Pubdate: Wed, 09 Mar 2016
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2016 The Washington Post Company
Author: Laura Vozzella


Richmond- A bill meant to pave the way for producing therapeutic 
marijuana oils in Virginia cleared its last legislative hurdle on Tuesday.

The Senate voted 39 to 0 in favor of the bill, with Sen. Bryce E. 
Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) not voting. Parents with severely epileptic 
children, who have struggled to obtain the oils used to treat the 
condition, broke into tears as they watched the vote from the Senate gallery.

Last year, the General Assembly passed a law intended to make it 
easier for people with severe forms of epilepsy to use two oils 
derived from marijuana, which lack the plant's intoxicating prop 
carved erties but help alleviate debilitating seizures. The bill 
provided a way for epileptics or their legal guardians to avoid 
prosecution for possession of cannabidiol oil (also known as CBD) and 
THC-A oil.

The law passed in Virginia last year was intended to prevent patients 
or their caretakers from being prosecuted for possession of the oils, 
but it stopped short of making the oils legal. It did not provide a 
way for patients to obtain the oils.

The oils are sold legally in Colorado, but makers there are wary of 
shipping them across state lines because doing so violates federal 
law. Parents have risked prosecution for traveling to Colorado and 
transporting the oils themselves. And they would have to make 
frequent because the oils have only a 30-day shelf life.

But last year's bill laid the groundwork for possibly producing the 
oils in Virginia after 2017, when and if the legislature votes to 
reenact it. The law says that no pharmaceutical processor could 
produce the oils without first obtaining a permit from the state 
Board of Pharmacy.

The current bill, which now heads to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), would 
direct the board to start to develop those regulations. Sen. David W. 
Marsden (D-Fairfax), who sponsored the measure, said he did not want 
to wait until the measure is reenacted next year because the 
regulatory process takes as long as 280 days.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom