Admittedly, I’ve been pretty horrible at updating/documenting any of all the ginormous changes lately. The medical dispensaries opening right around the holiday’s has been great for the holiday blues but the same holiday blues had me procrastinating any real progress on here. So here, in print, is my promise to do better 2021.
In 2020, since publishing this blog I have helped about a handful of people in my life register or at least become aware of the medical cannabis scene in VA. If you’ve been meaning to reach out, but haven’t, please do! The first thing I tell everyone though is to look up the ‘cons’ of getting a card i.e. not holding a federal govt job, not owning a gun.
Around Thanksgiving last year, I was able to make it to gLeaf’s soft opening in Richmond! Glad I’m did as the law currently states that the patients first visit to a medical dispensary has to be in person but after that they qualify for delivery programs. I’ve been over the moon with the products I’ve received from them and the service! Before them Dharma in Bristol opened as VA’s first medical marijuana dispensary, then gLeaf in Richmond, and just recently Columbia Care in Portsmouth has just opened. Options! Although the prices are still ~astronomically~ high, I’m hopeful the new year will come with equitable access legislation.
Before I get into my very amateur product reviews of the cartridges I’ve bought, I wanted to bring a small light to something I’ve realized.
I’ve upped my cannabis use but have been more responsible with it since gLeaf opened around Thanksgiving. This holiday season has been very hard for me and my family as I lost a very close friend to suicide this past year and my dad has been recovering from a massive stroke on the 23rd of December in 2019 and then the covid-19 pandemic hit. I have felt a bit unhinged for a while now and having to force everything down to be able to be the leader I’m supposed to be at work has been incredibly difficult.
As I find myself tearing myself apart and losing my mind at the end, beginning, sometimes middle of the day, I had to stop and ask myself if the increased cannabis use is helping me? Truthfully, I believe it is. I think I’d feel horrible this time of year regardless and if I wanted to get help for it another doctor would just push me another prescription. A pill to numb things that could potentially turn me into a monster (again). Whereas I might be crying a lot now but at least the weed can help soothe my pains as I try and work my shit out (w the help of Betterhelp). That’s the biggest thing for me right now. People (I) need to work shit out vs thinking everything will be perfect all the time.
Hello fellow Virginians! Magandang umaga, good morning. I’ve been struggling with how to start this blog, but I figure it’s best to start from the beginning and before we dive in I just wanted to talk about some judgements. If you’re here I’m assuming you’re interested in medical marijuana and maybe, just like me you have some reservations about going further down this route. Remember that this license just gives you the option, the opportunity, to search for an alternative to whatever treatment you’re going through now. Also, remember if you’re not a smoker that there are different methods and different strengths in your new medicine. As I truly believe in this miracle plant as a solution to many pharmaceutical drugs, remember just like with regular medication there’s a learning curve to this too and it might take a few tries to find the right product.
So you’ve decided to go through with it, now what? Before anything, I’d look up the “cons” to getting a license. There are certain things you can’t do once you have your MMJ license like purchasing a gun and holding a government job. Although I have hopes that the latter will change once they deschedule marijuana federally, who knows what’s going to happen. If these are things that are detrimental not to have access to, I’d think long and hard before continuing. Take some time to see what you can and cannot do with a MMJ license.
Okay, okay now that you’re really ready to apply the first thing you’ll have to do is get a doctor’s recommendation. The consultation itself is lowkey kinda steep. $100-200 depending on who you choose. Not any doctor can make the recommendation, visit https://www.vanorml.org/doctors to find a one. Many, if not all, are offering telehealth appointments as well!
After you have your consultation and receive your recommendation it’s a $50 application fee to file your license with the VA Board of Pharmacy. After that they send it to you in the mail! What I said to some friends was that I, myself, was stressin’ the consultation but it’s literally nothing. You’re not being forced to tell a doctor that you’re a drug abusing pothead asking for a license to use drugs. You’re just asking a doctor for access to try cannabis as a medicine. The doctors off of the VANorml website specifically applied to be able to make the recommendation to the board, so they’re cool!
NOTE: Be sure to keep any and all documentation that has to do with your medical cannabis card. You’ll need a photo ID, your *current* certification from your doctor and your actual license from the VA Board of Pharmacy for when you register at the dispensaries. ALSO, you can register as a patient at any/all dispensaries in VA.
I was always told “pot will get you no where”, “weeds dangerous”, a “gateway drug” that’s always the downfall in someone’s story. If I told my parents I smoked weed the whole way through college and that I’ve been using it medicinally for the past few years, surely they wouldn’t know how to feel. I’ve been smoking weed for a little over 10 years now. They grew up where a plant was the target of the “war on drugs” that put millions of bipoc men in jail (because of the illicit market the government created, but they’re definitely not ready for that yet.) Dope is bad. Only thugs smoke weed. It’s illegal & it’s drug abuse.
I’m here to let those who are seeking a different solution to relief in their life know that there could be a better, more natural option now becoming available in Virginia. After dealing with physical and emotional trauma growing up, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder later in my teens/early 20s. Right as I was putting myself through college and working three jobs. As if working through crippling anxiety wasn’t tiring mentally and physically enough, trying to source my cannabis through sketchy characters in sketchy parts of town sucked even more. It was this or the major depression/anti-anxiety ssri medication that I couldn’t sleep or eat on so I definitely wasn’t going back that.
Cannabis helped though. Cannabis would get me out the door most days. It would keep me going, sometimes. Having unregulated botanical cannabis through the illicit market means I don’t know what I’m getting. Sativa, indica, hybrid? I learned there’s a learning curve with every new bag. Is it a before class toke or a bedtime snack? It wasn’t until I visited Colorado and Seattle that I learned I love a sativa during the day/midday and if I do hit an indica, its the last thing I do before bed. I realized that I could really manage my anxiety, my life with just the right strain of flower.
I registered for my medical marijuana license this summer. I registered with the first dispensary opening in the state this past week. Hopefully in a few weeks time I will be using my medical cannabis. This is my personal project to document my journey from the illicit market to legal cannabis market in VA and how this plant will be a major influence to my future and the future of many. I’ll be reading books from the endocannabinoid system to cannabis etiquette to justice reform. I’m encouraging an open conversation so we can share stories and learn from each other, so reach out!