In Virginia, medical cannabis patients can now legally purchase and consume cannabis flower. Before the reforms, the state only allowed patients to access products made from the oils of the cannabis plant, also known as concentrates.
Virginian patients have an allowance to purchase up to four ounces of cannabis every month. These reforms went into effect at the beginning of this month.
The Virginia Board of Pharmacy examined the first whole flower cannabis batches at gLeaf Medical and Columbia Care. The batches of flower grown by each company received full approval within 2-days. Friday, September 10th marked the first day patients were able to physically purchase cannabis flower in the state.
The Potential of Cannabis Flower Consumption for Virginia Medical Patients
Raymond Hernandez, the marketing director and pharmacist in charge of Columbia Care Virginia told Richmond-based news channel WRIC that, “This is a big day for all of us in the Commonwealth but most importantly for the medical patients who have been asking for this and seeking this form of medication.”
Hernandez called the day a “major milestone” for patients using medical cannabis in Virginia.
By allowing patients to use flower for medical and therapeutic benefits, patients will receive additional cannabinoids and terpenes. The processing of the oil from the plant can filter these components out. Not only can the effects create better pain relief through the entourage effect, but patients could also possibly receive benefits from other components like terpenes.
Image Via @columbiacarevirginia on Instagram
The Progress Made Possible By Reforms
This isn’t the first set of reforms that got approved this year, though. Earlier in 2021, Virginia lawmakers approved wide reforms surrounding cannabis legalization. As a result, they became the first state in the south to allow adult-use cannabis laws. The law went into effect on the first of July. However, legal recreational cannabis sales are projected to be available sometime in 2023.
Additionally, home cultivations of cannabis are not necessarily defelonized, but may not be necessarily legal. The legalization bill referring to home cultivation will take effect in 2023. On the other hand, any adult over the age of 21 can hold up to one ounce of cannabis flower. Furthermore, they can share and consume cannabis in private spaces.
As a result of the recent reforms and the progress in cannabis legalization in Virginia, the Richmond area and surrounding counties have seen cannabis-related arrests drop 90%. 2021 has been a year of huge victories for the people in Virginia.