Virginia has been in the highlights for marijuana-related news over the past month because of Virginia’s new cannabis law passed in July. The second reason is the availability of whole flower cannabis in Virginia, which is positive news for patients who are qualified to use marijuana.
Whole Plant Cannabis
Whole Plant Cannabis is a term used to denote the extract made from cannabis buds, some leaves, and possibly some stem. It has been shown scientifically that increasing the use of CBD (Cannabidiol) extracted, purified, and isolated, and ready for use when taken orally has a bell-shaped curve when it comes to efficacy, and a measurably decreased inflammation response in laboratory mice.
The benefits of whole plant medicine are largely based on a theory known as the entourage effect.CBD has been shown to curb the intensity of anxiety that THC can bring on.
great Medical in Richmond and Columbia Care, based in Portsmouth, is the two operators managing the distribution of this cannabis in Virginia. Starting September 10, those patients who have qualifying medical conditions can now purchase whole flower cannabis in Virginia.
History of legislation
Earlier this year, in Virginia, lawmakers passed legislation to allow smokeable marijuana sales. This law took effect on September 1. Before that, dispensaries have been selling products that have been made from the oil of the plant. The Virginia Board of Pharmacy reviewed the first cannabis batch at Colombia Care and gLeaf Medical, and the companies received full approval.
Demand among patients
Raymond Hernandez is the Columbia Care Virginia Pharmacist in Charge and Market Director. The whole flower cannabis has always been high in demand, and patients have been requesting it for years.
He further talked about how the products made by extracting oil from the plant lose the minor cannabinoids and terpenes.
Patients waiting outside pharmacies
There was a long line of patients who were waiting outside of gLeaf Medical in Richmond.
Samer Abiloma with gLeaf told 8news that whole flower cannabis is their most popular form of cannabis, and it is the least concentrated.
What does it mean for the patients?
Hernandez coins it as a “major milestone” because of the therapeutic reliefs that this cannabis can bring to the patients. It is a big day in the history of the marijuana legalization struggle in Virginia for the activists, legislatures, and most importantly, the patients.
Hernandez said, “This is a big day for all of us in the Commonwealth but most importantly for the medical patients who have been asking for this and seeking this form of medication.”
Sales of whole flower cannabis are limited to patients with medical cardholders who have a doctor certification and a medical marijuana registration card from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. The legal holding limit is the same as established by Virginia’s cannabis laws, i.e., 4 ounces per patient per month.
The operating companies are experiencing many buyers currently, and they are planning on adding eight more locations in Virginia.