The Virginia legislature has passed bills to modify the state’s medical marijuana program to allow for the production and sale of herbal forms of cannabis. The measures, House Bill 2218 and Senate Bill 1333, were approved this week with overwhelming majorities in both the House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate.
The legalization of medical marijuana in Virginia began with a strictly limited 2015 law that allowed for CBD and THC-A oils to be used by patients with severe epilepsy. The regulations have been loosened since, and medical marijuana dispensaries selling products with up to 10 milligrams of THC per dose opened in the state last year.
Under Virginia’s current laws, the state medical marijuana program only allows processed forms of cannabis, such as tinctures, edibles, and oils. Herbal forms of cannabis including smokable marijuana are not permitted. With the new change, regulated medical marijuana producers will be permitted to offer products made from “cannabis oil or botanical cannabis,” according to the text of the legislation.
The medical marijuana industry and advocates lobbied for the addition of herbal forms of cannabis to the roster of legal products as a way to improve affordability for patients. The change is expected to