How to Get A Medical Marijuana Card in Virginia Step by Step
In Virginia, you can purchase and use medical cannabis products to manage any medical condition if a registered practitioner believes cannabis treatment can help. You only need a valid written certification issued by a registered physician to shop at dispensaries.
Although Visiting multiple dispensaries are no longer mandatory, Virginia issues them to patients who voluntarily apply. A Virginia medical cannabis card serves as a supplemental document to your written certification and can be presented at dispensaries when making purchases.
Virginia streamlined their medical cannabis program to expedite patient access in July 2022 due to overwhelming demand for MMJ ID cards and medical marijuana products. You can now obtain a written certification for medical marijuana and begin making purchases the same day.
Understanding the requirements for a card can help you get the medication you need as quickly as possible.
Step 1: Identify Your Qualifying Condition
You can use medical marijuana in Virginia to manage any health condition if a doctor believes cannabis can effectively help control your symptoms. Lawmakers recognized the positive impact cannabis has on a broad array of diagnoses, leading them to defer to physician discretion rather than imposing a formal list of qualifying conditions.
Many medical cannabis patients rely on medical marijuana to manage the symptoms of chronic conditions like Alzheimer's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease.
If you experience neuropathy, chronic pain, epilepsy, glaucoma, or other health conditions that affect your day-to-day function and quality of life, cannabis may be an appropriate treatment option. Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and other psychological disorders often obtain cannabis registration cards.
Medical marijuana is also a valuable treatment option to address the side effects of conventional medical interventions like chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments that suppress appetite, induce nausea, and elevate anxiety.
Step 2: Meet with A Licensed Physician
Only physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician's assistants who register with the Board of Pharmacy (BOP) can issue written certificates for medical marijuana. Providers are not required to participate in the medical cannabis program, so your doctor may not be eligible to recommend cannabis.
The state maintains a full list of registered providers. You can conduct your medical marijuana evaluation in person or through telemedicine. The doctor will ask how your condition impacts your life, review your medical history, and discuss the benefits and risks of medical cannabis.
Marijuana doctors are trained professionals who embrace the therapeutic value of cannabis and can accurately determine possible contraindications. Be sure to tell them about all of your symptoms and what medications you currently take.
If they determine that you would benefit from the use of cannabis, they will issue a written certificate, enroll you in the state’s registry as a medical marijuana patient, and provide an electronic copy of the form.
Step 3: Compile the Necessary Paperwork
You can print a copy of your electronic certificate to display at dispensaries. You also need to show a valid copy of your photo ID to confirm your identity and Virginia residency.
If you want to apply for a voluntary medical marijuana card, you will need:
- A copy of a valid written certification for cannabis
- Proof of residency, acceptable forms include a government-issued ID or tax receipt showing your Virginia address
- Proof of identity, acceptable forms include a government-issued ID
- Proof of age, acceptable forms include a birth certification or government-issued ID
Your valid Virginia driver’s license fulfills all necessary documentation requirements.
Step 4: Submit Your Application
You can apply online by creating an account with the Department of Health Professions and following the registration steps. In addition to submitting an application of their own, each patient under 18 years of age must have a parent or legal guardian register as a caregiver on their behalf.
Once you establish your account, begin the online application by selecting "Pharmaceutical Processing" on the profession dropdown menu. Then choose "Registered Patient for Medical Cannabis" on the license type dropdown menu.
Once the correct application is selected, you will be guided through a series of prompts to submit the required demographic and eligibility information.
You can then email copies of your supplemental documents to email@example.com, fax them to 804-527-4472, or mail them to the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233. Initial cards and card renewals cost $50.00.
Step 5: Receive Your Medical Marijuana Card
It takes up to 60 days for the BOP to process medical cannabis card applications. Once you’re approved, you will receive your printed MMJ card via mail. You can then use it in place of your written certificate to obtain medical marijuana and other products containing THC and CBD such as tinctures, edibles, creams, and cannabis oils at state-licensed cannabis dispensaries.
Cards are valid for one year. You should always bring your card to Virginia dispensaries and have it on your person when transporting your medical cannabis.
Need Help Obtaining A Virginia Medical Marijuana Card?
The state of Virginia runs a very accessible medical cannabis program. While this makes obtaining approval to purchase marijuana convenient, it can also be daunting. The Sanctuary Wellness Institute understands the current regulations that govern the medical cannabis program, and we can help you determine whether you’re eligible to join it.
Our team can advise you about eligibility requirements and the steps for obtaining a card. We partner with a team of compassionate medical marijuana doctors who can conduct a consultation and issue you an MMJ certificate.
The Sanctuary is committed to maximizing your quality of life by helping you secure your right to obtain medical marijuana as quickly as possible. Contact us today to learn more.