May 27, 2024

Seven Things to Know About Renewing Your Medical Marijuana Card in Virginia

According to Virginia’s medical cannabis program, there are more than 55,000 medical marijuana cardholders in the state. All of these cardholders have different illnesses and health conditions that lead to their certification for the program.

Fifty-five thousand cardholders in Virginia need a medical marijuana card renewal every year. To many people’s surprise, the process is quite simple. It is the only way for them to ensure they have access to a reliable alternative treatment option without any hindrance.  

Here are a few important things you must know to renew your medical marijuana card in Virginia.


1. Renewal Process

Many people may not know, but a medical marijuana card has become optional for patients for more than a year. The patients, caregivers, and guardians are not obligated to register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to get their medical marijuana cards anymore.

However, patients who have an optional state-issued medical marijuana card still want to learn how to renew medical marijuana card in Virginia. This practice can ensure that they do not lose access to medical marijuana certification.

You can easily renew your medical marijuana card online. If your card has already expired, you can send a query to the Board Pharmacy. They can entertain your request by providing a written certification via email for using medical marijuana in Virginia. 


2. Certification from a Physician 

People using medical marijuana in Virginia must acquire an updated certification to continue using medical marijuana in the state. This certification must come from a state-registered practitioner after your previous written certification expires.

It is important to be mindful that medical marijuana cardholders in Virginia must renew their card every year. This means that your written certification must also be renewed yearly to ensure that you keep using medical marijuana legally in Virginia. 

The process of recertifying a patient for using medical marijuana can be very simple. You can visit any physician from the detailed list of practitioners who can recertify your health condition. These practitioners are recommended to qualify patients for continued use of marijuana.

Current holders of medical marijuana cards already understand what health conditions can help them recertify for the facility. Here are some more conditions that can help you certify as a medical marijuana cardholder in Virginia.

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anxiety
  • Cachexia and wasting syndrome.
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

3. Online Renewal

Whether you are a guardian, a parent, or a patient, convenience is everyone’s top priority. Nothing is more convenient than dealing with important matters, such as renewing your medical card from the comfort of your home.

Keeping that in mind, the state of Virginia allows its patients or their caregivers to submit an online application to renew their medical marijuana card. It is an easy and well-designed process that allows anyone to fill in the application.

The person filling out the application must provide a copy of the certification of medical marijuana, renewal fee, and proof of residency in Virginia, along with their ID. You can apply for renewal after you have filled in all the details. 

However, you must remember that a medical marijuana card is optional in Virginia. Hence, you can use your certification to purchase medical marijuana from certified pharmacies. This way, you will not face any delays in your treatment.

According to the Commonwealth’s Board of Pharmacy, it may take up to 60 business days for the medical marijuana card renewal application to be processed. You may receive a mail to the address mentioned on the application within these 60 days of applying.


4. Renewal Cost

The payment terms for paying for a medical marijuana card in Virginia are a bit different from other states. Unlike other states, the fee for renewal of a medical marijuana card is not the same for everyone handling the matters of renewal. 

The marijuana card-holding patients must pay $50 for its renewal. However, a guardian or a parent must only pay $25 for the renewal of the medical marijuana card.


5. Confidentiality Terms

The state of Virginia takes the confidentiality of people in the medical marijuana program very seriously. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects every patient’s health-related information. This information can never be revealed without the consent of the patients. 

Since all your personal information is confidential, a HIPAA-compliant registry cannot be tracked either. These entries are marked as “covered entries” and cannot be used to track patients. Hence, patients and caregivers of a HIPAA-compliant registry can feel comfortable about sharing their personal information.


6. Local Dispensaries

Since a medical marijuana card is not a compulsion to purchase your cannabis, you can use your certification to purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries. There also may be some dispensaries in your area that offer home delivery. This can be great news for busy caregivers and patients with mobility issues.

Whether you purchase your medical marijuana online or visit a dispensary in person, the most important thing you must keep in mind is that the dispensary is licensed. This way, you can receive labeled medical marijuana that can keep you legally protected.


7. Employer Challenges

One of the biggest challenges people using medical marijuana face is a drug test at the workplace. Drug tests are common at workplaces nowadays to ensure that their employees do not have a history of drug abuse that may affect their performance at work.

If you also use medical marijuana to maintain your health, you do not have to worry. The law in Virginia protects people who legally use medical marijuana after certification by a certified physician. This law prohibits employers from taking intense actions against employees who may test positive for THC but have a medical marijuana card.

However, it does not mean that you can take a break from work to use your medical marijuana. Your employer cannot let you come to work intoxicated. But, they cannot prohibit you from legally using cannabis when you are off the clock. Hence, employees with a medical marijuana card can feel confident about their rights being protected.

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