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  • Eli Hunt

Virginia Beach Cannabar Fulfills Social Aspect of Medical Marijuana Use

The recent opening of a cannabar in Virginia Beach makes it the first public establishment to provide a social space where those with medical marijuana cards in Virginia can take cannabis outside the home.

Intended to serve as a safe place where people can relax and enjoy the benefits of marijuana with others, this establishment also has an interesting backstory that makes it a unique plot point in the ongoing story that is cannabis in the Commonwealth.

A Legal Answer to Consuming Cannabis in 'Public' in Virginia

Known as the Queen’s Green Apothecary, the Virginia Beach cannabar opened this year shortly after the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Establishments such as the Queen’s Green Apothecary are essential to the cannabis community, given some of the restrictions in the state’s cannabis laws. While possession of certain amounts of marijuana is now legal, there are strict rules defining where cannabis can be consumed in the Commonwealth and how much individuals can possess.

Currently, Virginians 21 years of age or older are allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana flower, or the equivalent in vape oil or edibles. They are not, however, allowed to consume it in public areas. Establishments such as the Virginia Beach cannabar give cannabis users a safe way to use cannabis socially outside the home.

The Queen’s Green Apothecary does not sell cannabis, but it does allow customers to bring their own, legal supply and use it within the private confines of the establishment. Just as in a bar that serves alcohol, this cannabar cards everyone at the door to ensure that only adults over the age of 21 consume cannabis inside.

The Owner’s Personal Story— Cannabis and Mental Health

What’s unique in this story is that the cannabar’s owner, Nick Rocha, is actually a veteran of the U.S. Navy. In establishing the cannabar, his decision wasn’t based only on a business model, but also on his own personal experience with cannabis.

As he told WTKR, his eldest daughter was experiencing some mental health issues in recent years, none of which had been adequately addressed by traditional psychiatric medications. When a friend who was a psychiatrist recommended that Rocha’s daughter take cannabis instead, the family decided to give it a try.

According to Rocha, the positive effects were immediately evident. His daughter was able to experience relief from her symptoms that traditional pharmaceuticals had not been able to deliver. It was this experience witnessing the impact of cannabis on someone’s mental health that led him to establishing the cannabar.

Cannabis and Mental Health

Research is ongoing into the relationship between cannabis and an array of mental health conditions, including depression. What is known both anecdotally and from several studies is that medical marijuana can have a positive effect on a range of mental health disorders, including depression, stress, and anxiety, as well as complex conditions such as PTSD.

These conditions are particularly prevalent in the veteran population. With Virginia having one of the highest Veteran populations in the nation, medical marijuana can provide real relief to this significant section of the population. Older Virginians are turning to this safe and natural drug as well for help with mental health issues related to aging, including Alzheimer's. All this bodes well for businesses like Rocha's as the popularity of cannabis grows beyond its original niche.

A Social Future for Cannabis in Virginia

Hopefully, more places like Queen's Green will spring up around the Commonwealth. In the meantime, this cannabar will offer entertainment, including standup comedy. Rocha also runs a CBD and vape shop next to the smoker's lounge in the space. As the local laws around recreational sales begin to solidify in the next few years, he also hopes to explore recreational sales in the not too distant future.

As we count off the years until the full rollout of recreational sales in 2024, places like this cannabar will continue to welcome more and more Virginians into the cannabis community. For now, medical marijuana users can enjoy the space as a way to explore the benefits of cannabis outside the privacy of their own homes.

Get Your VA Marijuana Card Now!

Medical marijuana delivers serious benefits to those with a wide range of health issues.

The cannabis doctors and patient support staff at Virginia Marijuana Card can answer all the questions you may have about medical marijuana. We’ll take the time to make sure you understand the process, and follow-up appointments are free for the entire 12 months that your medical card is valid through us.

Schedule an appointment with an online medical marijuana doctor today, to start gaining access to safe, legal cannabis products, including tinctures, flower, concentrates and more.


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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!

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Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.



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