VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Del. Glenn Davis updated city council members about the future of medical cannabis treatments on Tuesday.
Five facilities will soon start producing cannabis oils for medical treatments, or CBD oils, across Virginia. One facility will be located in the Hampton Roads region.
"The great opportunity here is we are finally allowing our neighbors and friends that are afflicted with everything from cancer to Chron's disease and other diseases to have a treatment that they were never allowed to have in Virginia," Davis said.
Gov. Northam signed two bills into law earlier this year. One allows more patients to get the treatments. The other lets businesses produce the oils, but Davis cautions they will be tightly regulated.
"There’s a lot of science that goes into growing these plants, so it’ll definitely be indoors," he said. "It'll be up to the entity that gets the licenses on how big or small they want to make the facility."
The THC effects will also be much lower than regular marijuana, according to Davis. "What we've essentially done is allowed for the use of CBD oil without the high you typically hear about from marijuana or the hallucinogenic properties," he said.
As other states debate how much to expand marijuana laws, Davis says his focus is on helping people through these medical treatments. "The marijuana industry has been very interesting to watch in other parts of the country. I don’t know what expansion will look like in the future. I know that there’s been a lot of unintended consequences, but there needs to be an educational process so people realize CBD oils are not marijuana," Davis said.
The business picked to grow the plants for the CBD oils are expected to be announced in September.