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Know the Rights and Responsibilities of Medical Marijuana Cardholders in Virginia

Medical marijuana has been legalized in many states across the US, including Virginia, where it is regulated by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. 

However, not everyone can access medical marijuana in Virginia. Only patients with a valid written certification from a registered practitioner and a medical marijuana card can legally purchase and possess medical marijuana products from licensed dispensaries in the state.

This article will discuss the benefits of having a medical marijuana card VA, the patient’s rights and responsibilities, and the medical marijuana laws and regulations within the state.

Benefits of Having a Medical Marijuana Card in Virginia

A medical marijuana card is a patient identification card that the Virginia Board of Pharmacy issues upon registration as a medical marijuana patient. A medical marijuana card offers several benefits to patients who qualify for medical marijuana treatment, such as:

Access to licensed dispensaries

With a medical marijuana card, patients can access various medical marijuana products from licensed dispensaries across Virginia. These products include capsules, sprays, tinctures, oils, creams, gels, patches, lozenges, suppositories, lollipops, inhalation products, and cannabis flowers. Patients can purchase up to four ounces of cannabis flower per month or an equivalent amount of other products.

Having a medical marijuana card provides legal protection to patients from arrest and prosecution for possessing or using medical marijuana products under state law. Patients are also protected from being fired or disciplined by their employers for using medical marijuana away from work.

Medicinal benefits

Medical marijuana can provide significant relief for patients suffering from various medical conditions and symptoms. Medical marijuana can help alleviate chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, epilepsy, cancer, glaucoma, and more. Patients can consult their registered practitioners for the best dosage and delivery method.

Cost savings

Patients with a medical marijuana card in Virginia can save money through various cost-saving measures. They are exempt from paying the retail sales tax on medical marijuana products, which can result in significant savings, especially for patients who require regular and ongoing treatment.

Patient Rights and Responsibilities with Medical Marijuana Cards in Virginia

As medical marijuana cardholders in Virginia, patients have certain rights and responsibilities they should be aware of. Some of the patient rights include:

Confidentiality Rights

Patients possess the right to keep their medical information private and secure. The dispensaries are required to protect patient’s personal and health information and comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The dispensaries are also prohibited from sharing or selling patient data to third parties without consent.

Freedom of Choice

Patients have the right to choose their registered practitioner and licensed dispensary. Patients can change their practitioner or dispensary by updating their written certification. Patients can also choose the type and amount of product that suits their needs as long as it does not exceed the limit set by their practitioner.

Feedback Privileges

Patients retain the right to provide feedback on their experience with medical cannabis and to report any problems or complaints. Patients can contact the Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) or the Board of Pharmacy (BOP) to file a complaint or report an adverse event. Patients can also participate in surveys or studies conducted by the CCA or other authorized entities to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medical cannabis.

Some of the patient responsibilities include:

Compliance Responsibility

Patients must adhere to the laws and regulations governing medical marijuana in Virginia. Patients should only use medical cannabis as their practitioner recommends and as instructed by their dispensary. Patients should not share, sell, or divert their products to others. Patients should also not use medical cannabis while driving, operating machinery, or performing other activities that require alertness or coordination.

Information Sharing Responsibility

Patients are accountable for informing their healthcare providers about their use of medical cannabis. Patients should disclose their medical condition, written certification, product type, dosage, frequency, and duration of use to their primary care physician, specialist, pharmacist, dentist, or other health care provider. This can help prevent potential drug interactions, side effects, or complications.

Renewal Responsibility

Patients are responsible for renewing their written certification every year. Patients should contact their registered practitioner at least 30 days before their certification expires to schedule an appointment for renewal. Patients should always keep a copy of their current written certification with them when using or possessing medical cannabis.

Medical Marijuana Laws and Regulations in Virginia

In Virginia, the rules around medical marijuana are evolving based on emerging research and evidence about its benefits and risks of use. Here’s a look at some current laws:

Virginia Cannabis Control Act 

This act legalizes marijuana possession, cultivation, and sales for adults aged 21 and above. It establishes a system for regulating production, distribution, and taxation. It also includes provisions for expunging certain past convictions and addressing social equity concerns in communities disproportionately affected by marijuana prohibition.

Virginia Medical Cannabis Program 

Under this program, individuals with diagnosed conditions can receive written certifications from registered practitioners for medical cannabis use. Patients can then access these products from licensed pharmaceutical processors throughout the state.

Virginia Medical Cannabis Employment Protection Act

This act shields employees from adverse actions due to legal medical cannabis use outside of work hours. Employers are not obliged to accommodate on-the-job use or go against federal law or contracts. THC limits are set for defense industrial base sector employees.

Virginia Medical Cannabis Botanical Cannabis Act

Licensed pharmaceutical processors can produce and provide botanical cannabis products, including flowers, to registered patients. Inhalation devices are also allowed for administering these products. Dispensing of botanical cannabis is capped at four ounces per 30-day period.

Medical marijuana is a legal option for patients in Virginia who suffer from certain medical conditions and have obtained a written certification from a registered practitioner. A medical marijuana card allows them to access licensed dispensaries and purchase various medical marijuana products. It also provides them with legal and job protection from the potential consequences of using medical marijuana.

However, medical marijuana cardholders also have some responsibilities that they need to follow to ensure their safety and compliance with the law. By knowing their rights and responsibilities, medical marijuana cardholders in Virginia can enjoy the benefits of natural relief without fear or hassle.