Virginia looks more like it has a full-blown medical marijuana program

Updated: Mar. 7, 2019 at 11:37 AM EST
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People haven’t really been sure what to call Virginia’s foray into the world of medical cannabis.

When it first came up a few years ago, discussions focused on CBD (cannabidiol), a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis that has been used as a treatment for everything from seizures to anxiety.

It’s been broadened since then, but lawmakers weren’t ready to call it a “medical marijuana program” this year, cutting the language from a bill in the House of Delegates while otherwise leaving the legislation intact.

Meanwhile, the state regulators tasked with overseeing the program, the Board of Pharmacy, officially call it a “low-THC oil program.”

Whatever language people land on, advocates say changes to state law that sailed through the General Assembly this year make clear that there is nothing necessarily “low-THC” about the state’s approach.

“Virginia greatly expanded its medical cannabis program to allow our producers to sell full, therapeutic-strength products in a variety of preparations,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws.


The Virginia Mercury is a new, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.