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  • Jennifer Betz

What's the Difference Between Recreational (Adult-Use) Marijuana and Medical Marijuana in Virginia?

Virginia Marijuana Card Clarifies What Adult-Use Marijuana Laws Mean For Virginians Starting July 1st

On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, the Virginia Legislature passed a bill making Old Dominion the first state in the South to legalize adult-use marijuana. Lawmakers are thrilled that the amendments proposed by Governor Northam passed, and residents are gearing up for the chance to take a stab at growing their own marijuana plants starting July 1, 2021.

The term adult-use marijuana is being used in place of recreational marijuana, to acknowledge the fact that many people still use cannabis for therapeutic benefits even without a medical marijuana card.

The people in Virginia have made it clear that they support adult-use legalization, and there is plenty to celebrate for cannabis enthusiasts in the state. It’s an exciting development for cannabis as an industry, for Virginia’s economy, and for those who have been victims of an imbalanced social justice system.

However, some people who are getting natural relief as a result of their Virginia marijuana card are wondering how this affects the program in which they participate.

Additionally, people who qualify for a medical marijuana card in Virginia wonder if they should even bother getting one now that adult-use marijuana is about to be legal.

At Virginia Marijuana Card, we think the best decisions are informed. That’s why we aim to be the number one resource for people seeing natural relief through cannabis, regardless of the path they take to get there.

Today, we are going to take a quick look at the differences between medical marijuana laws in Virginia, and the upcoming adult-use laws that will begin taking effect on July 1, 2021.

Adult-Use Marijuana Will Not Be For Sale Until 2024

One of the most immediately noticeable differences between medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana in Virginia, is the fact that suppliers and dispensaries will not be licensed for legal adult-use cannabis sales until 2024.

Medical marijuana is available right now! You can walk into any Virginia dispensary today, and purchase concentrates, tinctures, edibles and topicals, when you have a Virginia marijuana card.

You Can’t Legally Grow Cannabis in VA Until July 1, Even if You Have a Medical Marijuana Card

The opportunity to grow your own marijuana plants is one of the most exciting features of the new legislation. However, even if you have a medical marijuana card and are authorized to purchase and possess marijuana in Virginia before July 1, you cannot grow your own cannabis plants before that date.

You Can Bring Adult-Use Marijuana From DC, But You Are Still Technically Breaking the Law, Even After July 1

You can drive into DC and get adult-use marijuana, and medical marijuana dispensaries in the district also reciprocate for Virginia cardholders.

However, bringing marijuana across state lines is still technically illegal, regardless of your status as an MMJ patient. This is because despite the windfall of legalizations over the last year or so, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance according to the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

We urge anyone who chooses to access cannabis sales in this way to use extreme caution when coming back to Virginia. Follow all traffic laws to the letter, keep your score locked in your trunk, and consider purchasing a stash box to keep the odor down.

Adult-Use Laws Do Not Offer Employment Protection

Governor Northam recently signed legislation that protects medical marijuana cardholders from adverse action being taken in the workplace as a result of a failed drug test.

There are a few exceptions, including people in the safety and transportation sectors, and Federal employees and contractors. However, it is now illegal for most employers to punish employees who are legally treating their documented medical conditions with cannabis.

This law will not apply to people who are using marijuana under the adult-use laws. Anyone who does not have a Virginia marijuana card will still be subject to the drug policies of their employers.

Virginia Marijuana Doctors Can Help You Tailor Your Treatment

If you are trying to treat a condition with marijuana, having an appointment with with a marijuana doctor in Virginia can help you devise the right plan for the biggest therapeutic benefit. A marijuana doctor can help you understand formulas, strains, doses, and routines that will target your specific symptoms.

When you make an appointment with the doctors at Virginia Marijuana Card, you have an unlimited number of follow-up consultations for the duration of the time your card is valid. This means that you can talk to one of our doctors as many times as you need, in order to get your treatment plan just right for your lifestyle.


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 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!

Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Virginia!

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