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Dozens of companies compete for a piece of Va.’s limited medical marijuana market

Four decades after Virginia legalized medical marijuana in a pioneering but ultimately unworkable way, dozens of companies are vying for the state’s permission to grow cannabis and make a medicinal oil out of the otherwise outlawed weed.

Under emergency legislation passed early this year, Virginia will grant up to five permits to produce cannabidiol (CBD) oil or THC-A oil. Stripped of most of the plant’s THC, the chemical compound that triggers the intoxicating reaction in the nervous system, the oils have been touted as treatments for severe seizures and other maladies.

Virginia is taking a restrictive approach as it once again cracks open the door to medical marijuana, giving the green light only to the low-THC oils and prohibiting the smokable, high-inducing variety available to anyone with a doctor’s note in neighboring Maryland and to any adult, in small amounts, in the District.

In fact, Virginia has not even formally legalized the oils, providing only an “affirmative defense” to anyone charged with possession. For that reason, NORML, the nation’s leading advocate for marijuana legalization, does not include Virginia in its count of 31 states that have legalized medicinal use. [Read more at The Washington Post]

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