RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)- Buying medical marijuana in Virginia is about to get easier starting July 1.
Marijuana is legal to possess recreationally for those 21 and older but sales are still limited to medical dispensaries. A new law is speeding up the approval process for eligible patients and making it more affordable to enter the medical program.
Virginians will still need to get a certification from a registered medical cannabis practitioner and show proof of residency to make a purchase.
Notably, patients won’t need to wait for approval from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy anymore.
Ashley Allen, vice president of government affairs at Columbia Care, said applicants have been waiting several months for approval. She said these changes are critical steps towards normalizing medical marijuana as a treatment for various conditions.
“We hear from patients that that lag time and that extra step often turns them off from actually going and getting their card and so we do anticipate an influx of patients,” Allen said.
Diane Powers, communications director for the Virginia Department of Health Professions, said there are currently 52,810 registered medical cannabis patients in the state.
As of Wednesday, Powers said 4,900 applications requiring additional information or initial review were in the backlog. She said the Board will continue to process those applications after…