Virginia Board of Pharmacy announces the first five medical cannabis dispensaries

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The Virginia Board of Pharmacy announced earlier this week the first five companies that will be allowed to dispense medical cannabis within the state.

The Virginia General Assembly approved a bill earlier this year to allow physicians to recommend cannabidiol oil or THC-A to help with symptoms of diagnosed diseases or conditions, whereas previously Virginians could only use cannabis oil for epilepsy. Virginia has been divided in five “Health Service Areas”, and each of the five companies will have an area to cover.

PharmaCann Virgina, which currently operates in Illinois and New York, will service area 1, including Harrisonburg and Charlottesvilles. Dalitso, a Virgina-based company, will service area 2 which contains the majority of Northern Virginia. Dharma Pharmaceuticals, another Virginia-based company will service area 3, covering from southwest Virginia to areas like Lynchburg. Green Leaf Medical of Virgina will cover area 4 which includes the Richmond area and surrounding counties. Lastly, area 5, which covers a large portion of Eastern Virginia and the Virginia Beach area will be serviced by Columbia Care.

The Board received applications from 51 companies that hoped to become medical cannabis dispensaries when the state announced they planned to set up dispensaries within the state. Currently, the state is only allowing one per service area.

Officials have said that the bids awarded to these companies are conditional licenses and that strict guidelines must be followed and that further planning needs to be submitted to the Board as a part of the license so that these companies can begin dispensing to their communities as earlier as 2019.

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