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.”
Nixon Law Group represents clients whose businesses are on the leading edge of healthcare and technology. We represent healthcare providers, healthcare technology companies, and other businesses that sell to the healthcare industry, including businesses in the medical cannabis industry.
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’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’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.