Virginia Marijuana Licensing

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What Cannabis License Types exist in Virginia?

While medical and recreational marijuana are both legal in Virginia, the state’s legislature has stalled the implementation of its recreational marijuana program which was due to commence on January 1, 2024. The Senate Bill encoding Virginia’s proposed adult-use recreational program proposed four types of cannabis business licenses (and the maximum number of each license to be issued). These are retail marijuana store (400), marijuana wholesaler (25), marijuana manufacturing facility (60) and marijuana cultivation facility (450) licenses. The bill also included a provision for a marijuana testing facility license for independent testing laboratories authorized to test cannabis and cannabis products in the state. These licenses will be issued by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (VCCA).

Virginia’s mature medical marijuana program only issues one business license: the pharmaceutical processor permit. This license covers medical marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, and sales. This license is also issued by the VCCA.

Marijuana Cultivation Facility License

This license authorizes the licensee to cultivate, label, and package marijuana intended for retail. The licensee can also purchase, sell, transfer or take possession of marijuana plants and seeds from other marijuana cultivation facilities.

When fully implemented, there will be two classes of marijuana cultivation licenses in Virginia. Class A Cultivation Facility license will limit the number of marijuana plants and the size of space that a business may allocate to growing marijuana. Class B Cultivation Facility license will restrict the marijuana that licensees can grow to cannabis plants with a maximum THC content of 1%.

Marijuana Manufacturing Facility License

This license authorizes the licensee to manufacture, label, and package marijuana and marijuana products. It also allows the licensee to purchase, sell, transfer or take possession of marijuana products from another manufacturing facility or a cultivation facility.

Marijuana Wholesaler License

This license is issued to licensees authorized to sell, purchase, transfer or take possession of retail marijuana, retail marijuana products, immature marijuana plants, and marijuana seeds from a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana manufacturing facility, or another marijuana wholesaler.

Retail Marijuana Store License

This license permits the licensee to directly sell marijuana or marijuana products to adults aged 21 and above on approved premises.

Marijuana Testing Facility License

This license is for laboratories and other testing facilities given approval to test marijuana samples for purity and content.

Pharmaceutical Processor Permit

This license authorizes the licensee to cultivate, manufacture, and dispense medical marijuana to patients with Virginia medical marijuana cards upon doctors' recommendations. This license is issued by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (VCCA). There are only five pharmaceutical processor permits available, one for each health service area of the Commonwealth as established by the Board. As of January 2024, only four of these permits have been issued for four service areas. The licensees are:

  • Dharma Pharmaceuticals, LLC in Abingdon
  • Columbia Care Eastern Virginia, LLC in Portsmouth
  • Green Leaf Medical of Virginia, Inc. in Richmond
  • Dalitso, LLC in Manassas

The VCCA also grants a maximum of five medical cannabis dispensing facilities for each service area. However, the dispensing facilities in each area must be partly owned by the pharmaceutical processor licensed for the area.

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Virginia Marijuana Licensing