VA: House And Senate Pass Medical Cannabis Oil Bills, Governor Northam Expected To Sign

Photo Credit: Erica Brechtelsbauer

Virginia’s House of Delegates passed a bill to allow more people to legally use cannabis oil for medical purposes and another version has passed the Senate. Now the House and Senate must decide on a final version.

Currently medical marijuana oil is only permitted in Virginia to treat intractable epilepsy, which is basically drug resistant, but that could soon change. Both versions of the bill call for doctors to decide on a case by case basis whether cannabis oil is an appropriate and legal treatment for other disorders.

Virginia NORML is a marijuana legalization advocate organization. Jenn Michelle Pedini, the executive director of Virginia NORML says this expanded treatment will help curb the opioid epidemic in the commonwealth like it has in others.

“In those states, we see a 25 percent reduction in opioid overdose fatalities; now three Virginians are overdosing and dying from opiates and heroin every day.”

Governor Ralph Northam, who is a physician, supports the expansion of medical cannabis uses in Virginia. He added an emergency enactment clause to both bills which will expedite the process of him signing a final version into law.