Virginia Board of Pharmacy FAQ

April 1, 2021

The Virginia Board of Pharmacy gets questions from pharmacists, consumers, and other health care professionals regarding the laws and regulations as they pertain to the lawful possession, dispensing, distribution, delivery, administration, prescribing, and other disposition of prescription drugs in Virginia. This, of course, includes cannabis.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions the Virginia Board of Pharmacy answers:

Virginia Board of Pharmacy Most Common Questions

Who is eligible for obtaining cannabis oil?

At this point, the law only allows cannabis oil use for Virginia Board of Pharmacy-registered patients or, if the patient is a minor or incapacitated adult as defined in 18.2-369, the patient’s parent or guardian can use it to treat or alleviate the symptoms of any diagnosed disease or condition as determined by the practitioner that the patient would benefit from it.

Does the law provide for an affirmative defense for possession of cannabis oil?

Since July 1, 2020, patients, parents, and legal guardians or registered agents no longer need an affirmative defense to legally possess cannabis oil. This provision is called 18.2-250.1 C of the Code of Virginia.

Do I need a new written certification now that a patient, parent, legal guardian, or registered agent may legally possess cannabis oil?

You do not. If you have a current written certification that hasn’t expired, pharmaceutical processors will accept it. Your practitioner will update your written certification the next time you go to renew it.

What other conditions must be met to legally possess cannabis oil?

Besides obtaining a valid written certification from a Virginia Board of Pharmacy-registered practitioner, the patient, and, if the patient is a minor or an incapacitated adult as defined in 18.2-369, the patient’s parent or guardian, need to get registration from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. All conditions to possess cannabis oil are not satisfied with the written certification alone.

When may a patient, parent, or legal guardian apply for board registration?

All parents or legal guardians who plan to possess cannabis oil will need a written certification in his or her name. Furthermore, once the parents or legal guardians are issued written certifications, they’ll need to get board registration if they’d like to possess the oils.

More Virginia Board of Pharmacy Questions

What is the registration fee for a patient?

The registration fee is $50. Each year, the renewal costs $50.

What is the registration fee for a parent or legal guardian?

The registration fee is $25. Each year, the renewal costs $25.

If the patient is a minor or an incapacitated adult as defined in 18.2-369, who must obtain board registration?

Parents or legal guardians will have to apply for board registration for themselves as the parent or legal guardian and the patient.

Must each parent or legal guardian be issued a written certification by the practitioner?

All parents or legal guardians who will possess cannabis oil will have to get a written certification in his or her name. Also, once the parents or legal guardians receive their written certifications, they’ll have to obtain board registration if they’d like to possess the oils.

Is cannabis oil currently available to obtain from a pharmaceutical processor dispensary located in Virginia?

The first pharmaceutical processor dispensary opened in October 2020, making cannabis oil available to patients.

Once I am registered in Virginia as a patient for cannabis oil, can I purchase cannabis products in other states?

Some states will honor a Virginia patient registration card, allowing you to buy and consume cannabis products in these states. However, this will depend on the state’s regulations pertaining to visitor purchase allowances.

Virginia Board of Pharmacy: Registered Agent FAQ

Who should register as a registered agent?

Either a patient or the patient’s parent or legal guardian should register. However, the patient, parent, or legal guardian can choose a registered agent to receive the cannabis oil on the patient’s behalf.

How many patients can I act as the registered agent for?

You’re allowed to serve as the registered agent for up to 2 registered patients.

Virginia Board of Pharmacy: Practitioners FAQ

What practitioners are eligible to obtain board registration for issuing a written certification for recommending the use of cannabis oil?

Practitioners of osteopathy or medicine, or a physician assistant, licensed by the Board of Medicine, or a nurse practitioner jointly licensed by the Board of Nursing and the Board of Medicine are eligible to get board registration to issue these written certifications.

Must a practitioner obtain a Board of Pharmacy registration prior to or continuing to issue a written certification for a patient to possess cannabis oil?

Yes. Before a practitioner is allowed to issue or can continue issuing written certifications, they’ll have to register with the Board of Pharmacy.

Can a practitioner issue a prescription for cannabis oil?

No. They’ll have to issue a written certificate.

Virginia Board of Pharmacy: Pharmaceutical Processor Permit FAQ

What is the process for applying for a pharmaceutical processor permit?

Applying for a pharmaceutical processor permit involves three stages; submission of initial application, awarding of conditional approval, and granting of a pharmaceutical processor permit.

How many pharmaceutical processor permits will be issued?

The Code of Virginia limits the number of permits the Board can issue or renew in any year to 5 permits. This allows for a permit for each of the health service areas that have been established by the Board of Health.

Where can I find a listing of the five health service areas as established by the Board of Health?

Here’s a list of the five health service areas in Virginia and Virginia dispensary locations and operating times.

What are the licensure fees associated with obtaining a pharmaceutical processor permit?

The initial application fee costs $10,000. You’ll also have to pay a permit fee of $60,000 and renew it annually for $10,000.