Weed is legal in Virginia now! Huzzah, mighty Hokies! Projections are 2022-2023 for licensed recreational dispensaries, but there are four medical dispensaries in Virginia that are open for business now.
Of course, you have to sign up as a medical patient first (we have instructions for you right here). If you don’t want to get a medical card and prefer to shop for recreational Virginia weed, then the Gentleman has good news!
Since Virginia marijuana laws allow for the transfer of cannabis between adults 21+, several brands have sprung up to serve the cannabis community with weed gifts, just like we’ve seen in DC, New York, New Jersey, and other states that find themselves waiting for licensed dispensaries to open up shop.
Allow the Gentleman to introduce you!
How to Find Virginia Weed in 2022 (updated)
In 2021, Virginia became the 16th — and first Southern — state to make adult-use marijuana legal. Pretty awesome, right? Well, while it is fully legal and all, actual marijuana sales in licensed recreational dispensaries aren't set to start until 2024. However, don't fret — there are still plenty of ways you can get your weed in Virginia.
The most common way to stock up on your weed is through the medical marijuana route. After you go through the medical marijuana process, you can hop on over to one of the state's four medical dispensaries. Does that sound like too much work to you? Then you can go recreational as well.
Like other nearby territories, including Washington DC, you can pick up recreational weed via "gifting." This means getting marijuana as a gift for purchasing another item at a gift shop. Don't want to go out? Then get your gift delivered instead in as little as an hour.
We'll explain all the nitty-gritty details below to get you on board and enjoy your weed in Virginia ASAP!
The “gifting” concept was popularized just up the road in Washington DC. Here’s how it works: marijuana laws in Virginia allow possession and transfer between adults, so weed-gifting brands will sell you something unrelated, typically branded apparel or art, then give you marijuana as a free thank you gift for supporting their small business. It’s no surprise to the Gentleman that cannabis gifting has caught on with its southern neighbor! As soon as I saw brands advertising delivery, pick-up, and storefront options in the Old Dominion state, I pounced, like a sexy weed-panther, probably. You do not have to be a Virginia resident to use these services!
If you do have a medical card, then you can buy bud from a Virginia medical marijuana dispensary. The state has four operational shops for registered patients to go weed shopping!
Jushi’s retail brand Beyond/Hello is raising the bar with patient-oriented online resources in NoVA.
Dharma Pharmaceuticals, serving southwest Virginia from Abingdon, was just bought by Green Thumb Industries and rebranded as a RISE dispensary.
And Richmond’s Green Leaf has their products on dispensary shelves across the state, but has now been fully acquired by Columbia Care, the fourth and final provider for Virginia medical marijuana.
The Laws on Virginia Marijuana
Alright, as stated above, marijuana is now legal in Virginia. There are specific rules that the legalization entails, of course. For instance, only adults 21 and older can possess up to one ounce of marijuana in public. Plus, if they so wish, they can grow up to four marijuana plants at their primary residence. However, retail selling of marijuana seeds is not yet legal, so forget about that for a couple of years at least.
Nevertheless, the big legal point that makes it possible to buy recreational weed is this: adults can share up to one ounce of marijuana in private as long as there's no remuneration. So, instead of selling marijuana, you gift it.
That's what tons of these gifting shops in Virginia do. You buy something like store merch clothing or art, and you get your weed as a thank you gift on behalf of the shop. Not only are you supporting local small businesses, but you're getting something pretty sweet in return, too.
How To Get a Medical Card in Virginia
Let's say you'd like to find weed in Virginia to help you out with any medical problems you've got going on. Or, maybe the idea of gifting doesn't appeal to you. That's when you can apply to get your medical marijuana card. Don't worry — it's not some big pain that takes years of waiting and oodles of money. It's actually really, really easy.
The first step is to meet with a licensed health professional who can provide you with a recommendation for medical marijuana use. These professionals need to be Board of Pharmacy-registered practitioners, which you can find here. What's cool is that, unlike in many other states, there's no big, bad list of medical conditions you need to qualify for. Instead, it's solely up to the doctor's discretion over whether to give you a recommendation or not. Still, common medical conditions you may want to meet with your doctor include:
- Chronic pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Tourette's syndrome
You'll meet with the doc, explain what type of pain you're dealing with, and get your decision. Usually, meeting with these marijuana docs only takes a few minutes. Yes, just a few minutes.
Now, this is the best part. As of July 1st, 2022, medical marijuana patients do not have to take any extra steps once they've received their recommendation from their doc. It used to be that you had to get approval from the Board of Pharmacy online yourself. This would take more time and money, as you can imagine.
Instead, now you can simply take your medical marijuana certificate and a government-issued ID to a medical dispensary. There, you can stock up on up to a 90-day supply of weed. However, if you want that card, you can still go through the whole Board of Pharmacy process for $50. You can head to the application site to fill out all of the necessary paperwork.
Which Cannabis Health Service Area Are You In?
Before we get to the list of dispensaries, there's one other thing to keep in mind. That's Cannabis health service areas. There are a total of five health service areas spread out across the state. Knowing which area you are in will help you decide which medical marijuana dispensary to visit. Check out the handy-dandy list here.
Virginia Recreational Marijuana
The Gentleman just returned from testing out new Virginia recreational marijuana gifting brands in Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Virginia Beach. I gotta say, I was not expecting buds this good so early into legalization! You guys are going to be thrilled with the quality of Virginia marijuana you’ll find at any of these gifting brands:
Natural Vibes DC makes it a breeze to schedule your order and delivery. Whether in DC, Alexandria or Arlington, Natural Vibes has your back. Their website has a refreshingly clean, simple, and appealing layout with a clearly identifiable menu and “specials” page. FYI, the Platinum tier of Flowers is their top-shelf gift. After perusing the beautiful photos of their expansive list of offerings, Natural Vibes directs you to their main business line to text your order, delivery time, and address for the meetup.
I placed my order an hour or two in advance of my expected pickup. I received a response minutes later confirming my appointment. It’s that easy! Better yet, Natural Vibe’s delivery driver arrived within five minutes of my requested delivery time with my gift in hand. I’ve been scarred by multiple deliveries where I’ve been stood up or left without a response for hours.
We found Rabid Pax on Instagram (@rabidpax_) offering meet-ups in Northern Virginia and Washington DC alike. Placing an order was simple enough, all you have to do is Follow them on IG and send a Direct Message for their sticker packs. They’ll get back to you with their available flower, edible, and concentrate gift options! Our meet-up in Alexandria was smooth and timely, just like the UK classic Cheese strain they gave me. Your Gentleman smoked the whole bag down on that one!
If you're looking for weed in Northern VA or all the way down I-95 to Stafford, you'll be hard pressed to find a more professional cannabis brand than 93 Supreme. I had a chance to meet up with these folks recently and was impressed! They've got a website that includes their menu, they were exactly on time for the meet up, and the trichomes on their Biz Markie flower were super shaggy. You can find them on Instagram, too!
Nova Horticare is a unique inclusion to our Virginia recreational cannabis guide because they aren't a gifting brand. Instead, they offer their expertise as organic, living soil growers to provide a full turnkey solution for residents of Northern Virginia and Washington DC that would like to grow their own cannabis, but don't have the time or physical ability to manage their garden. Hire Nova Horticare and they'll come to your home 1-3 times/week (depending on where the plants are in their lifecycle) and handle every aspect of your grow. That includes trimming post-harvest! They also offer a la carte options if you want to be more hands on growing cannabis, but could use some help at certain stages. Nova Horticare doesn't sell equipment or seeds, but are happy to advise clients on where and what to procure for a successful cannabis garden. Discounts are available for veterans, first responders, and more! Check out their site at www.novahorticare.com and Follow on Instagram for photos of the latest crops.
GasNation’s VA marijuana delivery service area is a little further south, focused on Manassas and surrounding areas. We found GasNation on LeafedOut and came away mighty impressed. I got a quick response to my order request, the value was very fair, and I received delivery within two hours to my hotel in Fairfax. Their Afghan Kush flowers stank of the most intoxicating skunk, and its effects were surprisingly well-rounded for such a potent indica. GasNation delivered an exceptional experience at every point of the process.
We’re familiar with Spaced Out’s DC branch already, so let’s start our tour of Virginia weed gift services with their Richmond branch! We already know we’re going to find an extensive range of high-quality gifts from this tenured vendor, but it was refreshing to find a pick-up service in a safe location where I could peruse the display of weed before choosing my gifts.
Getting back to Richmond, WeeDeliver RVA is a very professional source for Virginia cannabis. They have their own website with their listed hours and a huge menu of flowers, edibles, and more to choose from. I placed my order using their site’s shopping cart and received a text two minutes later that my order had been received and I’d be notified when my gifts were on the way. Customer service was easy going about pushing my delivery back a half hour when I was late getting back to my hotel, even though I’d have understood if it had been delayed. WeeDeliver RVA’s top shelf Topanga Canyon didn’t disappoint, either.
757 Smokes Virginia Dispensary
If you’re visiting Virginia Beach, plan on stopping by Portsmouth first to visit 757 Smokes, the first recreational weed store in VA! I met these folks at this year’s National Cannabis Festival and knew I’d be seeing them again soon. You can sign up as a member in-store, then get points on your purchases that can be exchanged for all sorts of ganja goodies. Their budtender was friendly, knowledgeable, and let me check out the gifts before deciding on any. When the Gentleman asked for flowers with an exceptional aroma and flavor, I was really not prepared for the strong, rich aroma of their Chocolate Hashberry. You’d swear this bud was grown in soil nourished with ground up Hershey bars. Fantastic flowers and every bit the dispensary experience you’re looking for, I can’t recommend 757 Smokes enough. You can find them at 5107 Vick St in Portsmouth, VA or on Instagram @757_smokes.
RVA Cannabis Company
RVA Cannabis Company does not gift Virginia cannabis, they sell CBD products, but they’re included here because they’re basically a CBD dispensary and I think that’s neat. They’ve got tons of branded jars and pre-rolls of a dozen different CBD flower strains and will soon begin performing extractions in-house! And if you’re at all curious about what goes on behind the scenes at a dispensary, RVA Cannabis Company’s backroom is behind a simple sheet of clear glass completely visible from the lobby, creating an incredibly inviting atmosphere. The owner is hoping to get licensed for a recreational Virginia dispensary when they become available, and from what I’ve seen, he’s got the Gentleman’s vote. RVA Cannabis Company is simply on another level than the typical CBD store. FYI, transactions are digital only, no cash!
Virginia Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Virginia’s lucky medical licensees were awarded with completely vertical operations, which means they each grow, process, package, sell, and deliver marijuana products from their in-house, independent dispensaries. If cannabis wasn’t still federally illegal, I’d imagine they would have set up a state-run system like they do for alcohol with the ABC stores, but I digress. Each Virginia dispensary is assigned to a different Health Service Areas (HSA) in the state. Patients are not limited to visiting the single dispensary in their Health Service Area and you are free to visit any of the four, in case you’re on vacation at the beach or whatevs. FYI, a fifth dispensary is planned but as of today, HSA 1 is still without a provider.
RISE Abingdon Virginia Medical Marijuana
Dharma Pharmaceuticals was the last remaining Virginia start-up to hold onto their license, which has now been sold to Green Thumb Industries and rebranded as a RISE dispensary. This shop is located in Abingdon and covers HSA 3, the southwestern part of Virginia, which includes the cities of Radford, Covington, Salem, Bedford, Lynchburg, Danville and Martinsville.
Out of the dispensaries in Virginia, Dharma was the one that felt like it gave the most weight to the “medical” part. The average cannabis user may prefer to select from their offerings of gLeaf products, but those treating serious ailments found Dharma to be their best resource.
Their products are’t strain-specific, but they use terpene blends concocted by the legendary Dr. Ethan Russo (director of development for Sativex, among other accolades) and test results for each individual batch will help you and Dharma zoom in on your preferred chemotype, which is not so much about flavors as it is the ratios of various cannabinoids and terpenes. There’s something to be said for consistency and nobody is dispensing Virginia medical marijuana quite like Dharma is.
Summary: Their relatively small number of offerings could feel limiting, but they provide tinctures, suppositories, topicals, and vape refills that may not be found elsewhere. Dharma’s background in operating a compound pharmacy gives them bonafide experience in blending isolated ingredients into therapeutic formulas, and with Dr. Ethan Russo’s guidance, that’s exactly what they’ve done with medical marijuana in Virginia. For patients with concerns about toxic byproducts produced by vape cartridge viscosity agents, being able to look up the terpene blends they use is not only peace of mind, it’s a hell of a learning tool! Additionally, the low potency of Green Leaf cartridges certainly raises an eyebrow regarding the possibility of added fillers that have not been well researched for potentially harmful effects.
Best Deals: Dharma refill syringes are $90/g and on average 50% more potent than gLeaf cartridges, which cost around $120/g (in 0.5g amounts).
Unique Offering: For now, they are the only ones offering Live Rosin cartridges from Gleaf, including an 80% THC Uncle Phil, but it’s $90 for a half gram! When that changes, they’re likely to be the only ones I’d ever trust with actual medical advice, and for patients newer to cannabis use, their craft-blend tinctures are perfect for titrating oral doses.
Beyond/Hello Medical Marijuana in Virginia
NoVA, my baby, my boobalah! Formerly Dalitso, your Area 2 Virginia medical marijuana dispenary is now Beyond / Hello. They’ll be handling Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties. They are a brand of Jushi, which operates in 9 states, including the recreational markets of California, Nevada, and Massachusetts. Interestingly, they only have offices in states where they don’t have operations, so their dispensaries in Virginia are the only place you’ll track them down without a trip to New York, Colorado, or Florida!
Beyond / Hello’s Cannabis & Me is our favorite online primer for medical marijuana in Virginia, and their website has detailed profiles for brands they carry and a full product inventory list to boot. It will even automatically parse their dispensaries to check for nearby availability!
Their menu uses roman numerals to note the ‘filial’ or inbred generation of the genetics and while it's a conventional typical in research papers, the info is useful to breeders, not consumers, so we think that may end up being more confusing than helpful. For clarity, when a regular number follows a strain name (such as Gelato 33) it typically denotes a particular phenotype and not a filial generation, which more commonly follows the letter “F” in the cannabis industry.
When it comes to inventory, they stock more than Dharma and Columbia Care, but not as much as gLeaf. Some fairly unique strains can be found, including this Koffee F2 with 8.4% CBG, or cannabigerol, a non-psychoactive precursor to THC and CBD that has broad therapeutic potential for cancer, brain, and nervous system treatments. CBG is also reputed to stimulate the body’s production of anandamide, the endogenous cannabinoid (your body makes it naturally)!
No product sales are currently being offered, but they do have a promotion on free delivery.
Summary: Large multi-state operator with a superior website and online education tools provides a menu with adequate variety for a number of preferences, including some fairly notable strains mixed in with choices of unknown pedigree.
Best Deals: Free Delivery
Unique Offerings: Product line up is almost entirely gLeaf products, but the currently available Kaya Koffee has a whopping 8.4% CBG!
Green Leaf Virginia Marijuana Business
You already know Green Leaf from Maryland! Operating out of Frederick, gLeaf is one of the few Maryland locals that earned a grow license in the Old Line State. Now that marijauna is legal in Virginia, they’re bringing the act to Richmond and the surrounding counties of Area 4.
Green Leaf’s dispensary is located in the South Richmond neighborhood of Manchester.
The acquisition of Green Leaf by Columbia Care closed on June 11th, so expect some ongoing adjustments to their operation as that takes shape.
I’ve got a review of a gLeaf’s vape cartridge from Maryland that I absolutely loved. I’ve seen some very decent, reasonably priced wax from them too. I didn’t love their early flowers and I tried several, but that was back in 2019. Couldn’t speak to the current crop.
gLeaf’s menu not only provides the best selection of the marijuana Virginia has to offer, they’ve got discounts on about a dozen products. Edibles, topicals, and tinctures complement multiple CBD vapes that allow patients to explore the absolutely crucial proportions of THC:CBD in order to find what works best. Spend $200 for free delivery, which is a lot but not hard to do with the prices on Virginia cannabis products!
Summary: gLeaf is a multi-state operator exclusive to highly regulated medical states, but it offers the best selection and better prices than the other dispensaries, a one-stop shop for Virginia weed!
Best Deals: Limited time offers can give discounts of over 40% on select vape cartridges. We’re not sure if these sales are related to the acquisition by Columbia Care, so it’s a good time to stock up if you can.
Area 5 are the Shore Babies! Eastern Shore, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton and Virginia Beach and the surrounding counties will be served by Columbia Care. Columbia Care has selected Portsmouth as their dispensary site.
Columbia Care is led by Michael Abbott and Nicholas Vita, a pair of former Goldman Sachs guys. Gross. But we all have a past, yes? I had something of a shoe-sniffing problem myself once. I’m still not allowed on the third floor.
NY-based Columbia Care is humongous. They’ve got operations in nine states altogether, plus Puerto Rico and Malta. Do you even know where Malta is? It’s one of those James Bond countries, like, near France, right? Off the coast of France? ((Ed: It is not off the coast of France))
Columbia Care has won the license to opening the first dispensary in Manhattan.
Not only that, they own a little shop in DC, too – Capital City Care. Duh duh duuh! I really liked the most recent CCC Chocolope flower I had. Predictably, Columbia Care has opened a dispensary in Maryland, too.
Besides a slightly lacking selection and less discounts, they have uploaded ant-sized test results for their products so you’ll have to consult gLeaf resources to get that information. And most of them don’t even have indica/sativa/hybrid labels! We’ve heard mixed reviews on Columbia Care across the country but they seem to be intent on boxing out Virginia marijuana producers and becoming a staple of the marijuana Virginia has to offer in the long run, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled as this develops.
Summary: Similar to gLeaf but with slightly smaller selection and less discounting. If you can’t beat a Virginia medical marijuana provider, buy em! Currently no sativa products in stock, and CBD is only found in a tincture.
Best Deals: 10% off for veterans, seniors, and those on SSI, Medicaid, or Medicare.
What Health Service Area Are You?
Here’s a link to the list of counties and cities assigned to each cannabis Health Service Area in Virginia, or better yet, a nice color map of the same thing. If you are in HSA 1, you’re out of luck for now thanks to the shameless greed and legal hijinks of PharmaCann (which became MedMen, and now ZenLeaf), who have become infamous for acting like a spoiled toddler over, and over, and over again. Basically, when PharmaCann turned over their Virginia license to MedMen, a conditional agreement between MedMen and the Virginia Board of Pharmacy allowed them leniency that no other license got, but instead of launching operations in the extra allotted time, they fucking sued again, and now we have to wait for that mockery to be resolved so the people of Virginia can get what they legally deserve.
How Do I Sign Up as a VA patient?
Here’s everything you need to know to sign up for Virginia’s medical program! I’ve included some cannabis doctor referral services that can help you get the process moving ASAP in these instructions, but you can also search this list of doctors registered with Virginia’s cannabis program. When searching, set the Occupation to “Registered Physician for CBD/THC-A oil”. VA Norml also has their own practitioner list that you might find easier to navigate. Your doctor will certify their suggestion for medical cannabis use and recommend the amount you’ll be permitted to purchase in a 90 day span. Unlike many other states, you won’t need an approved medical condition to receive a recommendation.
Once certified, Virginia medical marijuana patients pay $50 to register, and $25 for a parent/guardian or caretaker when necessary. Here’s a link with more detail from VA Norml on How to Register and here’s a patient FAQ from the state Board of Pharmacy.
Virginia Marijuana Checklist
We’ve finally gotten the answer to “When is weed legal in Virginia?” but Virginia marijuana legalization will take years to implement. Thankfully, we have weed-gifting brands and the 2021 legalization bill allowing flower to be sold at Virginia medical marijuana retailers in the meantime. If you want medical marijuana, then all you’ve got to do is find a doctor, get their recommendation, register that with the state, and fork over a little cash! They’ll even deliver to you. And if you’d rather not get a medical card, then you’ve got some kind souls willing to drop some kind bud on you as a gift.