Is CBD Oil Legal in Virginia?

  1. Virginia Cannabis
  2. Virginia CBD

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol or CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound present in hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike THC, another chemical compound contained in those plants, CBD does not produce a "high." The primary distinction between marijuana and hemp is the quantity of CBD and THC in the plants; if the plant has above 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, it is classified as a marijuana plant.

While CBD is not associated with psychoactive effects, unlike the THC compound, it also does not have the same risk of dependence or abuse. CBD is believed to possess therapeutic effects on various illnesses and their symptoms, including neurological conditions, autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, neuropsychiatric illness, and chronic pain. CBD is growing in popularity and was recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for specific medical uses.

Although federal law outlaws marijuana cultivation, sale, and use, many states and territories have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational uses. Certain states in the United States have allowed the use of CBD for medical reasons. In December 2018, the United States signed the Hemp Farming Act into law. This legislation declassified hemp (THC content less than 0.3 percent) as a Schedule I controlled drug and reclassified it as an agricultural product. CBD-derived products developed from industrial hemp are now available in all 50 states in a variety of formulations.

CBD is available in forms such as tincture, oil, vaporization liquid, and tablet. The Hemp Farming Act does not apply to products and formulations derived from the marijuana plant, which the United States government continues to classify as a Schedule I controlled drug. The 2018 Farm Bill leaves final hemp or CBD legislation to each state by permitting them to enact their own hemp-related cultivation, processing, and use laws. Hence, you should find out CBD laws in your state before possessing or using CBD products in the jurisdiction.

Is CBD Oil Legal in Virginia?

Yes. Hemp-derived CBD oil with no more than 0.3% THC is legal in Virginia. Note that CBD oil may also be derived from marijuana. Marijuana-derived CBD oils are illegal in Virginia. However, the state permits patients registered under the medical cannabis program to purchase marijuana-derived CBD oils.

Note that even if your ailment qualifies you for Virginia's medicinal marijuana program, you must demonstrate that you have tried at least two conventional kinds of therapy without success before you can be registered under the state's medical marijuana program to use marijuana-derived CBD oil. Marijuana-derived CBD oils typically contain at least 5 milligrams of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol-A (THC-A) but not more than 10 milligrams of THC.

To ensure that these items contain the legal quantity of THC, manufacturers submit their products for testing in certified laboratories. These laboratories are usually independent of the cannabis manufacturing establishment. They are referred to as third-party laboratories and are typically FDA or ISO-approved.

What are Virginia CBD Laws in 2022?

In 2015, SB 955 was signed into law by Governor Terry McAuliffe, thereby legalizing industrial hemp cultivation in Virginia. Per SB 955, any licensed Virginian may cultivate industrial hemp in the state for lawful purposes, including manufacturing industrial hemp products for agricultural, scientific, or research purposes.

Virginia passed additional legislation over the following years to define the newly formed industrial hemp production program. House Bill 699 of 2016 clarified several aspects of the program, including that no person holding a license may be prosecuted for cultivating, manufacturing, processing, selling, or distributing industrial hemp products. The bill authorized the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations establishing a licensing program.

In 2018, Virginia authorized the use of medicinal cannabis oil for any diagnosed condition and established five pharmaceutical processors for each of the state's health regions. The state requires doctors and qualifying patients to register with the State Pharmacy Board before making any medical marijuana purchases.

In 2019, the Virginia General Assembly passed HB1720. HB1720 provides that no individual employed or contracted with a local school board to render health-related services may be prosecuted for possessing, distributing, storing, or administering CBD oil or THC-A oil to students with valid written certification to use both oil products. Additionally, the bill states that no school board will be forced to suspend or expel any student who has or uses cannabidiol or THC-A oil in accordance with a valid written certification obtained by a practitioner.

HB 1826, also passed in 2019, prohibits healthcare professionals in the state from including a reference to marijuana in any advertisements, except where the advertisement is for the treatment of substance abuse or addiction. However, an individual registered with the Board of Pharmacy to issue written certifications for the use of CBD or THC-A oil may include such information in an advertisement.

HB 1839 passed in 2019 conforms the Commonwealth of Virginia with the provisions stipulated in the federal 2018 Farm Bill by amending the definitions of marijuana, CBD oil, and THC to exclude industrial hemp, hemp products, or oil with no more than 0.3% THC. Per HB 1839, any registered grower, dealer, or processor who violates the law must comply with any corrective plan laid down by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The state passed SB 1557 in 2019, which provided for THC oil and CBD oil regulation by authorized persons. In accordance with SB 1557, licensed physician assistants and licensed nurse practitioners are authorized to issue written certifications for the use of cannabidiol and THC-A oil. The bill directs the Board of Pharmacy to issue rules setting dosage restrictions, requiring that each dose of CBD oil or THC-A oil supplied not exceed ten milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol.

In Virginia, it is illegal to offer hemp-derived products intended for smoking to anybody under 21. CBD products derived from hemp are also illegal for animal consumption. According to Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) industrial hemp standards, hemp may not be used as an ingredient in animal food products. Although the FDA's Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits CBD from being used as a food ingredient, the VDACS approves CBD's use as a dietary supplement and food ingredient in the state. Consumers can even legally vape products provided manufacturers and sellers abide by the guidelines stated in Va. Code sections 18.2-371.2.

What are Virginia CBD Possession Limits?

In Virginia, there are no stipulated possession limits for hemp-derived CBD. Virginia restricts qualifying patients to possess CBD or THC-A oil that contains at least 15% CBD and THC-A and no more than 5% THC in total. Although this rule was initially intended to benefit individuals with epilepsy, the state legislature extended it in 2019 to include anyone with any medical condition who had a written certification from their physician.

Can Doctors Prescribe CBD Oil in Virginia?

Pursuant to the provisions of §18.2-250.1 and in §54.1-3408.3 of the Code of Virginia, patients with debilitating conditions can receive treatments using CBD oils provided they obtain recommendations from their doctors. Currently, CBD or THC-A Oil may be used to treat any illness that a doctor determines qualifies for medicinal marijuana therapy in Virginia.

The law leaves it up to the healthcare practitioner to determine whether or not to recommend medicinal marijuana treatments to the patient. The one exception is that patients may only use marijuana oil to treat symptoms of a diagnosed ailment or condition.

Some of the conditions for which a patient may be prescribed the use of CBD oil in Virginia include:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Autism
  • Anxiety
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Crohn's disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Huntington Disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • PTSD
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Hepatitis C
  • Tourette's Syndrome

What are the Licensing Requirements for CBD in Virginia?

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) issues hemp grower, dealer, and processor registrations to qualified persons or entities in Virginia. A hemp grower is any person registered per Subsection A of Va. Code § 3.2-4115 to plant, cultivate, or harvest industrial hemp in the state. Anyone applying for a grower registration must present proof of ownership of the land to be used as a production field. Otherwise, the applicant may provide evidence of authority to consent to entry on the land to be used.

Hemp grower applicants who plant to store raw hemp material must identify the location of the storage site. An applicant must submit a completed Industrial Hemp Processor Registration Application (OPPR-200) form and an application fee of $150 made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia.

Hemp processor registration is required for persons seeking to convert industrial hemp into a hemp product in Virginia legally. To fulfill the requirements, the applicant must complete an Industrial Hemp Processor Registration Application (OPPR-300) form and submit a $200 application fee. Hemp processor applicants must list the raw hemp materials to be used for processing, the products to be produced, byproducts or waste, and the plans to dispose of the waste and byproducts. Also, hemp processor applicants who intend to run mobile processing units must provide information about the vehicle or trailer license plate numbers.

Hemp dealer registration applications are only open to persons who can only temporarily possess industrial hemp that has not been processed, grown, and will not be processed by the dealer. This registration is not open to entities seeking to act as retail establishments selling hemp products. To apply for a hemp dealer registration in Virginia, you must complete the Industrial Hemp Dealer Registration Application (OPPR-400) form and submit a $250 application fee made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia.

Note that applicants for hemp grower, processor, and dealer registrations will be subject to criminal background checks. Anyone convicted of a controlled substance-related felony in the previous ten years to the date of application will be considered ineligible. Applicants will also be required to provide GPS coordinates of their premises or facilities.

Since the FDA has not authorized CBD products in the United States, there are no federal rules for labeling, testing, and regulating CBD products; hence laws and regulations governing the manufacture and sale of CBD products are state-by-state. In Virginia, CBD products must be labeled in accordance with §54.1-3442.6 and §54.1-3447 of the Code of Virginia and 18VAC110-60-290.

CBD oils produced as a batch must be packaged and labeled in compliance with the United States and Food Drug Administration's 21 CFR Part 111. CBD products must also be labeled with:

  • The address and name of the pharmaceutical processor
  • The brand name of the CBD oil product that the manufacturer registered with the board per 18VAC110-20-285
  • A distinct serial number matching the product with the pharmaceutical processor batch and lot number. This number is critical because if a single product is contaminated, the whole batch must be recalled.
  • Expiration date
  • The testing and packaging date
  • A terpenes profile and the list of all active ingredients including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THC-A), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and any other active ingredient that makes up at least 1.0% of the batch used in the product
  • A pass/fail grade based on the laboratory's microbiological, mycotoxins, heavy metals, pesticide, and solvent residue tests.

Additionally, Virginia's Food Safety Department has specific labeling regulations for food products, which hemp-infused products intended for human consumption must adhere to:

  • The food's common name, or in the absence of a common name, a sufficiently detailed identity statement
  • If the item is created from two or more ingredients, a list of the ingredients and sub-ingredients in decreasing order of weight predominance, including a statement of any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
  • A precise representation of the net weight of the contents
  • The manufacturer, packer, or distributor's name and address
  • Except in instances where the food source is already included in the common or typical name of the respective ingredient, the name of the food source for each significant food allergy found in the meal.

Where to Buy CBD in Virginia?

You can find CBD products at various locations in Virginia. Although you can only find marijuana-derived CBD products at licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, you can buy hemp-derived CBD products at vape stores, head shops, pharmacies, convenience stores, and natural health outlets. CBD products intended for human consumption and approved by VDACS, such as CBD oils, CBD gummies, and CBD tinctures, can be found at any of the listed locations.

The majority of CBD retailers will not sell to anybody under 18 and will likely not even let them inside. However, there is no legal prohibition against parents or guardians buying CBD for their children's consumption.

It is sometimes difficult to get premium CBD products in retail stores because very few retailers stock top-end brands that are beneficial in alleviating chronic medical problems. Hence, you may consider shopping online for CBD products. Shopping online allows you to compare brands and products, review their Certificates of Analysis (COA), and have the products shipped to you in a matter of days.

Also, online shops typically provide CBD products at a lower price. Operating a physical store can be expensive, and the pricing always reflects this additional cost. Since online retailers take out the middlemen, they may provide discounts, bulk pricing, and loyalty programs not available at physical stores.

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