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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Virginia in 2023

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Table of contents

  1. Benefits of Having a Medical Card in Virginia
  2. Eligibility Requirements
  3. Qualifying Conditions
  4. How to Apply
  5. What to Expect During Your Leafwell Appointment
  6. Costs
  7. Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
  8. Applying as a Caregiver
  9. Where to Buy Medical Marijuana
  10. Cultivation
  11. Virginia Medical Marijuana Laws to Know

Virginia’s latest medical marijuana law permits residents with valid doctor’s referrals and state IDs to use medical marijuana for various conditions.

Uniquely, Virginia is one of the only states that eliminated specific medical condition requirements to qualify for the program. Certified doctors in Virginia can recommend medical marijuana for any medical condition they deem to benefit a patient.

Additionally, as of July 1, 2022, the law (HB933) no longer requires medical marijuana (MMJ) patients to register with the Board of Pharmacy for a Virginia medical marijuana card. Physical cards are optional. Patients only need a written certification from a registered practitioner of medical cannabis.

It’s quick and easy to meet with a Virginia medical cannabis practitioner through Leafwell’s online appointment system. Patients can register with Leafwell and connect with a medical marijuana doctor from their homes via a secure, state-of-the-art telemedicine visit. Patients that receive a valid medical marijuana certification through Leafwell can purchase a 90-day supply of medical marijuana at a time.

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Benefits of Having a Medical Card in Virginia

As of 2021, adult-use marijuana is legal in Virginia. However, since recreational cannabis sales in dispensaries won’t begin in Virginia until 2024, medical marijuana certification offers patients distinct benefits today.

Greater possession limits:

  • Virginia medical marijuana card certifications or written referrals allow patients a 90-day supply of medical cannabis.
  • The specified possession limit for whole-plant cannabis or flower (botanical cannabis) is up to four ounces per 30 days.
  • Recreational users may only possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to four plants per household.

Lower taxes:

  • Virginia medical patients pay a 5.30% sales tax on every marijuana purchase.
  • On the other hand, the state levies a 21% excise tax on retail cannabis sales. Local governments can add 3% more for 26% to 29% tax on retail sales.

Eligibility Requirements

Any Virginia resident at least 18 can apply for an optional Virginia medical marijuana card. They must be a medical patient with a qualifying health condition diagnosed by a doctor. Alternatively, patients can utilize a written certification from a licensed Virginia physician and government ID to purchase medical cannabis in the state.

Can Minors Get a Medical Card in Virginia?

Minors can get medical marijuana in Virginia. Patients under 18 need a parent or guardian to apply as their registered agent (caregiver). The registered practitioner’s written certification for the patient must list the parent or legal guardian.

Qualifying Conditions

Most medical marijuana states require patients to have specific medical conditions to qualify for the program. In Virginia, a licensed Virginia physician must simply deem that they believe the patient has a condition that can benefit from medical marijuana treatment.

Therefore, any medical condition has the potential to qualify a patient for a Virginia medical marijuana recommendation. Patients may use the recommendation to apply for an optional Virginia medical marijuana card or simply use the referral and state ID.

Common qualifying medical conditions include:

How to Apply

As of July 1, 2022, medical cannabis patients, parents, or legal guardians are no longer required to register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to obtain a physical Virginia medical marijuana card. A written certification for the use of medical cannabis from a registered practitioner or doctor is still required for the medical patient to present at a dispensary. Medical marijuana certifications are valid for 12 months.

Only physicians, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners registered with the Virginia MMJ program can issue medicinal cannabis recommendations. Patients must verify their doctor is registered in the state before booking an appointment. The Virginia Board of Pharmacy provides a list of registered state practitioners participating in the program to help patients find a doctor faster.

Patients who wish to save time and effort can register to speak with a qualified Virginia medical cannabis doctor in minutes through Leafwell’s telemedicine platform.

Documents You’ll Need

Patients must be Virginia residents to request a recommendation for a Virginia medical marijuana card. They must show ID proof and a written referral from a state-sanctioned physician.

Having medical files on hand for the physician evaluation often speeds up the process and ensures the doctor can provide an adequate and thorough assessment. Recommended documents to either pre-submit or bring to the physician evaluation include:

  • Patient charts
  • Current prescriptions
  • Physical therapy records
  • Medical test results
  • Hospital records

Patients who choose to register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy as a caregiver or for an optional Virginia medical marijuana card need the following documents to apply:

  • Proof of patient’s residency, identity, and age.
  • Proof of parent/guardian’s residency, identity, and age (if applying as a caregiver)
  • Written medical marijuana recommendation issued by a registered Virginia medical marijuana doctor.

Steps to Apply

Patients must first meet with a registered practitioner in person or online. However, the simplest way to get a Virginia medical cannabis referral is through Leafwell’s online appointment system. Here’s how it works.

  • Register online for a telemedicine appointment with Leafwell.
  • Attend a physician appointment via a computer, cellphone, or tablet to review the medical condition and medical marijuana eligibility.
  • Receive approval (if applicable) in 48 hours or less.
  • Patients who are not approved will not be charged.

Patients who receive a recommendation can go directly to a Virginia dispensary to purchase medical cannabis products. Patients must bring their state-issued ID.

Patients can also apply for a physical medical marijuana card if they choose. The state provides detailed instructions for Virginia patients who elect to register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. The fee for this service is $50.

As of July 1, 2022, this step is voluntary in Virginia, and it isn’t necessary to purchase medical cannabis products in the state.

However, registering with the Virginia Board does make it easier to purchase medical marijuana while traveling to other legal states. Residents who apply for a physical card should receive a response in 10 business days or less; it takes approximately 60 business days to process a complete application.

What to Expect During Your Leafwell Appointment

Leafwell offers quick, simple, and affordable telemedicine consultations with registered practitioners for medical cannabis in Virginia.

Patients can speak with one of Leafwell’s providers from the convenience of home at a time that works for their schedule. Patients simply need a cellphone, tablet, or computer and video conferencing capabilities. Virginia appointments are HIPPA-compliant, accessible, and affordable.

Leafwell’s physicians sometimes request medical records before the call to better understand the patient’s condition. Patients should be prepared to discuss their medical history, including symptoms and treatments. The Leafwell doctor will want to know about all current medications and other wellness regimens.

During the consultation, the doctor will ask standard questions and review the medical records to determine how medical marijuana can alleviate the patient’s symptoms and improve their quality of life. Most appointments take 15 minutes or less.

Leafwell will send the physician recommendation in 48 hours or less if approved. If the patient does not receive approval, Leafwell will not charge the patient.

Costs

Leafwell’s Virginia consultation and written referral fee cost $149 for new patients and renewals.

Patients who choose to apply for an optional Virginia medical marijuana call must pay $50 to the state. Legal guardians, parents, and registered caregivers must pay an additional $25.

Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

Virginia does not yet offer medical marijuana reciprocity. However, as of July 2021, adults in Virginia 21 and older can possess up to one ounce of recreational marijuana and grow up to four marijuana plants per household. The state plans to open retail dispensaries in 2024.

Applying as a Caregiver

The Virginia medical marijuana program refers to caregivers as registered agents. A registered agent can enter licensed dispensaries in Virginia and assist minors and incapacitated adults with obtaining and using medical marijuana. Registered agents can:

  • Only care for medical cannabis patients that have received a written physician recommendation in the past 12 months.
  • Serve a maximum of two patients.
  • Register with the Virginia Board even after July 1, 2022. The initial registration fee is $25, and the annual renewal fee is $25.

Where to Buy Medical Marijuana

A growing number of medical marijuana dispensaries are either open or opening soon in Virginia. Here is a list of Virginia medical cannabis dispensaries.

To purchase MMJ at a Virginia dispensary, a medical patient must bring their driver’s license or state ID and either their Virginia medical marijuana card or a copy of their written MMJ recommendation from a state-certified practitioner. Only medical patients or designated caregivers are allowed to enter dispensaries.

Cultivation

Virginia residents 21 or older may grow up to four marijuana plants per household, only at primary places of residence. Individuals growing marijuana must ensure that plants are not visible from public areas, take adequate precautions to prevent unauthorized access to persons under 21, and mitigate the odor from the cultivation area.

Virginia marijuana growing regulations also require cultivators to tag each marijuana plant with the cultivator’s name, driver’s license, or identification number and note that the cultivated plant is being grown for personal use.

Home-grown marijuana may not be sold or distributed. Virginia marijuana growers may also not manufacture marijuana concentrate from home-cultivated marijuana.

Virginia Medical Marijuana Laws to Know

  • As of July 1, 2022, medical cannabis patients, parents, or legal guardians are no longer required to register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to obtain a physical Virginia medical marijuana card to purchase cannabis at licensed dispensaries.
  • Medical cannabis patients, parents, or legal guardians must still have a written medical marijuana certification from a state-licensed doctor, physician, or nurse practitioner to purchase medical marijuana.
  • The specified possession limit for medical cannabis products is a 90-day supply. Such products may contain up to 10 mg of THC per single dose.
  • The medical marijuana possession limit for botanical cannabis (flower) is up to four ounces per 30 days, while all other residents can only possess up to one ounce.
  • Adult-use (recreational) marijuana is legal in Virginia as of 2021, yet recreational cannabis sales in dispensaries won’t begin until 2024.

Check out our Virginia law page for more in-depth coverage of the state’s medical marijuana laws and rules. And if you’re ready to apply for your Virginia MMJ card, schedule an appointment with Leafwell today.

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Article written by

Elena Schmidt

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