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Whether you’re in a state with medical cannabis or one that’s fully legalized weed, having a medical card can save you time, money, and a lot of effort. In VA, cannabis will be fully legal next year, but recreational cannabis still won’t bring the same benefits that MMJ does.

In fact, the benefits of getting a medical card in Virginia are impressive and well worth the few extra steps.

Even when VA does legalize recreational cannabis, here’s why you should stick with getting a medical card in Virginia, instead.

The History of Medical Cannabis in Virginia

Medical marijuana is legal in Virginia, but the road to medical marijuana in Virginia was a windy one.

The Old Dominion passed one of the country’s first medical marijuana laws in 1979 with a provision in the state’s criminal code.

The law stated that a person could not be prosecuted for marijuana possession if they have a valid physician prescription for marijuana to treat symptoms of glaucoma or side effects of chemotherapy.

This 1979 law was not much of a help since marijuana remained a Schedule I substance, and physicians could not prescribe it. Thus, actually getting a medical card in Virginia was impossible.

Decades later in 2017, the Virginia General Assembly approved a bill that allowed limited access to CBD or THCA oil for patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy.

And, finally, in 2018, Governor Ralph Northam expanded the medical marijuana program when he signed a bill that allowed physicians to recommend medical marijuana to any patient who may benefit from marijuana treatment.

Getting a Medical Card in Virginia: 2022 Updates

As of July 2022, it was no longer necessary for patients to register with the Board of Pharmacy and obtain a Virginia medical marijuana card. This means patients can buy marijuana if they have a valid physician certification and a government-issued ID.  

While patients no longer need an MMJ card to access medical marijuanas in VA, they still need to get a physician certification. So, the physician certification functions as your medical marijuana card in VA.

In this article, when we talk about getting a medical card in Virginia, we’re referring to your physician certification.

But before that, is medical marijuana your only access to weed?


Recreational marijuana is legal in Virginia, but legal sales won’t commence until 2024.

Virginia became the first southern state to legalize recreational marijuana when the state legislature passed Senate Bill 1406 and House Bill 2312 in April 2021.

Originally, it was intended that the bill would take effect from July 1, 2024, but Governor Ralph Northam requested changes. When lawmakers applied the changes, it officially became law without the governor’s signature, and adult-use marijuana became legal on July 1, 2021, rather than 2024.

According to the bill, adult users can possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to four plants per household.

Unfortunately for those without a VA medical marijuana card, retail sales won’t take off until 2024 because the Cannabis Control Authority and other regulators need time to work out the framework necessary for cultivating, manufacturing, distributing, and selling recreational marijuana.

The Benefits of Getting a Medical Card in Virginia

So, why is getting a medical card in Virginia important when weed when will be more accessible next year?

In every state, medical cannabis brings unique benefits that recreational cannabis simply can’t and won’t. From saving money to enjoying priority treatment, here are the major benefits of getting a medical card in Virginia.

Access to the Therapeutic Benefits of Medical Marijuana Whenever You Need It

Thanks to the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana, wellness is at your fingertips, and the first step is getting your medical card in Virginia. Simple as that.

In states where medical marijuana is legal, there’s usually a list of qualifying conditions, but it’s different in Virginia. There’s no list of qualifying conditions, but physicians registered in the medical marijuana program can recommend medical marijuana at their discretion.

If you consult with a physician who believes your condition can benefit from medical marijuana treatment, they will give you a certification. This unique process means a broad range of qualifying conditions.

Remember, Elevate Holistics can set you up with a certified marijuana doctor to find out if you qualify for a VA MMJ card.

There Are No Age Restrictions

Diseases do not discriminate by age, and thankfully, Virginia medical weed has no age barriers, either.

While recreational marijuana is legal, when sales begin, you must be 21 and older to buy and use it. Dispensaries will check your ID to ensure you meet the requirements.

However, with medical marijuana card in Virginia, you can access medical marijuana treatment no matter how young you are.

It may seem like the age limit is discriminatory, but it’s rational. Recreational users don’t need marijuana; they can do without it.

On the other hand, people who have a VA medical marijuana card need marijuana because of various health and wellness reasons.

By getting a medical card in Virginia, you don’t have to wait till you’re 21.

The Virginia marijuana laws say you must be at least 18 to register for medical marijuana, but that does not mean minors younger than 18 cannot access the benefits of medical cannabis in Virginia.

If you feel as though your child could benefit from the support of MMJ, you can register on their behalf as their caregiver.

You Get to Save Money on Marijuana Purchases

Tax is a constant feature of purchases, but did you know that with a medical cannabis card in Virginia, you get preferential tax treatment?

There’s a 21% excise tax on recreational marijuana in Virginia, and local governments can levy another 3% tax on sales.

By contrast, the tax on medical marijuana is only 5.3%. So, by getting a medical card in Virginia, you can buy more weed at a lesser cost. Your medical card will pay for itself after your first trip to the dispensary — nice.

Sure, recreational marijuana is legal, but why pay that much for weed when you can save money with a medical marijuana card in VA?

Another way you can make great savings is via dispensary offers exclusive to patients, like discounts, promotions, and special offers.

Once recreational sales begin, dispensaries will likely offer serious discounts to those with MMJ cards. They are also likely to let you skip the line and have priority service.

Legalization and commercialization don’t often go hand in hand; if you would rather buy recreational marijuana than get a medical cannabis card in Virginia, you’ll have to wait a long time.

While it is legal to buy and consume weed in Virginia, selling weed in the state is still illegal.

Lawmakers are yet to issue licenses for recreational sales, so there’s no place in the state where you can legally buy marijuana. Legal recreational sales won’t begin until 2024.

The lack of licensed recreational sales leaves a vacuum in the market that unlicensed sellers are eager to exploit to the detriment of buyers.

Unlicensed weed is not safe; it has not been tested and put through rigorous quality assurance checks. The lack of oversight means that contaminated, substandard weed could find its way into the hands of consumers and endanger your health.

Senator Adam P. Ebbin said, “Without a legal marketplace, Virginians interested in using legal cannabis are at risk of unsafe, unregulated products.”

However, medical marijuana dispensaries in Virginia are up and running. Your health is a priority, so get a Virginia medical weed card and enjoy safe, legal marijuana, instead.

Patients Have Priority Treatment

Scarcity is an issue every industry has to deal with, including the marijuana industry. In states where medical and recreational marijuana is legal, medical marijuana has priority, and we expect that to be the case when recreational sales kick off in Virginia.

Priority means that if the state’s marijuana supplies run low, medical dispensaries will get supplies before recreational dispensaries.

Also, patients don’t have to suffer in long queues because they have medical-only dispensaries that serve only patients with medical marijuana cards in Virginia.

When recreational sales kick off, it won’t be a surprise to see long queues as eager customers wait to purchase marijuana.

The convenience of having a VA medical marijuana card is obvious.

Reciprocity: You Can Buy Medical Marijuana in Other States

It is illegal to travel across state lines with marijuana, so you can’t take your meds with you if you’re visiting another state.

However, you can still access your medication if you travel to a state with reciprocity. Reciprocity means that you can use your VA medical card to buy medical marijuana in another state.

Unfortunately, not all states with medical marijuana programs have reciprocity. Check the laws of your destination before you travel.

The Steps Toward Getting a Medical Card in Virginia

With an expert guide, getting a medical card in Virginia is easy. Fortunately, we can guide you through this process because we are skilled at it and have helped thousands of satisfied clients.

As we said earlier, Virginia’s MMJ card process differs from that of other states. You don’t need a VA medical marijuana card, but a physician certification and a government-issued ID are compulsory if you want to buy medical marijuana.

So, it becomes an issue of how to get a medical marijuana physician certification in Virginia, and we can help you with that. All you have to do is book an appointment and leave the rest to us. The entire process is 100% online, so you don’t even have to leave your couch.

Elevate Holistics: Your Virginia Medical Marijuana Guide

Your health is central to everything you do, and you should entrust it to only the best professionals. If you’re looking for premium marijuana care and wellness at an affordable cost, Elevate Holistics is the one for you.

We have built a patient-centered marijuana service to give you only the best. We have a team of expert professionals at your disposal that includes qualified doctors. Our marijuana doctors have the skills and qualifications to help you make the most out of medical marijuana.

We can help you book an appointment with a Virginia medical marijuana doctor who will discuss your condition with you and give you a physician recommendation effortlessly, completely online.

What’s more? Our industry standard security and compliance-compliant process conforms to industry best practices; you can trust us with your health.

Click here to schedule an appointment for a Virginia MMJ card recommendation.

Virginia Patient Resources

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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