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Cannabis Law

Virginia Cannabis Industry Association (VCIA) to Host Legislative Update and 2020 Session Preview

Virginia Cannabis Industry Association (VCIA) to Host Legislative Update and 2020 Session Preview

The Virginia Cannabis Industry Association (VCIA) will host a series of regional legislative forums over the next several weeks.  Discussions will include an update about the Virginia cannabis industry and how outcomes of the November elections of all 140 seats of the Virginia General Assembly may affect the opportunities and challenges of this nascent industry. 

UPDATE: VDACS Food Safety Program Releases CBD Manufacturing Requirements for Virginia Industrial Hemp Processors

UPDATE: VDACS Food Safety Program Releases CBD Manufacturing Requirements for Virginia Industrial Hemp Processors

Following its July 15th letter to Virginia Industrial Hemp Processors (“Processors”) notifying them of Governor Ralph Northam’s recent directive regarding the manufacture of CBD in Virginia, the VDACS Food Safety Program (the “FSP”) sent a letter to Processors on Friday, July 26th setting forth guidelines for Processors to follow when manufacturing cannabidiol (“CBD”) products intended for human consumption (the “Food Safety Letter”).

VDACS Okays Manufacture of CBD Products Intended for Human Consumption

VDACS Okays Manufacture of CBD Products Intended for Human Consumption

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (“VDACS”) Commissioner Jewel Bronaugh sent a letter (the “July Letter”) to all Virginia-registered Industrial Hemp Processors (“Processors”) on July 15, 2019 notifying the Processors that Governor Northam’s office has directed VDACS to “treat hemp-derived extracts intended for human consumption as approved food additives and to place qualifying Registered Industrial Hemp Processors under food safety inspection so that inspected and approved processors may manufacture a hemp-derived extract for human consumption.”

Virginia's Cannabis Industry: A 2019 Legislative Session Rundown

Virginia's Cannabis Industry: A 2019 Legislative Session Rundown

In Virginia’s 2019 General Assembly (GA) Session, five of six proposed cannabis-related bills passed and will soon reach the desk of the Governor, ushering in some significant changes to the Commonwealth’s medical cannabis program. Among them, allowing full therapeutic-strength medical cannabis preparations, and the addition of physician assistants and nurse practitioners to the list of providers permitted to make medical cannabis recommendations.

Congress Votes to Legalize Low-THC Cannabis (Hemp)

Congress Votes to Legalize Low-THC Cannabis (Hemp)

On December 12, 2018, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill (The “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018” or the “Bill”), which includes provisions that exempt Cannabis plants with lower than 0.3% THC content (also called “Hemp”) from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Once signed into law, the Farm Bill effectively legalizes the production, commercialization, and interstate shipment and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products like cannabidiol or “CBD”. Each state (including Indian Tribes and U.S. Territories) will eventually be able to regulate hemp production like any other agricultural commodity, as long as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approves its plan to monitor and regulate the plant’s production.

Evolution of Cannabis Law and Regulations in Virginia

Evolution of Cannabis Law and Regulations in Virginia

On September 25, 2018, the Virginia Board of Pharmacy met in closed session for more than five hours before awarding five conditional permits to five separate companies who will likely become the first Pharmaceutical Processors of Medical Cannabis in Virginia. Following this exciting announcement, these conditional license permittees will undergo background checks and, upon satisfactory results, will begin the arduous process of creating Virginia’s first vertically integrated Medical Cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and retail facilities. The state’s program started in earnest in 2015, and due to the advocacy of Virginia patients, caregivers, legislators, and healthcare providers, expanded to its current state in just three short years.

Virginia Cannabis Industry Association Kicks Off at Legalize Virginia Festival in Norfolk

Virginia Cannabis Industry Association Kicks Off at Legalize Virginia Festival in Norfolk

In anticipation of the forthcoming issuance of Virginia’s first pharmaceutical processor licenses, the Virginia Cannabis Industry Association (VCIA) will host a launch event at O’Connor Brewing Co,’s Legalize Virginia Festival, Tuesday, September 18. VCIA’s mission is to represent Virginia medical cannabis business owners and industry stakeholders to advance legislation and bring the highest quality, safest, and most compliant medical cannabis products to consumers in the Commonwealth.

Virginia Medical Cannabis Update

Virginia Medical Cannabis Update

Virginia’s medical cannabis program is moving forward, with a notice of proposed regulations and a new physician registration form. However, the Board of Pharmacy, whose ad hoc committee is currently evaluating pharmaceutical processor applications, has signaled that it will not be announcing the conditional permit recipients at its August 14th meeting, as was previously expected. The 53 applicants to the Board may be looking at a delay of weeks or months.

In the meantime, physicians can begin to prepare for increased demand from Virginians for medical cannabis certifications by registering with the Board of Pharmacy using its new application form. Also, industry stakeholders have until August 22nd to comment on the proposed regulations to replace the emergency regulations adopted by the Board earlier this summer.

Nixon Law Group Launches Medical Cannabis Practice

Nixon Law Group Launches Medical Cannabis Practice

Nixon Law Group’s Cannabis attorneys assist clients with licensing for growing/cultivation, processing/extraction and dispensing; intellectual property; real estate and equipment leases, and business/corporate transactions.

Virginia Legalizes Cannabis for Medical Use

Virginia Legalizes Cannabis for Medical Use

On February 21, the Virginia House of Delegates voted 99-0 (1 abstention) to approve HB 1251, a bill that will dramatically expand the state’s medical cannabis laws. The bill was sent to Governor Ralph Northam for signature and – thanks to an emergency clause recommended by the Governor himself – will be effective immediately once he signs. With this bill, doctors will now be able to recommend the use of medical cannabis oil to patients with any diagnosed condition or disease that the doctor determines will benefit from such use.