The new center is named the “Beyond Hello Cannabis Dispensary,” is plastered with signs and features a newly paved parking lot, black paint, renovations inside to look like a doctor’s office, and a big question mark for many.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, “to obtain cannabis for medical purposes, a patient must have both (a) an unexpired written certification issued from a board-registered practitioner and (b) a current active patient registration issued by the Board of Pharmacy. As of July 1, 2022, patients will no longer be required to have an active patient registration issued by the Board of Pharmacy. However, if you wish to obtain a physical medical cannabis card, you will need to complete an application with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. You can find more information by visiting the Department of Health Professions: Board of Pharmacy’s website.”
The Ourisman Chrysler and Jeep on the right had no comment and on the left, Ourisman GMC and Buick was hopeful. “I don’t think it will cause any problems, maybe it would bring more customers our way,” said Grant Nguyen at Ourisman GMC.
At that location, traffic heading south out of the City of Alexandria can access a side road to Beyond Hello with minimal problems, but those heading north need to navigate a plan beforehand. Once they see Beyond Hello, it’s too late so it will require turning around in Alexandria in this heavy traffic area.
The Virginia Board of Pharmacy says "a patient, parent, legal guardian or registered agent may possess medical cannabis as defined in § 54.1-3408.3 of the Code of Virginia who has been issued a valid written certification from a Board of Pharmacy-registered practitioner and who maintains a current registration with the Board of Pharmacy. Before a practitioner can issue written certifications, he or she must register with the Board of Pharmacy. A patient/parent/legal guardian must have a written certification issued to them prior to applying for registration with the Board of Pharmacy and possessing medical cannabis products.
Getting seeds to start a plant could take some creativity. It is illegal to sell marijuana seeds, clones, flower, or any other part of the marijuana plant in Virginia, the Virginia website states. Getting seeds is another question mark. (Although perhaps the seeds could be gifted.)
On July 1, 2021, “adult sharing,” or transferring one ounce or less of marijuana between persons who are 21 years or older without remuneration, became legal. The “sharing,” cannot have any exchange options attached to it though. Legal sales could begin in 2023, state documents say.
Some states have open rules on marijuana, and they have marijuana bars as well that have smoking going on similar to bars where alcohol is the norm.
In 2014, marijuana was legalized in Colorado for example, but there were gray areas on where it could be smoked. There were tourists coming in, expecting to find it everywhere but many were disappointed. In 2021, Colorado reported $2.2 billion in cannabis sales, and the state got taxes from those sales.
In Virginia, a suggested plan for the tax revenues is 40 percent for early childhood education for at-risk 3 and 4 year olds; 30 percent Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund; 25 percent substance abuse prevention and treatment and 5 percent for other public health programs. State officials have eyed marijuana taxes to go to social equity programs as well. This includes scholarships, grants for workforce development, youth mentoring, job training and placement, and reentry services in impacted communities contribute to Virginia’s Indigent Defense Fund and for money going to the Cannabis Equity Loan Fund.
For more information, go to www.cannabis.virginia.gov