A major win for epilepsy patients in Virginia came as Governor Terry McAuliffe signed SB1027 into law. Pharmacies are now permitted to produce and distribute marijuana oil for intractable epilepsy. Dispensary licenses will be available.
The Board of Pharmacy will approve and distribute permits, according to WTKR 3 News. A licensed pharmacist must also supervise the operations. Growing of low-THC marijuana will be allowed along with manufacturing of the oil and distribute to patients with written physician certifications.
Patient Rashad Houston is relieved that this bill passed and has become law. He takes up to 12 pills daily to control seizures, but it isn’t stopping them. He still has seizures.
Houston said, “I have to eat a very healthy breakfast, then I try to do a workout, I have to, in order to keep my energy up. The pills are so debilitating, they just wear me out.”
Houston also said, “I’m at the last straw. I have two kids I’m trying to live for, it’s not just me.”
Physician recommendations can only come from those that specialize in epilepsy treatment. Physicians wishing to partake in the program must register with the Board of Pharmacy. There will be restrictions regarding the number of certifications that can be issued.
James Lee of Skill Stix hopes to be the first to open a dispensary in Virginia.
Lee said, “I’ve been waiting for this to come to Virginia for years. This is not something that you’re going to have a problem with people getting high. This is pure medicine.”
The Board of Pharmacy’s deadline for proposing regulations for the program must be submitted by December 15.
While SB1027 is now law, it may still take a year or so before the oils are actually available to patients.
Houston said, “One step in the right direction is better than no steps at all. I’m ready.”