The Commonwealth of Virginia requires persons who wish to process marijuana and cannabis products to possess marijuana manufacturing facility licenses. Virginia has legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, and eligible residents can legally possess specified quantities of cannabis and cannabis products. Senate Bill 1406 (or House Bill 2312), which legalized adult-use cannabis, also called for the establishment of a market and supply chain for cannabis.
Virginia adult-use marijuana laws define manufacturing as the production of marijuana products or the blending, infusing, compounding, or other personal preparation, including extraction and chemical synthesis, of marijuana or marijuana products. Control of the adult-use cannabis market in Virginia is under the Cannabis Control Authority (CCA), and they are responsible for the licensing of cannabis businesses in the state. The laws establishing the adult-use market in Virginia were expected to be re-enacted by the General Assembly in 2022. However, a change in state legislature led to failure to re-approve the state’s recreational cannabis laws. This is delaying the adoption of regulations for the licensing of cannabis manufacturing facility business operations in Virginia. However, medical marijuana laws in Virginia establish a Pharmaceutical Processor license which enables holders to manufacture certain cannabis products and dispense them to registered patients.
The Commonwealth of Virginia does not require facilities engaged in manufacturing marijuana products to have marijuana cultivation licenses, as well. The state adult-use marijuana legislation deliberately distinguishes between marijuana cultivation and marijuana manufacturing. Persons or entities with marijuana manufacturing licenses are not statutorily allowed to cultivate marijuana plants. Operators of marijuana manufacturing facilities in the state must purchase or take possession of marijuana from licensed marijuana cultivators or other cannabis manufacturing facilities. Licensed pharmaceutical processors in the state are allowed to cultivate cannabis plants for their registered patients, which they can also use to manufacture cannabis products.
The Cannabis Control Authority has not released any classifications for marijuana manufacturing facility licenses. The Cannabis Control Authority is not authorized to adopt any regulation about marijuana manufacturing facility licenses until the re-enactment of the laws establishing recreational marijuana by the General Assembly.
The medical marijuana legislation in Virginia established a medical cannabis processor license referred to as a Pharmaceutical Processor permit. Holders of this permit can cultivate marijuana plants, manufacture marijuana products, and dispense them to registered patients in the state.
Currently, Virginia has only one type of cannabis manufacturing facility license defined by the state’s adult-use marijuana laws. The proposed marijuana manufacturing facility license enables the license holder to:
Virginia adult-use cannabis laws limit the number of marijuana manufacturing facility licenses available from the Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) to 60.
A pharmaceutical processor license also enables the holder to manufacture marijuana products in Virginia. However, this license only allows sales of such marijuana and marijuana products to registered medical marijuana patients.
Currently, there are no separate licenses required to manufacture edibles in Virginia. The Cannabis Control Authority has not set regulations regarding the manufacture of any cannabis-infused products that can be ingested orally, such as edibles and beverages. These types of cannabis-infused products typically require the facilities that produce them to adhere to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and local health regulations.
The Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) has not recommended fees, procedures, or rules for the application and receipt of cannabis business licenses in Virginia. As such, there are no defined fees for the application, receipt, or renewal of a cannabis manufacturing facility license in the state. However, a pharmaceutical processor license enables the holder to manufacture cannabis products for registered medical marijuana patients. To obtain a pharmaceutical processor license, applicants must complete an Application for a Pharmaceutical Processor Permit Form, include their supporting documents, and submit it to:
Department of Health Professions
Board of Pharmacy
9960 Mayland Drive
Henrico, VA 23233
The application form should be submitted, by mail or in-person, as 12 printed hard copies, one marked ORIGINAL, and 12 soft copies (CDs, DVDs, USBs). There is also a non-refundable fee that is applicable when submitting an application for a processor permit. Processor permits are valid for one year and must be renewed for statutory rights to be maintained.
The Board of Pharmacy issues request for applications (RFAs) to invite applications for licenses to operate as pharmaceutical processors in a designated Health Service Area (HSA). The Board may issue or renew up to five permits, one for each established HSA. Currently, all five permits, established by medical marijuana regulations, for pharmaceutical processors have either been awarded or had their application period closed.
The Cannabis Control Authority is not yet authorized to commence adopting regulations for the regulation of cannabis business operations in Virginia. The CCA cannot begin its operations until the re-enactment of the state’s recreational marijuana laws by the General Assembly. Therefore, it has not determined the costs for obtaining a cannabis manufacturing facility license in Virginia.
The Board of Pharmacy instituted a $10,000 fee for application for a pharmaceutical processor license in Virginia. Successful applicants paid a $60,000 license fee upon receiving the approvals. Pharmaceutical processor licenses expire after one year and must be renewed for the holders to retain their statutory rights. The renewal fee for a pharmaceutical processor license in Virginia is $10,000.