 2020, the state decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Someone with up to an ounce would only receive a $25 fine and no jail time or criminal record.
Virginia Medical Cannabis Program 2020 Changes
A new law (SB 1015) went into effect in July of 2020. This law protected MMJ patients from arrest, prosecution, or discrimination for participating in the state MMJ program.
In 2021 the General Assembly in Virginia adopted The Cannabis Control Act. The Governor signed it into law. This legislation established the Cannabis Control Authority or the CCA.
This regulatory body is now the principal source of government expertise on cannabis in the state. It has the authority to develop, issue, and enforce rules about medical cannabis and prospective adult-use cannabis in Virginia.
On April 7, 2021, Virginia made history by becoming the first Southern state to quasi-legalize recreational marijuana. It legalized the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and over.
However, adult-use sales are expected to begin in 2024. So selling or purchasing recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state. Further provisions regarding the production, licensing, sales, and regulation of recreational marijuana have not passed yet. We will need to watch the situation unfold.
For the time being, a medical patient in the state can buy up to a 90-day supply of medical marijuana of any product type, and with no more than 10mg THC per dose unit.
The exact limit outside of flower depends on your needs, which will be assessed by local Medical Marijuana dispensaries. Note – there is a max purchase of four ounces of botanical flower for every 30-day period.
You can buy several other types of products. They include common products like:
- Cannabis oil
This variety of medical marijuana products is a big leap from the one-ounce that is going to be allowed to residents for adult use purposes.
As of July 2022, MMJ patients no longer require the approval of the Virginia Board of pharmacy. As a result, patients can buy cannabis products immediately after they are approved for medical cannabis by a registered practitioner.
Despite the obstacles ahead, it is a welcome turn of the tides as it was very difficult to even access medical cannabis in the state up to this point. Thankfully it is much easier now to access MMJ with the recent changes to medical marijuana laws in VA.
As you will see below, there are still plenty of good reasons to get your Virginia medical card. Even further down the road when recreational sales are booming.
Virginia Medical Marijuana Card Requirements
Just like any other state, Virginia has its own requirements for its residents to get a medical card.
You must be a legal resident of VA and you must be 18 years of age or older to qualify to become a registered patient.
Caregivers have their own set of requirements within the medical cannabis program. They must be 21 years of age or older. They also need to be able to complete and pass a background check from the Department of Justice.
Caregivers cannot be convicted of any violent felonies or drug-related felonies in the past. They also cannot be convicted of any other crime within the last 10 years.
Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions Virginia
In Virginia, any condition that a qualified doctor deems worthwhile to treat with medical marijuana can be a qualifying condition. So technically, you can get a recommendation for MMJ for almost any medical issue.
A physician will determine who is eligible on a case-by-case basis. This is much more liberal than many other states and their lists of qualifying conditions. Nonetheless, you will need to have your medical records handy.
Before, patients, parents, and any legal guardian had to register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. But as of July 1, 2022 that is no longer necessary.
Now all that is required of qualified patients is to show a written certification from a registered practitioner for medical cannabis. Bring this along with your government-issued identification card to buy products at a dispensary.
How To Get Medical Marijuana Card In Virginia
Virginia has made the medical cannabis certification process very easy. You can get your medical cannabis card in a few simple steps.
As we mentioned above, after July 1, 2022, you don’t need to go through the hassle of registering with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to get access to your medical marijuana products.
Now, you only need to get a valid written certification from a board-certified physician. But not just any physician, they must be a licensed medical marijuana doctor in Virginia.
They will determine if you are eligible to use medical cannabis products. If so, they will write you a medical marijuana recommendation.
You can go in person to see your primary care physician if they are willing to recommend medical cannabis to patients. Or you can save yourself a ton of hassle and complete the entire process online.
Getting a Virginia medical marijuana card online is much cheaper and usually much faster than going the in-office route.
Well-established services have the process down to a T. And, they offer additional value like a full money-back guarantee in case you are unable to get a recommendation.
They will talk you through a really simple two-step process. Get ready for the details.
1. Certification From A Virginia Certified Healthcare Provider
No matter how you choose to do it you will need to meet with a licensed medical marijuana doctor to receive a written medical marijuana recommendation letter.
They can be hard to find on your own. But if you use an online service you will be connected with a qualified physician right away.
Online services have a full team of medical doctors that are experts in cannabis laws in their state.
They regularly help thousands of prospective patients every year. They will be ready to answer all of your questions as a new medical marijuana patient.
2. Shop For Medical Marijuana In Virginia
Now, this is the fun part. Step two is to shop for medical cannabis at Virginia dispensaries. It really is that simple.
Once you are certified you are ready to participate in the medical cannabis program. All you need is your certificate and your state ID.
This is really cool! Patients in many other states with MMJ programs have to wait weeks, sometimes up to a month or more even, before they get their medical cannabis card in the mail and can start to purchase medical cannabis.
Virginia residents have the option of getting their physical medical marijuana card if they want to.
If you do want to put a shiny Virginia medical marijuana card in your wallet it’s just a couple more steps.
All you need to do is submit an online application and pay a $50 fee. You need to provide your written certification, proof of age, proof of identity, and proof of Virginia residency that match your medical records.
It can take up to 60 days to process. Once your patient registration application is approved a physical medical marijuana card will be mailed to the same address on your application.
How To Get An Virginia Medical Marijuana Card Online
If you didn’t already pick up on it, we are big fans of getting medical marijuana cards online because of how simple it makes the process. In many cases, it takes just a few minutes to get your recommendation online through a video call.
The recommendation is valid for one year so you get exactly the same thing as you would going to see a local doctor in person.
You get the comfort of a full money-back guarantee if you don’t get a recommendation right away. So if you don’t get approved it will cost you nothing, not even gas.
Leafwell is the cheaper option offering appointments at $149. But Veriheal is not much more. They charge $199 for appointments.
- Apply within 10 minutes!
- Connect with a board certified physician
- Your money back if you’re unsuccessful with your application
You can also renew your medical marijuana card through either of them, and you might be able to get a discount as a returning customer.
If you have a friend that is also interested in becoming a Virginia medical marijuana patient Veriheal offers a discount for signing up in pairs.
Both options with or without any discounts are much cheaper than the average price of in-person appointments, so you are getting a deal no matter which way you go.
And remember, you get access to a bunch of other valuable resources and services when you go through an MMJ Telehealth service.
Your personal health care provider is busy with all of the responsibilities on their plate and might not have much experience with MMJ treatments and laws. But this is all services like Leafwell and Veriheal focus on.
Veriheal also offers personalized cannabis coaching to help patients figure out how to best choose and take cannabis products.
They both have excellent ratings from happy customers, from first-timers to renewing veterans. You can contact their customer service teams if you get hung up on any questions. They are constantly updating their sites with the most current laws relevant to each state.
This is a huge piece of added value as the laws are so confusing and change so regularly.
For example, you may spend an extra $50 you don’t need to if you go to a personal doctor that is not aware of the legislative changes that occurred this month in Virginia. They might be too busy to look up the changes and still think you need to register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to buy medicinal cannabis.
A Virginia-licensed doctor who deals with these details every day, however, will be able to update you on the new changes and make sure you are getting the best value all while staying in compliance with Virginia medical marijuana laws.
The process is super simple. If you choose one of these services to obtain your medical marijuana card here is what you can expect.
First, you will select your state and register. You will need to make an account by providing some personal information. Both services will collect general information like your first and last name, address, and payment information.
They both use secure and HIPAA-compliant software so your information is protected and private.
Once you complete your registration you can schedule an appointment to speak with a physician. They will discuss with you things related to medical marijuana in Virginia.
They may ask about your medical history and current health situation. You can take this time to ask them any questions you have about how to purchase medical marijuana or how to use it. They will be able to help you find a treatment plan to start with.
Once you finish the conversation you will know if you were approved. If you are approved, you will get a medical marijuana card recommendation letter. And then you are all set.
You don’t need to worry about applying to the state or obtaining board registration. And you don’t have to wait to get a card in the mail. You can start buying medical cannabis right away from a medical marijuana dispensary.
All you need to purchase cannabis is to show your written recommendation and your state ID.
Your recommendation is valid for one year. So you will need to renew your MMJ card every 12 months. To do this you just schedule another appointment to get re-certified with a licensed doctor before your registration expires.
Virginia Medical Marijuana Card Benefits
Technically, recreational marijuana is legal in the state of Virginia. But, there is no way to legally buy it. Remember, recreational sales aren’t slated to begin until at least 2024. So right now getting your VA medical marijuana card is the only way to legally buy and consume medical cannabis.
This is a huge benefit to getting your marijuana card on its own. But even after 2024, there will still be lots of solid reasons to be a registered patient.
For example, recreational cannabis sales will be taxed at a massive rate of 26.3%. You read that right. There is going to be a 21% excise tax along with a 5.3% state tax. And there is the potential for even more local taxes to be tacked on.
Medical marijuana tax on the other hand will stay at a satisfying 5.3%. This is a huge benefit for anyone who shells out money for cannabis regularly.
Another benefit to getting a medical card is that there are lower age limits for legal use. To be old enough to use recreational marijuana you need to be at least 21 years of age.
But medical patients are eligible to begin using medical cannabis at 18 years old. And minors can even potentially qualify with parental consent and a written recommendation from a physician.
And becoming a medical marijuana patient protects you from prosecution or discrimination at work for using your medication. You cannot be fired for a positive THC drug test at work in the state of Virginia.
However, you must still be respectful of the work environment and follow the rules. For example, you can’t be intoxicated on the job or bring marijuana on the job.
As a medical cardholder, you can enjoy larger possession limits. You can buy and possess up to 4 ounces of cannabis for a 30-day period which is four times the amount a recreational user can hold. This means fewer trips to the dispensary for you!
How Hard Is It to Get a Medical Card in Virginia?
It is easy for a prospective patient to get a medical marijuana card in Virginia. As long as you are 18 years or older, and have not been convicted of any felonies there should be nothing holding you back.
There is no list of pre-qualifying medical conditions either. Meaning medical marijuana treatment is open to anyone assuming approval from a physician.
You simply need to speak with a medical marijuana doctor about your medical conditions and obtain a written certification letter if they believe medical marijuana will be beneficial for you.
Some states require their residents to jump through many more hoops to become a patient.
Some of the requirements for medical marijuana patients seen in other MMJ programs include things like:
- Mandatory in-person appointments
- Requirements to provide official copies of medical history
- Be approved by the state
- Pay state application fees
- Have strict product and possession limits
Virginia’s medical marijuana program can be considered relatively lax compared to these requirements.
Can Virginia Medical Marijuana Patients Grow Weed?
Yes. Home cultivation became an option for Virginia medical cannabis card patients in July of 2021.
Adults who are 21 years of age or older may grow up to four plants per household for personal use.
There are some important regulations to follow.
- No plants can be visible from a public place.
- You are responsible for taking precautions to ensure that no one under 21 can access the area where the plants are growing.
- And each marijuana plant must have a label attached with your name and driver’s license info or ID number. Along with a note outlining that the plant is being grown for personal use only with lawful authorization.
Does VA Accept Out Of State MMJ Cards?
No. Unfortunately, VA does not have medical cannabis reciprocity. In other words, they do not recognize any out-of-state medical marijuana cards.
However, there are plenty of other states that do. So if you travel to another state with your valid VA medical card you may be able to enjoy medicinal cannabis outside of Virginia legally.
Other state programs have unique rules and regulations you will need to follow.
Some states allow visiting patients to use their medication, but do not allow them to purchase new medication from their dispensaries. Some require you to register as a visiting patient first.
Just make sure to check with the local agency responsible for governing medical cannabis use in the state you will be staying in before you go.
Wrapping Up VA Medical Card
Getting your medical marijuana card in Virginia has never been easier.
Virginia patients can get approved in the comfort of their homes. Then they can purchase cannabis right away. If you don’t get approved you don’t pay a thing.
- Apply within 10 minutes!
- Connect with a board certified physician
- Your money back if you’re unsuccessful with your application
And there are plenty of other benefits, like saving money, getting access to more products, reciprocity in other states, and having higher possession limits.
What are you waiting for? Check out Leafwell or Veriheal and schedule your appointment today!