How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Virginia

Anthony Pellegrino
February 23, 2021

The information is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve readers of their obligation to obtain qualified medical, legal or other professional advice.

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Marijuana in Virginia is technically illegal, but possession of less than 1 ounce has been decriminalized by the state legislature carrying a civil fine of no more than $25.

Virginia has enacted a medical marijuana program that allows the sale of limited types of medical marijuana products. Flower isn't allowed, but vape cartridges are. The program originally only allowed non-psychoactive CBD oil and THCA, but now allows products containing up to 10mg THC.

Virginia is working toward legalization, but this effort is still underway, so the only way to access marijuana in Virginia 'legally' is to get a medical marijuana card and visit a licensed dispensary. 

There are now 4 licensed dispensaries in the state with another to open soon. You'll find a list of these dispensaries further below in this guide.

NuggMD offers fully-online medical marijuana evaluations with licensed Virginia medical marijuana doctors for only $149.


See a Virginia state-licensed physician via telemedicine with NuggMD for just $149!


How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient in Virginia

It's a pretty basic three-step process to become a medical marijuana patient in Virginia. 

1) Find out if you qualify. Unlike other states, Virginia does not require medical marijuana patients to have a specific condition to qualify for the program. So you don't have to have a specific medical condition, but you DO need to be a resident of the state with proof of residency.

2) Get a recommendation from a Virginia state certified physician. Any Virginia physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner that is registered with the Virginia State Board of Pharmacy can issue your recommendation. Allo of NuggMD's medical practitioners are licensed and in good standing in the state for which they provide evaluations and have received all required state certifications.

3) Register with the state using the Department of Health's online licensing page. Virginia's Board of Pharmacy MMJ patient information page provides specific instructions for the MMJ registration process, but NuggMD's customer service team is always happy to walk you through the process as well.


How to Get Your MMJ Evaluation with NuggMD

Becoming an MMJ patient using the NuggMD platform is easy. All you need to do is: 

1) Sign-up on our website at nuggmd.com.

2) Select the state you wish to become an MMJ patient in. 

3) Provide the necessary personal information, such as your age, address, and name. 

4) Detail your medical history as comprehensively as possible. The more information you can provide, the easier it is for our partnering physicians to evaluate you properly. 

5) Provide a method of payment.

6) Kick back in the NuggMD virtual waiting room.

7) Meet with one of our partnering MMJ doctors when they become available. This is your time to ask as many questions about the MMJ program or your cannabis treatment as you would like. 

Some questions that are frequently asked during MMJ evaluations are: 

  • Should I stick to only one method of consuming cannabis? 
  • What is the proper dosage for me in particular?
  • Are CBD treatments right for me, as well?
  • Which ingestion method is right for me? 
  • Should I use medicinal cannabis every day?
  • Can my cannabis treatments potentially interact with my other medications? 
  • Do cannabis treatments have any health risks I should be aware of? 

Be sure to disclose all other medications, medical treatments, and herbal/dietary supplements to your cannabis doctor as this will allow them to assess your necessary dosage and any possible interactions. 

Best of all, it only costs $149 to be evaluated on the NuggMD platform. Once you're approved, you'll receive detailed instructions from us on applying with your state MMJ program. If you ever get lost or confused during your application process, our professional customer service team is always available to help you. 


All NuggMD practitioners are fully-licensed in the state for which they provide evaluations.


What Does Marijuana Feel Like?

Most people know that marijuana causes its users to feel relaxed, calm, quiet, prone to fits of laughter, and even hungry. This is definitely true, but there are many other perceptual and physical effects of the plant. There are also many different strains of cannabis nowadays and each can make you feel a little different. 

Typical effects of marijuana consumption include:

  • A warped perception of time, either fast or slow 
  • A feeling of tiredness or lack of energy (depending on the strain) 
  • Fits of laughter or giggles
  • Increased feelings of contentment or happiness
  • Additional difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Strong feelings of relaxation or calm
  • Some mild and temporary short-term memory loss.

Nevertheless, some negative effects have the potential to arise, especially in larger doses. Many times, if a user's tolerance is very low, or their dosage was too large, they can feel anxiety or paranoia. Excessive dosages could also cause feelings of derealization or depersonalization. This essentially means feeling like you're disconnected from reality or as though you are in a dream. These feelings could cause anxiety or paranoia. 

At the end of the day, the particular effects of marijuana consumption differ depending upon the person. Some may occasionally feel anxious after smoking, whereas others never do. If you're new to cannabis treatments, we recommend planning happy activities in a safe and comfortable environment. You should also abstain from alcohol while under the influence of marijuana, as drinking tends to make cannabis's negative effects more common. Mixing alcohol and cannabis is called "cross-fading" and generally amplifying the intoxicating effects of both substances substantially. 


What Should I do If I Use Too Much Marijuana?

As we mentioned, if your dose of marijuana was too great, you'll most likely experience some anxiety. Everyone's proper dosage may differ depending upon their physiology and tolerance. People's bodies process THC and cannabinoids in marijuana at different rates. Keep this in mind, as a 30mg dose for a friend of yours may feel very different for you. In fact, some people may find that as little as 2.5mg of THC is enough to get them very high. If you're new to marijuana use, you should take it slow until you have a better idea regarding your personal tolerance. 

If you do find yourself becoming anxious after smoking marijuana, just try to relax. Take some deep breaths, and do your best to not be embarrassed. A commonly used way to alleviate intense anxiety or panic is through deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation techniques, mindfulness meditation, and light exercise. Some users like to drink some chamomile or lavender tea. If you don't feel comfortable being alone, you might try calling a friend or family member to come state with you until it wears off. Most users find that smoking or vaporizing wears off after about 90 minutes or 2 hours. With edibles, it can take up to 8 hours to wear off.

After the effects of the cannabis wear off, you should contact your medical marijuana doctor to get your dosages adjusted if they're too high. You can also keep some CBD products available for these times when you're feeling overly anxious after using marijuana. CBD contains many of the cannabinoids that are associated with increased feelings of relaxation. They also exclude the psychoactive components that may contribute to anxious feelings. At the end of the day, always remember this mantra: “start low and go slow." If the dosage is too small, you can always add a little more.


What is Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome? Should I be worried about it?

For a long time, there have been anti-drug campaigns in the U.S. -- especially when it comes to marijuana. As such, there are many misconceptions regarding the dangers of cannabis use. The truth is that it's nearly impossible to die from a marijuana overdose. That doesn't mean, however, that it is perfectly safe. It's possible to develop something called Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome, which involves particularly intense bouts of vomiting following long-term marijuana use. 

If you experience severe vomiting after using cannabis that lasts several days and becomes difficult to control, you should seek medical attention to see if Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome is to blame. It goes without saying that if you do need medical attention following cannabis use, you should have someone else drive you to the hospital. You must never operate a vehicle yourself under the influence of marijuana. 

While CHS can be a serious medical condition, it is very treatable. Typically, a doctor will prescribe anti-emetic drugs along with fluid replacement therapy. Believe it or not, hot showers and baths also relieve symptoms within minutes. And of course, the patient will be told not to use cannabis anymore. If cannabis use resumes, the condition almost invariably returns.

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome is a relatively new medical phenomenon, being documented for the first time in 2004. Yet, with the high potency of cannabis that is now commonplace in today's market, the condition is on the rise. Given the fact that the condition is so recent, its exact causes are still unknown. So far it's been theorized that over-stimulation of the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the nervous system following large doses of THC is to blame. 

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome is almost always characterized by three distinct phases:

  • A "Prodromal Stage" in which the patient will experience some mild nausea and pain in the stomach and abdomen. During this stage, some people may use more cannabis to alleviate their nausea. Yet, this will only make the symptoms worse. 
  • A "Hyperemesis Stage" in which a patient experiences intense bouts of vomiting. The vomiting may happen to such a degree as to cause dehydration and malnourishment. Patients often find that hot showers or baths can provide relief for these symptoms. The medical attention of a physician is required during this stage.
  • A "Recovery Stage" follows the cessation of cannabis use. Patients may find that their symptoms subside a few days after they stop using marijuana. However, it may take several months for some patients to fully recover from their symptoms. 

It's also not fully understood why some people develop Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome while others do not. There are still some within the medical community that deny the existence of the Syndrome itself. Its effects are different for different people at different dosages. This is why it's so important for new patients to take their cannabis use slow and follow up with their doctor on a regular basis to discuss any potential tolerance issues. 


Nugg's Customer Service Team is Always Here to Help. 

We understand that the process of becoming a medical marijuana patient may sometimes be challenging or confusing, but our customer service team is always available to guide you. In fact, our team helps patients navigate the medical marijuana systems in their states every day. 

In the off chance that the Nugg team can't solve your problem, we've listed some resources below to connect you with regulators and cannabis advocacy groups here in Virginia. Even if you're not having any problems, these resources can still help you keep track of marijuana legislation and updates. 

Additional Resources

Virginia State Resources:

Virginia Cannabis Advocacy Groups


Frequently Asked Questions About Medicinal Marijuana in Virginia


How much does an MMJ evaluation using NuggMD cost in Virginia?

It costs only $149 to see a NuggMD physician in Virginia.


Are refunds available with NuggMD?

If you haven't gotten your recommendation form within 30 days, we'll provide a full refund. Simply contact customer care via support@getnugg.com and add "refund request" to the subject line. Then provide a summary of the issue. Customer care will make it their personal mission to ensure you're 100% satisfied with our service. Once you're refunded, it's required that the doctor officially cancels your medical certification with the state. This means your certificate won't be available for legal use at a Virginia dispensary. It'll take 3-5 days for your refund to be fully processed and for the funds to appear in your account. If you have any questions or concerns during the process, don't hesitate to reach out to our support team!


Are dispensaries open in Virginia?

Yes, there are a few dispensaries that are either open or opening soon in Virginia. To learn more, you can visit the Virginia Medical Cannabis Dispensaries site here


Are there medical marijuana dispensaries in Virginia?

Yes, Virginia's state government approved a regulatory program to support medical marijuana dispensaries in 2017. The program will support the production of medicinal cannabis extract products within the state to be produced by five companies. These companies will be responsible for the cultivation, extraction, distribution, and delivery of these MMJ extract products. Virginia's program stipulates that these "pharmaceutical processors” be fully vertically-integrated marijuana companies. This essentially means that all aspects of marijuana production and distribution are handled by a single company on a single site. Virginia's 2020 MMJ legislation now allows these companies to open medical marijuana dispensaries in the Health Service Area they've been assigned. 


What do I need to bring with me to the dispensary in Virginia?

To purchase MMJ at a Virginia dispensary, a medical patient must bring their driver's license or state ID, their Virginia Board of Pharmacy medical marijuana license, and a copy of their valid MMJ recommendation. Only those who are medical patients or designated caregivers are allowed to enter dispensaries. 


Is there a limit on the amount of medical marijuana I can have in Virginia?

Yes, Virginia MMJ patients can only have a "90-day supply" of medical marijuana. What constitutes a 90-day supply ultimately depends on the amount stipulated by your evaluating physician. 


How can I register to become an MMJ patient in Virginia?

For more detailed registration instructions, please visit the How to Register page on the Virginia MMJ website.


Can I find a list of doctors who can evaluate me for medical marijuana in Virginia? 

A comprehensive list of state-licensed doctors can be found on the Find a Practitioner page of the Virginia NORML website. Or, you can see a Virginia state licensed medical marijuana doctor with NuggMD for just $149.


Can any doctor recommend me for MMJ use in Virginia?

No, only those physicians who are registered with the state MMJ program can issue medicinal cannabis recommendations. 


How much does a Virginia MMJ registration cost?

It costs $50 to register as a medical patient and $25 to register as a parent/legal guardian or registered caregiver for a medical patient. 


What documents do I need to register as an MMJ patient in Virginia?

  • Registering patients need the following documents to apply:
  • Proof of Patient’s Residency
  • Proof of Patient’s Identity
  • Proof of Parent/Guardian Residency if applicable
  • Proof of Parent/Guardian Identity if applicable
  • Proof of Parent/Guardian Age if applicable
  • Proof of the Patient’s Age
  • Medical marijuana recommendation issued by registered Virginia medical marijuana doctor


How can I get in contact with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy?

Here is the contact information for the Board of Pharmacy:

Email: pharmbd@dhp.virginia.gov
Phone: (804) 367-4444
Fax: (804) 527-4472

Mailing Address:

Virginia Board of Pharmacy
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233-1463


Is Virginia's MMJ program limited to only oils?

No, SB1557 states that "any formulation" of extracted medical marijuana may be available to patients. This means that things like creams, gels, lozenges, capsules, sprays, tinctures, oils, patches, troches, suppositories, lollipops, and inhalation products will be available.


Can MMJ patients only get CBD or low THC products?

No, medical marijuana products can contain up to 10 mg of THC per dose. This is the average dose-per-serving that most states allow.


Is cannabis flower available in Virginia?

No, at this time, Virginia medical patients are limited to marijuana extracts. 


Are edibles available in Virginia?

Yes, edible products are available to Virginia medical marijuana patients in the form of lozenges, gelatin cubes, baked goods, lollipops, and more.


Are medical marijuana products psychoactive?

Yes, most medical marijuana products contain THC, a psychoactive compound. Psychoactive simply means it alters the operations of the brain. It does not necessarily mean a compound is intoxicating, psychotropic, or hallucinogenic. It simply means that it temporarily changes brain chemistry. The main psychoactive components of marijuana are THC and CBD. CBD will make you feel relaxed, but doesn't significantly alter your coordination or mental functions. THC will significantly alter your mental state.


Are Virginia patients able to buy marijuana in other state dispensaries? 

Possibly. There are some states, which allow medical patients to buy medical marijuana to be used within that state, even if your MMJ ID is issued by another state. The best way to find out if a certain state allows this, can simply call the dispensary and ask. Calling the dispensary you plan to visit is the best way to find out before you travel. 


Do medical marijuana patients need to give up their legally obtained firearms after registering in Virginia?

Currently, there is a precedent that the sale of firearms to unlawful users or those addicted to a federally controlled substance. This is the same precedent that was established by the ATF and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. 


Virginia State Representative Denver Riggleman cosponsored a bill, H.R. 2071, that would protect the 2nd Amendment rights, but it hasn't made any progress yet. It is ultimately up to the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to formally protect the Second Amendment rights of medical marijuana patients.


If you have concerns about firearms ownership and medical marijuana use, you should contact a lawyer and find out the specific laws and enforcement procedures in your state.


Anthony Pellegrino
Anthony Pellegrino is a freelance journalist, writer, and content marketing strategist. He is currently studying to get his B.A. in philosophy at Fort Hays State University. He is a content creator for several marketing agencies, brands, and tech startups. His writing is focused on content marketing, technology, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, politics, career planning, and of course, cannabis. Academically, Anthony is focused on A.I., Consciousness, Social Sciences, and Philosophy.

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