Legislature is one of the hardest ways for states to pass marijuana laws – many states start off with laws that only protect the patients from the potential of arrest or incarceration rather than actually providing a solution. Last year, one such state was Virginia as the passed a law that allowed epileptic patients to possess cannabis oil without fear of conviction.
However, that law was extremely limited – it did not protect the patients or their families from arrest, only conviction of the crime. It also did not provide any sort of way for patients to legally access this medicine – leaving it in the hands of the black market for the time being.
This year, after much support from a large community of parents with epileptic children, a bill which would allow not only the legal possession but also cultivation and distribution of cannabis oil was passed unanimously by both the House and the Senate.
The previous bill was a lot like what we’re seeing happen in Georgia. It made it a little safer for patients to be found with the cannabis oil and it takes away the fear of conviction – but thankfully for parents and patients in Virginia they seem to be more progressive on the issue.
The bill now awaits signature from the Governor before it is officially part of Virginia law. Once signed into law cannabis oil with the active ingredients THCa and CBD will both be legal. It won’t be available through legal means right away, but the new law will allow both production and sales so it’s only a matter of time.
THCa and CBD are both non-psychoactive cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant and both have proven extremely beneficial to patients with seizure disorders. For now the law is starting small – but it could help save hundreds if not thousands of lives.
Considering the overwhelming support both from citizens and the state government, it is unlikely that Virginia will see many hold ups in getting their distribution market up and running like we’re seeing in other states (especially here in Florida…).
It’s great to be able to add one more state on the list of those allowing medical marijuana – even if it’s only for a very specific set of patients for now. Hopefully this is a good sign of the Virginia government being open to expanding this law in the future to help even more patients.
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