In the United States, Virginia is one of the 33 states that have legalized the use of medical marijuana. It’s believed to manage various conditions and symptoms, including nausea and loss of appetite. But, to be able to purchase and use medical marijuana in Virginia, in particular, you must first obtain a medical marijuana card. Issued by the Virginia Department of Health, it allows a patient to possess, use, and grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. The card is valid for one year, and can only be issued to patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation for marijuana.
Alternatively, there are online platforms run by qualified physicians, such as ReThink-Rx marijuana doctors, that can quickly process your medical marijuana card. Simply request an appointment, fill out some forms, have yourself assessed by a doctor, and get approved and obtain your card in no time.
This article will provide a quick guide on how to obtain a medical marijuana card in the state of Virginia. If you want to be a cardholder the soonest possible time, read on for the fine details!
- Determine If You Qualify
To be eligible for a Virginia medical marijuana card, you must be a state resident and have a valid ID. You must also be at least 18 years old. In addition, you must have one of the following qualifying conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Muscular spasticity
Suppose you don’t have one of the above conditions. In that case, you may still be eligible for a medical marijuana card if your doctor has verified that you’d benefit from the use of medical marijuana.
- Get A Written Recommendation From A Licensed Doctor
Next, you need to get a written recommendation from a licensed doctor, who must be registered with the Virginia Board of Medicine. The physician must also have a bona fide relationship with you, the patient, meaning that they’ve seen you on at least four occasions.
You’ll need to schedule an appointment with the doctor to discuss your medical history and current condition. Then, they’ll conduct a physical examination, review your medical history, and determine if medical marijuana is right for you. If they do recommend medical marijuana, they’ll provide you with a written recommendation, which must be on official letterhead and include the doctor’s signature. The recommendation must also state that the physician has explained the risks and benefits of using medical marijuana to the patient.
- Submit The Application
Apply to the Virginia Department of Health after you’ve acquired a doctor’s written recommendation. The application must be completed in full and must include the following:
- Your name, address, and date of birth
- Your doctor’s name and contact information
- Your qualifying condition
- A copy of your written recommendation
- A recent photo
You’ll also need to pay a non-refundable application fee, which can be paid through check, money order, or credit card. Once you’ve completed the application form, submit it to the Virginia Department of Health, along with the required documents.
- Wait For Your Application To Be Processed
The state’s Department of Health will review the paperwork, and if everything checks out, your application will be approved, although it’ll take them up to 30 days to process it. Afterwards, your Virginia medical marijuana card will be mailed to you. On the one hand, you’ll be notified and allowed to appeal the decision in writing if your application is denied.
- Renew Your Virginia Medical Marijuana Card
Your medical marijuana card will be valid for one year. Before it expires, you’ll need to renew your card. To do this, you’ll need to submit a new application and pay the fee. You’ll also need to provide a new and current written recommendation from a licensed doctor.
- Purchasing Medical Marijuana
As soon as you acquire your Virginia medical marijuana card, you can visit any dispensary the state has approved. Always present your medical marijuana card when purchasing. Often, you’ll also be required to show a valid form of identification.
- Possessing Medical Marijuana
As a cardholder, you can possess up to one ounce or up to a 30-day supply of medical marijuana. You can also grow up to six plants for personal use, three of which can be mature and flowering at any given time. However, it’s important to note that growing your plants is only allowed if you live more than 25 miles from a licensed dispensary.
In addition, patients are advised to use medical marijuana only in private, away from the public eye. Smoking medical marijuana is also not permitted in Virginia. You can only use medical marijuana in one of the following forms:
Purchasing and using medical marijuana are still illegal under federal law. However, Virginia has already decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. This means you won’t be arrested or fined for possessing up to one ounce of marijuana. However, if you get caught with more than the said amount, you could face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of USD$ 500.
Moreover, patients aren’t allowed to sell the marijuana they grow, although they can give it to other medical marijuana cardholders.
- Driving Under The Influence Of Medical Marijuana
It’s important to note that driving under the influence of medical marijuana is illegal in Virginia. If caught redhanded, you could face the same penalties as if caught driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drug.
Possession of medical marijuana is still illegal under federal law. However, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law that provides a defense for patients who possess a valid medical marijuana card. Virginia’s medical marijuana program is still in its early stages. As it grows, the state is expected to make changes and additions.
If you think you may benefit from the use of medical cannabis, be sure to consult with a licensed physician to see if you qualify for a written certification. Once you’ve been certified, you can apply for a medical marijuana card from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.