In 2019, the state of Virginia will begin issuing cannabis-infused edibles to registered patients in a limited trial that will start on January 20.
It will also be legal to grow and sell cannabis-based products for adults.
“Voters have spoken, and we are pleased to see Virginia move in the right direction,” Virginia Attorney General Danica Roem said in a press release announcing the trial.
Virginia will be the first state to approve medicinal cannabis products.
The initiative will allow patients to receive CBD products, which include cannabis oil and topical medications.
Patients will be able to purchase cannabis-derived products, such as marijuana-infusion edibles, at licensed dispensaries.
Patients who opt for the cannabidiol (CBD) product will also have access to cannabichromene (CBC), which is a naturally occurring chemical found in cannabis plants.
“The initiative is an important step toward the legalization of cannabis in Virginia, which is expected to be the most populous state in the country in 2020,” Roem added.
“As the nation continues to evolve and adapt to cannabis use, we are encouraged that the initiative will encourage a broad spectrum of options for individuals, families and caregivers to use cannabis safely and responsibly.”
The trial, which will begin January 20, will allow registered patients to grow up to six plants at home.
Patients can purchase edibles at licensed retail stores, such.
as the Green Mountain Medical marijuana dispensary in Charlottesville, the Virginia Cannabis Market in Hampton Roads, and the Cannabis Company in Newnan.
For now, patients will be allowed to grow four plants.
The trial will also allow patients who are eligible to receive cannabis-oil products to receive THC-rich edibles containing a variety of cannabids, including CBD.
The edibles will be sold in bulk at licensed marijuana retailers, as well as at wholesale dispensaries.
A study published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse found that cannabis oil can help reduce anxiety, nausea and depression in patients with severe depression.
“In Virginia, there is a tremendous amount of research on cannabis and its potential to treat some of the health conditions associated with cannabis use,” Roam said in the press release.
“By working with a broad range of medical providers, including the Virginia Medical Society, and with a supportive community, we have the opportunity to ensure that the medical benefits of cannabis are fully realized in our state.
We are excited to continue to explore this avenue in the coming months and years, and to support the efforts of our patients and caregivers as we move forward.”
Roem’s announcement comes as Virginia is preparing to approve the recreational use of recreational cannabis next year.
In 2018, Virginia voters approved a measure that allows the use of medical marijuana, allowing registered patients age 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of the product.
The measure was approved by the legislature and signed by Gov.
Ralph Northam, who is currently running for reelection.
The new legislation requires that the product be shipped to licensed retailers, which are required to sell the product at a profit to a licensed pharmacy or medical provider, and that the company that distributes the product will be certified as a dispensary.
“These are exciting times for Virginia,” Northam said at the time.
“We have a long way to go to ensure our citizens have access and are able to responsibly use this powerful medicine.
It’s up to us to help them make the most of the great opportunity we have at their fingertips.”