Virginia school medical marijuana laws

Students in Virginia who use cannabidiol (CBD) oil are set to enjoy greater protection thanks to legislation unanimously passed by the Senate.

SB 1632, brought forward by Sen. Glen Sturtevant ( R ), requires local school boards to implement policies that ensure students with “valid written certification” to use CBD and THC-A oil are not suspended or expelled.

The oils are used to alleviate chronic pain and manage ailments such as anxiety, attention disorders, and seizures, but do not have an intoxicating effect.

Under the provisions of the bill, parents would provide written consent as well as details on the purpose of the treatment from the practitioner who issued the certificate and pharmaceutical processor that issued the oil.

Doctors and nurses are able to prescribe cannabis-based products in Virginia. There are currently five dispensaries across the state that can sell CBD and THC-A oil to certified patients. A House bill to double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries was defeated last week.

Stephanie Anderson, whose son takes ADHD medication, is looking into how CBD oil might alleviate his symptoms and wants him to be able to take the medication at school if it helps without repercussions.

“If we find CBD to be beneficial, I’d want it to be just as easy for him to take at school as the Adderall,” she said.

Two other bills related to medical cannabis cleared the state legislature Wednesday, both with 98-0 votes.

SB 1557, sponsored by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R), increases the permissible amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in a CBD THC-A dose from five to ten milligrams. Advocates for the bill claim that this expansion will serve patients using the oil for therapeutic purposes. The bill also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry to recommend how a state medical marijuana program will be managed.

SB 1719, sponsored by Sen. David Marsden (D), allows for medical marijuana patients to nominate a registered agent able to collect CBD or THC-A oil on their behalf. That person cannot then be charged with possession of an illegal substance. The bill also establishes a limit on how many patients one agent can represent.

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