Virginia Medical Marijuana Card

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Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Virginia?

Yes. Passed in 1979, Virginia's medical marijuana law, a provision in the state's criminal code, permitted Virginians with valid doctor prescriptions to use medical marijuana to treat the symptoms of glaucoma or the side effects of chemotherapy. In 2015, the Virginia General Assembly approved a bill allowing access to THCA or CBD oil for residents diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. In 2018, a bill signed by Governor Ralph Northam provided more Virginians with access to medical marijuana by permitting physicians to recommend medicinal marijuana to any patient who may benefit.

The Board of Pharmacy regulates medical marijuana products in the state and operates under the Virginia Department of Health Professions. Patients registered in the medical marijuana registry can purchase cannabis oil with 5 milligrams of CBD or THCA but no more than 10 mg THC per dose from approved pharmaceutical processors. In the Commonwealth, medical marijuana is available as sprays, capsules, oils, tinctures, creams, gels, patches, lozenges, troches, lollipops, suppositories, and inhalation products. In 2021, the Virginia legislature passed legislation (HB 2218/SB 1333) to allow registered patients to use whole plant, "botanical" cannabis.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Virginia in 2024


From January 1, 2024, the medical cannabis program of the Commonwealth of Virginia will be regulated by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (VCCA) and no longer the state’s Board of Pharmacy


Note that medical marijuana cards are now optional for qualifying patients in Virginia as well as for the parents and legal guardians of minors. A medical marijuana certification and your state-issued ID are all you need to buy medical cannabis from a dispensary in the state


Meet a healthcare practitioner via telemedicine services or in person for medical assessment. After evaluation, the healthcare practitioner will issue a written certification for the use of medical marijuana

If you want to obtain the optional Virginia medical cannabis card:


Initiate an online application for a Virginia medical marijuana card on the Initial Applications Portal and submit it after paying the required fee


After submitting the application, send copies of proof of residency, proof of identity, health practitioner's written certification, and proof of the qualifying patient's age to the Virginia Board of Pharmacy (the VCCA from January 1, 2024) by mail or email


Allow up to 30 business days for application processing. The Virginia Board of Pharmacy will send an email when the application is approved or if it needs additional information to process the application. A digital medical cannabis card is immediately available for each approved applicant

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis Certification in Virginia

Recent changes in the Virginia medical cannabis program has eliminated the state’s list of specific qualifying medical conditions for medical cannabis access. Section 54.1-3408.3 of the Code of Virginia allows an eligible healthcare practitioner to issue a medical certification to any patient diagnosed with a condition the practitioner determines can benefit from cannabis use. From January 1, 2024, the Commonwealth of Virginia lets practitioners rely on their professional judgment to rule on conditions debilitating enough for medical cannabis treatments.

Can I Apply For a Medical Marijuana Card or Certification In Virginia Online?

Yes. Qualifying patients, parents, or legal guardians can apply for Virginia medical marijuana cards online. In addition, qualifying medical marijuana patients may have their medical evaluation with licensed healthcare practitioners via telemedicine consultations.

How Do I Register With The Virginia Medical Cannabis Program?

A healthcare practitioner's written certification for medical cannabis treatment is all that is required to participate in the Virginia Medical Cannabis Program. Qualifying patients and their legal guardians or parents only need to consult medical practitioners for evaluation. If a patient is deemed eligible for medical marijuana, they will be issued a written certification. Registration with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy is optional.

Do I Need To Be A Virginia Resident To Get a Medical Marijuana Certification?

While a proof of residency is not one of the documents patients need to present to eligible healthcare providers when seeking medical cannabis certification, only residents can access medical cannabis in Virginia.

What Is The Cost Of the Optional Virginia Medical Marijuana Card?

The registration fee for a medical marijuana card for a patient in Virginia is $50, while the registration fee for a caregiver is $25. The renewal fees are $50 and $25 for patients and caregivers respectively. Note that both initial and renewal fees are non-refundable. Virginia medical marijuana cards and certifications are valid for one year.

What Do You Need When Visiting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Virginia?

To purchase medical marijuana from a licensed medical cannabis dispensary in Virginia, you need:

  • A valid State of Virginia-issued identification; and
  • A printed copy of your active Virginia medical marijuana certification; or
  • A medical marijuana card

With HB 933 making a Virginia medical marijuana card optional from July 1, 2022, you only need a valid state-issued identification and a written certification from a healthcare practitioner registered with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to purchase medical marijuana at Virginia dispensaries.

Who Can Prescribe Medical Marijuana In Virginia?

In order to get medical marijuana in Virginia, you must obtain a Written Certification for the Use of Medical Cannabis. Initially, only a healthcare provider licensed as Doctors of Medicine and Doctors of Osteopathy were authorized to issue medical cannabis certifications. However, a law passed in 2019 permitted physician assistants and nurse practitioners to issue written certifications to qualified patients.

While Virginia previously required eligible healthcare professionals to register with the state’s Board of Pharmacy before issuing written certifications for medical cannabis, this requirement is no longer applicable. On July 1, 2023, the Virginia legislature, through HB1896 and SB1337, made changes to the state’s cannabis laws and removed the requirement to register with the Board of Pharmacy. Therefore, any practitioner of medicine or osteopathy or a physician assistant registered with the Virginia Board of Medicine can issue a written certification for medical cannabis in the Commonwealth. Similarly, a nurse practitioner duly registered with the state’s Board of Medicine and Board of Nursing can issue a medical cannabis written certification.

Can A Minor Get A Medical Marijuana Certification In Virginia?

Yes, minors need provider certification, and the consent of their parents or legal guardians, to access medical cannabis in Virginia. A minor must obtain a medical marijuana certification from a state-licensed healthcare practitioner.

Can You Get A Medical Marijuana Certification At 18 Virginia?

Yes. Eligible patients of all ages can get medical cannabis certifications in Virginia. When they turn 18, qualifying patients no longer need consent of their parents or legal guardians to get cannabis certifications. They are also not required to designate caregivers on their certifications.

How To Renew Your Virginia Medical Marijuana Card

A medical cannabis card is optional in the Commonwealth of Virginia. After your card expires, you can buy cannabis at medical marijuana dispensaries in the state with your medical cannabis certification. However, if you wish to renew the expired card, you can start the renewal process once you receive a renewal notification email from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. The notification email will contain a link to the license renewal application site and require you to have an active and valid medical cannabis recommendation to begin the renewal process. The renewal process is similar to the application steps for the initial registration and also requires that you pay the annual registration renewal fee.

After completing the renewal process and making the required payment, you may continue to use the current medical marijuana card, even with an expired registration, at approved dispensaries or simply use a current medical cannabis certification to obtain medical cannabis products. The dispensary will use the active written certification and photo identification to verify online that you hold current and valid registration as a medical marijuana patient.

Virginia: Benefits Of Having A Medical Marijuana Card In A Recreational Marijuana-Legal State

Individuals with Virginia medical marijuana cards or valid written certifications from approved healthcare practitioners can legally purchase cannabis products from state-licensed dispensaries. However, the sale of adult-use cannabis has yet to begin in the state, and recreational consumers may be unable to access cannabis products. Currently, recreational marijuana consumers in Virginia may possess no more than 1 ounce of cannabis, but medical marijuana cardholders or certified cannabis patients may possess up to 4 ounces in a 30-day period.

Does Virginia Allow Medical Marijuana Patients To Designate Caregivers?

Yes. Minors and incapacitated adults in Virginia can designate caregivers to assist them with obtaining and using medical marijuana. Caregivers are referred to as registered agents under the Virginia medical marijuana program. A registered agent is an individual who has been designated by a patient with a written medical marijuana certification or, if the patient is a minor or an incapacitated adult, designated by the patient's parent or legal guardian and approved by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. Following an agreement with the patient or patient's parent or legal guardian, the designated individual assists in purchasing, transporting, and administering medical marijuana.

No registered agent in Virginia may serve more than two registered patients. Individuals may not act in the capacity of caregivers or registered agents unless they have registered and been approved by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

Virginia Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

Virginia has no medical marijuana reciprocity with any state. Hence, no out-of-state medical cannabis card is recognized at the Commonwealth's licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.

Are My Medical Marijuana Records Private?

Yes. Registries containing patients' medical marijuana records in Virginia are considered covered entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Such registries are expected to ensure the privacy of cannabis patients and may only disclose certain information from their medical records if required by law or in the public interest. Under certain circumstances, employers may be able to access them, but on request. Similarly, law enforcement may request access to certain information in patients' medical marijuana records if perceived useful for

Does Insurance Cover Medical Marijuana In Virginia?

No. Health insurers are not required to cover costs associated with medical cannabis in Virginia.

What is The Medical Card Limit In Virginia?

Registered medical marijuana patients with Virginia-issued medical cannabis cards or written certifications can purchase up to 4 ounces of marijuana flowers within 30 days.

Can You Go To A Dispensary Without A Medical Card In Virginia?

Yes, because medical marijuana cards are optional in Virginia. Qualifying patients, parents, or legal guardians with valid written certifications issued by Virginia-licensed healthcare practitioners can purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries in the state.

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Virginia Medical Marijuana