Can I Use Hemp in Virginia? The Latest on Hemp Laws
Hemp, a versatile and widely celebrated plant, has faced recent challenges in the state of Virginia. Changes in hemp laws have sparked controversy and legal battles, leaving many wondering about the future of this remarkable plant in the Commonwealth.
In this blog post, we'll dive into the latest developments in Virginia's hemp laws, the impact on businesses and consumers, and why medical marijuana could be a crucial alternative for those seeking natural relief.
Virginia's Hemp Law Evolution
Virginia's hemp landscape experienced a significant shift when a new law took effect on July 1st, imposing stricter limits on hemp products. This legislation set the maximum allowable THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) concentration in hemp products at 0.3 percent and restricted the THC content in individual packages to 2 milligrams. As a result, hundreds of hemp products that were legally available before July became illegal and subject to fines if sold.
Hemp Retailers vs. Virginia's New Law
In response to these stringent regulations, two hemp businesses, Northern Virginia Hemp and Agriculture, and hemp customer Rose Lane, along with North Carolina-based hemp producer and distributor Franny's Operations, filed a lawsuit challenging the new law. Their argument is that the law will cause substantial and irreparable financial harm to hemp businesses and disrupt interstate commerce.
The heart of the issue lies in the definition of legal hemp in Virginia. The state's law defines it as hemp products with less than 0.3 percent total THC content, which includes not just delta-9 THC but also delta-8 and all other natural and synthetic isomers combined. This definition conflicts with the federal definition of hemp, which specifically references delta-9 THC content.
The plaintiffs argue that this inconsistency places Virginia's law in direct conflict with federal law, violating the U.S. Constitution's supremacy clause. They contend that the law, if not halted, could result in millions of dollars in irreparable harm and limit access to hemp products, potentially affecting the health and well-being of thousands of Virginians.
The Impact on Hemp Businesses
Northern Virginia Hemp and Agriculture, a hemp product retailer, has reported a staggering loss of 90 percent of its business due to the new law. The abrupt shift in regulations has left many businesses struggling to adapt and comply with the updated THC limits.
For Travis Lane, the owner of Northern Virginia Hemp and Agriculture, the future of his business hangs in the balance. If the law continues without intervention, he may be forced to close his doors before the year's end. While he acknowledges the need for regulation, Lane, like many others, believes it should not come at the expense of legitimate and responsible hemp businesses.
A Complex Legal Landscape
Jason Amatucci, president of the Virginia Hemp Coalition, sheds light on the complex dynamics at play. He suggests that Virginia's stricter limits on hemp products were influenced by medical marijuana companies, which saw the hemp industry as a competitive threat. This observation raises questions about the double standards surrounding marijuana legality, as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level while its use has been legalized in Virginia. Yet, some federally legal hemp products are now banned in the state.
Lawmakers, however, express concerns about the rapid growth of an unregulated hemp market in Virginia, coupled with a concerning increase in hospitalizations of minors who have consumed hemp-derived products. The new law not only enforces THC limits but also introduces packaging security and labeling requirements while imposing escalating fines for non-compliance.
The Need for Informed Regulation
While the intention to protect public health, particularly among vulnerable youth, is clear, critics argue that the law lacks focus on genuine child safety and addressing counterfeit synthetic products. They emphasize the importance of comprehensive education and smart regulations that precisely target the issues at hand.
Chloe Smith, a spokesperson for Attorney General Jason Miyares, underscored the commitment to combating accidental THC poisonings in children. However, Amatucci and others in the hemp industry believe that the law's approach was overly broad and may have unintended consequences.
Hemp-Based CBD Products in Virginia
One intriguing aspect of Virginia's hemp law is the carveout for hemp-based CBD products. This provision was introduced after caregivers of epileptic children who use CBD oil as an anti-seizure treatment voiced concerns. It sets a minimum 25:1 ratio of CBD to THC for products containing more than 2 milligrams of THC.
Critics argue that this requirement adds unnecessary complexity to hemp products, creating additional steps and restrictions. The need to include 25 times more CBD than THC in products with minimal THC content has raised eyebrows among businesses and consumers alike.
Hemp and Beyond
The legal landscape surrounding hemp in Virginia remains in flux. On the federal level, marijuana maintains its status as illegal, but the 2018 farm bill reclassified hemp, removing it from Schedule I controlled substances alongside substances like heroin. Recent discussions at the federal level have even considered reclassifying marijuana to a Schedule III drug, signaling potential changes in the broader regulatory framework.
The lawsuit challenging Virginia's hemp law will be heard on September 29th by District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in Alexandria, shedding light on the future direction of hemp regulation in the state.
The Role of Medical Marijuana
Amidst the legal battles and evolving regulations surrounding hemp, it's essential to consider the alternative of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana provides a well-regulated and trusted pathway for individuals seeking natural relief from various medical conditions.
Here's why you should consider medical marijuana as a viable option:
In the realm of medical marijuana, healthcare professionals play a central role in patient care. They provide personalized guidance, ensuring patients receive safe and effective treatments tailored to their specific medical needs.
Medical marijuana products undergo rigorous testing to guarantee their safety and quality. Patients can have confidence in the purity and potency of the products they use.
While discussions about hemp regulations continue, medical marijuana patients in Virginia enjoy legal protections that recreational users do not. Possessing a medical marijuana card ensures compliance with state laws.
Medical marijuana offers patients access to specific strains and products designed to address their unique medical conditions. Whether it's pain management, anxiety relief, or the treatment of chronic illnesses, medical marijuana provides personalized solutions.
If you're considering medical marijuana in Virginia, obtaining a medical marijuana card is the first step. The process involves several essential steps:
Verify eligibility, including residency and qualifying medical conditions.
Schedule a consultation with a certified physician registered with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.
Receive a physician's recommendation for medical marijuana.
Register with the Virginia Medical Cannabis Program (MMCP) and pay the required fee.
Await approval and receive your medical marijuana card.
Embracing the Future
While the future of hemp in Virginia remains uncertain, the potential for change is on the horizon. As the legal landscape evolves, individuals and businesses continue to navigate these uncharted waters.
As you explore your options, remember the role of medical marijuana in providing safe and regulated relief for various medical conditions. To begin your journey towards improved health and well-being, consider scheduling a consultation with a certified physician today.
As the legal battles surrounding hemp unfold in Virginia, the medical marijuana program offers a stable and reliable alternative for those seeking natural relief. Regardless of the outcome of the hemp lawsuit, your path to improved health and well-being can start with a medical marijuana card, granting you access to quality care and personalized treatment options.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today
Lucky for you, medical marijuana is already legal in Virginia! You can get your medical marijuana card today if you have a qualifying condition and see if cannabis helps with your depressive symptoms.
Recreational marijuana is legal in Virginia too, but it does not mean much since there are no recreational dispensaries to purchase products from.
There are also countless benefits to having your medical card in a recreational state! You will save money on taxes and cannabis products and enjoy higher possession and purchase limits if you have your medical card in Virginia!
In order to qualify for your medical marijuana card, you will need to have a condition that would make you eligible. If you aren’t sure if you would qualify, give us a call and we can answer any questions you may have about the process.
If you don’t already have your card, no worries. We can help! If you think you could benefit from medical marijuana, there is a good chance you would qualify for your medical card in the State of Virginia. With telemedicine, it is now easier than ever to get your medical card from the comfort of your own home!
In Virginia, any inhibiting condition could qualify you for your medical card. If you don’t already have it, we can help! Schedule an evaluation online today and we’ll make an appointment for you with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness
safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on
education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by
providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!