Based on patient demand and evolving societal norms, Virginia simplified the process for patients to secure the right to purchase and use medical marijuana in July 2022. Today, the state has one of the most accessible, straightforward, and expansive medical cannabis programs in the nation.
You may qualify for a cannabis certificate if you suffer from a medical or psychological condition that affects your ability to enjoy time with family and friends, work, or function day-to-day. If you have a debilitating condition such as epilepsy or glaucoma, the use of cannabis can be a life-changing treatment that improves your quality of life with minimal side effects and a low risk of dependence.
The best way to determine if the treatment is right for you and begin legally purchasing marijuana is by understanding the medical cannabis program requirements and how to obtain a certificate.
Registered physicians can issue a written certification for you to use medical cannabis for any medical condition if they believe it can help manage your symptoms. The Virginia cannabis laws defer to the judgment of medical marijuana providers, enabling you and your doctor to determine the therapeutic value of cannabis in your particular case.
While any condition can qualify you for a certificate, some common diagnoses include.
Only licensed Virginia providers registered with the Board of Pharmacy can issue written certificates for medical marijuana. Registered practitioners must opt into the cannabis program. Your primary care physician or specialist may not be authorized to issue a certificate.
The state maintains a list of participating medical marijuana doctors. These providers understand how marijuana can help patients and believe in its treatment value.
Your medical marijuana evaluation will be the same as a typical doctor's appointment. Visits can be completed in person or using telehealth. The doctor will review your medical history, ask about the medications you take, and discuss how your medical condition affects your life.
Ask all your questions about the risks and benefits of cannabis. Be honest and comprehensive about your symptoms and what you want from medical marijuana treatment. The better the doctor understands you, the more likely they are to set realistic treatment expectations and make appropriate recommendations.
Ask all your questions about the risks and benefits of cannabis. Be honest and thorough about your symptoms and what you want from medical marijuana treatment. The better the doctor understands your condition and goals, the more likely they are to set realistic treatment expectations and make appropriate recommendations.
Your licensed physician will issue a written certificate and enroll you in the state’s registry as a medical marijuana patient if they determine medical marijuana can help manage the symptoms of your condition. You'll receive an electronic copy of your certificate via email. This form allows you to legally purchase medical cannabis from any dispensary in the state as a qualifying patient.
Virginia no longer requires you to personally register with the Board of Pharmacy and obtain a state-issued medical marijuana card. That said, you can voluntary submit the online application for an MMJ registration card to use as a supplement to your written certificate if you’d like.
To obtain a medical cannabis card through Virginia’s medical marijuana program, you must simply register for an online account, complete the application, and submit copies of your medical marijuana certification, state ID card/driver’s license, and proof of Virginia residency. Virginia medical marijuana cards cost $50 and are valid for one year.
The application fee must be paid to the state through your patient account within the cannabis tracking system. Illinois issues cards that are valid for one year for $50, two years for $100, or three years for $150. Designated caregiver cards are $25, $50, and $75 respectively.
The state's fee schedule lists prices for qualifying patients who want to designate multiple caregivers. Veterans and those receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can qualify for reduced application fees.
You can visit any cannabis dispensary in Virginia once you have your written certificate proving you’re an official medical cannabis patient. The staff will verify your ID and confirm your certificate is valid. State-licensed dispensaries are tightly regulated and only sell safe and effective medical marijuana products, such as tinctures, edibles, creams, CBD items, and more.
Before visiting, call ahead or check the dispensary's website to confirm their policies, hours, and inventory. The dispensaries carry different medical cannabis product lines, run various discounts, and offer loyalty rewards programs. As a registered patient, visiting multiple dispensaries will help you find the products and services that meet your needs.
You should consider treating yourself with medical marijuana if you have a medical condition that impacts your daily life. Securing your written certificate for medical cannabis can improve your daily functionality and relieve bothersome symptoms.
The Sanctuary can help you understand your eligibility for medical cannabis and explain the rules and regulations that govern the Virginia program. We are committed to helping patients make the best decisions for their health.
If you believe cannabis may be the right treatment option, we can refer you to an experienced medical marijuana doctor. They will educate you about the benefits and risks of medical marijuana, assess your needs, and issue a written certification.
Contact us today to learn more.