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Virginia Medical Marijuana Law


Virginia’s lawmakers recently amended the state’s medical marijuana laws to increase patient access and convenience. Under the new laws, residents with any medical condition can use cannabis if a registered practitioner believes cannabis products can be helpful and issues a written certification.

While the state has passed adult-use laws, the only way to legally purchase marijuana in Virginia is with a recommendation from a doctor. Recreational products are not yet available for purchase. CBD and delta-9 products are not medical-grade marijuana.

You can manage your symptoms using safe, high-quality, and effective cannabis by simply obtaining a written certification and visiting one of the state's many dispensaries. Medical marijuana is an effective treatment option for many chronic and debilitating conditions whose symptoms persist despite conventional medical care.

Knowing the current laws and understanding recent expansions to the medical cannabis program ensures you will use medical marijuana to the full extent permitted by law.


Virginia Medical Marijuana Law History


Virginia passed its first legislation regarding medical cannabis in 2017, allowing patients with certain forms of epilepsy to manage their illness with cannabis oil if they received a written certification from a doctor.

Patient advocates and healthcare professionals continued lobbying for further medical marijuana reform over the next three years. In July 2020, Virginia passed a comprehensive medical cannabis program. The state enacted broader legal protections for patients regarding the possession of medical marijuana. They also expanded the list of qualifying conditions to any diagnosis a physician believes could benefit from cannabis.

The updated law also allowed dispensaries to sell edibles and other medical marijuana preparations containing up to 10 mg of THC per dose.

A further update in July 2021 allowed patients to purchase marijuana flowers and expanded employment protections for registered marijuana patients. Virginia also legalized possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and permitted residents to grow up to four cannabis plants in their homes.

In July 2022, Virginia abolished the requirement for patients to apply for medical marijuana cards through the Board of Pharmacy. As a result, patients can purchase medical marijuana and benefit from their expanded rights as soon as they receive their written certification.


Marijuana Possession Laws in Virginia


Thanks to Virginia’s marijuana legalization, any Virginian 21 or older can possess up to one ounce of cannabis on their person in public. Adults can share up to one ounce of cannabis as long as there is no exchange of goods or payment.

As a medical cannabis patient, you can possess up to a 90-day supply of marijuana in public. The dispensary pharmacist determines the amount of cannabis that constitutes your 90-day supply based on the product type and consultation.

You can only purchase up to four ounces of marijuana flower from medical marijuana dispensaries per 30 days as part of your 90-day supply.


Virginia Public Consumption Laws


The use of cannabis in public is illegal for both recreational users and patients with written certifications. You cannot legally smoke or consume cannabis anywhere except in a private residence.

Since marijuana possession and consumption is still illegal under federal law, cannabis cannot be consumed in federally subsidized housing or within national parks. Property owners can ban marijuana consumption on their premises for recreational and medical users. Always check your lease terms before consuming cannabis in a rental property.


Virginia Cannabis DUI Laws


You cannot operate a vehicle in Virginia while under the influence of marijuana if it alters your ability to drive. There is no threshold for marijuana intoxication like there is for alcohol. Any amount of THC is illegal if a law enforcement officer determines you are impaired.

First offenses are misdemeanors punished by a $250 fine and a one-year loss of license. Each subsequent violation is subject to increasing penalties up to imprisonment, forfeiture of your vehicle, and indefinite license suspension.


Applying for an Virginia Medical Marijuana Card?


While Virginia no longer requires you to apply for a medical marijuana card, you must obtain a written certification to visit dispensaries and benefit from the expanded legal protections offered to patients.

While low-level possession is now legal for adults, dispensaries will not begin selling recreational cannabis until 2024, if not later. You should not self-treat the symptoms of a medical condition using recreational marijuana. In addition, products marketed as CBD or delta-9 are not medical-grade cannabis.

The Sanctuary can help you navigate the medical cannabis program’s registration process because we are fluent in the state’s latest amendments to its cannabis laws. We can then connect you with a Virginia physician registered with the Board of Pharmacy who can educate you about cannabis, assess your potential benefit, and issue a written certification.

Once you have your certification, which acts like a medical cannabis card, you can begin purchasing marijuana from cannabis dispensaries immediately. Although cards are no longer mandatory, patients who wish to have supplemental documentation of their patient status can still obtain one.

Our knowledgeable team can assist you through each step of the approval process and help you get your card on the first application.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is recreational marijuana legal in Virginia?

You can legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis in public and cultivate four plants in your home. However, you cannot legally purchase cannabis without a written certification. Licensed dispensaries are the only retailers that sell medical-grade and regulated marijuana with verified THC content.

What products can registered patients and caregivers legally possess?

Patients and caregivers can buy and possess flowers, vape cartridges, prerolls, tinctures, gummies, capsules, sprays, balms, extracts, and suppositories with up to 10 mg of THC per dose.

Dispensaries carry different product lines featuring different strains of cannabis. You should consult the pharmacist to determine the product that best fits your treatment goals and symptoms.

What products are illegal for registered patients and caregivers to possess?

You cannot possess another patient's medical marijuana or cannabis that isn't for your personal use.

Is there a limit on the amount of product that a patient can possess?

There is no limit on how much cannabis for personal use you can possess in your home. However, you can only obtain up to a 90-day supply of products from a licensed dispensary at one time. You can only purchase up to four ounces of flower every 30 days.

Possession of more than four ounces in public without a valid written certification for medical cannabis is a misdemeanor punished by up to a $500 fine.

Outside of your home, you may only possess a 90-day supply of medical cannabis purchased from a dispensary. When transporting your cannabis in a vehicle, it must be sealed and placed in the trunk or compartment furthest from the driver in a truck, van, or SUV.

Does Virginia offer out-of-state reciprocity?

No. Virginia dispensaries do not accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards. Even if you have a medical marijuana card, it is illegal to travel to Virginia with marijuana from other states due to the ongoing federal cannabis prohibition.

Can you get a medical marijuana card with a felony in Virginia?

Yes. You can obtain a written certification from a registered Virginia physician if you have a felony conviction.