Saturday, December 9, 2023

Here’s who’s going to set up a cannabis oil operation in Hampton Roads

The Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Pharmacy provided conditional approval, pending criminal background checks, for Columbia Care to cultivate, produce, and dispense medical cannabis oils in Hampton Roads.

Columbia Care will serve Health Service Area V, which includes Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore, and Upper Peninsulas.

“After such a competitive process that included detailed vetting of our personnel, business plan and national operations, we are proud and humbled to have been one of only five companies to receive conditional approval from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to produce and dispense CBD and THC-A oils to patients in Virginia,” said Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care.

There are five health service areas in Virginia, each of which will have one company that grows and dispenses medical cannabis oil products.

The four other companies that were granted conditional approval were:

  • Pharmacann (Health Service Area I)
  • Dalitso (Health Service Area II)
  • Dharma (Health Service Area III)
  • Green Leaf (Health Service Area IV)

Columbia Care, whose website touts itself as “a patient-centered healthcare company setting the standard-of-care for medical cannabis,” has one year to set up their operations and begin producing and dispensing medical cannabis, according to the Board of Pharmacy’s rules.

Related story: Legalizing pot is center stage at this festival in Norfolk

Columbia Care has a group of former state regulators and community leaders that advise the company on legal and medical issues. This includes Dr. Marissa Levine, former Virginia State Health Commissioner and co-chair of the Columbia Care Virginia advisory board.

“Columbia Care has a proven track record of working effectively with the medical and research communities, providing a superior patient experience and producing products worthy of selection,” Levine said. “I look forward to helping the Company advance its mission of improving the lives of patients and their families by developing the highest-quality cannabinoid-based medicines and delivering the best care to the community at large.”

The Board of Pharmacy received 51 applications — 15 of which were from Hampton Roads, more than any other HSA in the state.

Representatives from Columbia Care would not disclose which cities they were considering for their facility, nor would they say when that decision would be made.

For more information on the Virginia Medical Cannabidiol and THC-A Oil Program, including information for patients, visit the Board of Pharmacy’s website.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

Related Articles