By Linda Cicoira — Eastern Shore of Virginia residents will have to pay the hefty toll to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and then drive to Columbia Care dispensary, to be based in Portsmouth, Va., to legally purchase cannabidiol oil (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol oil (THC-A), which are derived from marijuana plants.
But, before using the dispensary, patients will also have to obtain registration from the state Board of Pharmacy. It is unclear when the dispensary will open as renovations will be made on a building first, according to reports.
According to the state bill, a doctor or practitioner may issue a written certification for the use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for treatment or to “alleviate the symptoms of any diagnosed condition or disease determined by the practitioner to benefit from such use.”
The pharmacy board chose the companies that will run the five dispensaries in the state. They are in districts. Health Service Area V is for residents in Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore.
According to a list of state licenses, so far there are two Eastern Shore doctors who are registered to write certificates. They are Dr. Jefferson E. Moulds, a board-certified radiation oncologist at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital, in Onancock, and Dr. Shirley Mason-Randall, an anesthesiologist, who founded Eastern Shore Pain Management Center, in Exmore.
“The written certification alone does not satisfy the conditions for asserting an affirmative defense for possessing CBD or THC-A oil. A patient, parent, or legal guardian must have a written certification issued to them by a physician prior to applying for registration with the Board of Pharmacy and possessing the oils.”
The state bill requires that each dispensed dose of the oils “not exceed 10 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol.” It also requires “the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry to convene a work group to review and recommend an appropriate structure for an oversight organization in Virginia and report its findings and recommendations to the Chairmen of the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources and Education and Health and the House Committees on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources and Health, Welfare and Institutions by Nov. 1, 2019.”
According to the pharmacy board, “CBD and THC-A oils are derived from the Cannabis plant. They are minimally psychoactive and can be used to treat or lessen the symptoms of many disease processes.”
The written certification is required because “marijuana remains illegal federally and in Virginia. Because of this, these oils cannot be prescribed; however, a physician may issue a written certification for the use of the oils.”
“A pharmaceutical processor is a facility that has obtained a permit from the Board of Pharmacy … to cultivate Cannabis plants for the production of CBD oil and/or THC-A oil … It is a vertical operation meaning that the plants are grown, oils produced, and oils dispensed all from the same facility. Each facility is responsible for the quality of oils produced.”