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2015 SESSION

15104765D
SENATE BILL NO. 1235
FLOOR AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by Senator McDougle)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Senator Marsden)
Senate Amendments in [ ] -- February 4, 2015
A BILL to amend and reenact 18.2-250.1 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 54.1-3408.3, relating to possession or distribution of marijuana for medical purposes; epilepsy.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 18.2-250.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 54.1-3408.3 as follows:

18.2-250.1. Possession of marijuana unlawful.

A. It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess marijuana unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by the Drug Control Act ( 54.1-3400 et seq.).

Upon the prosecution of a person for violation of this section, ownership or occupancy of the premises or vehicle upon or in which marijuana was found shall not create a presumption that such person either knowingly or intentionally possessed such marijuana.

Any person who violates this section shall be is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be confined in jail not more than thirty 30 days and a fine of fined not more than $500, either or both; any person, upon a second or subsequent conviction of a violation of this section, shall be is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to members of state, federal, county, city, or town law-enforcement agencies, jail officers, or correctional officers, as defined in 53.1-1, certified as handlers of dogs trained in the detection of controlled substances when possession of marijuana is necessary for the performance of their duties.

C. In any prosecution under this section involving marijuana in the form of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil as those terms are defined in 54.1-3408.3, it shall be an affirmative defense that the individual possessed such oil pursuant to a valid written certification issued by a practitioner in the course of his professional practice pursuant to 54.1-3408.3 for treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of (i) the individual's intractable epilepsy or (ii) if such individual is the parent or legal guardian of a minor, such minor's intractable epilepsy. If the individual files the valid written certification with the court at least 10 days prior to trial and causes a copy of such written certification to be delivered to the attorney for the Commonwealth, such written certification shall be prima facie evidence that such oil was possessed pursuant to a valid written certification.

54.1-3408.3. Certification for use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil to treat intractable epilepsy.

A. As used in this section:

"Cannabidiol oil" means a processed cannabis plant extract that contains at least 15 percent cannabidiol but no more than five percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or a dilution of the resin of the cannabis plant that contains at least 50 milligrams of cannabidiol per milliliter but not more than five percent tetrahydrocannabinol.

"THC-A oil" means a processed Cannabis plant extract that contains at least 15 percent tetrahydrocannabinol acid but not more than five percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or a dilution of the resin of the Cannabis plant that contains at least 50 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol acid per milliliter but not more than five percent tetrahydrocannabinol.

B. A practitioner of medicine or osteopathy licensed by the Board of Medicine in the course of his professional practice may issue a written certification for the use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of a patient's intractable epilepsy.

C. The written certification shall be on a form provided by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court developed in consultation with the Board of Medicine. Such written certification shall contain the name, address, and telephone number of the practitioner, the name and address of the patient issued the written certification, the date on which the written certification was made, and the signature of the practitioner. Such written certification issued pursuant to subsection B shall expire no later than one year after its issuance unless the practitioner provides in such written certification an earlier expiration.

D. No practitioner shall be prosecuted under 18.2-248 or 18.2-248.1 for dispensing or distributing cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for the treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of a patient's intractable epilepsy pursuant to a written certification issued pursuant to subsection B. Nothing in this section shall preclude the Board of Medicine from sanctioning a practitioner for failing to properly evaluate or treat a patient's medical condition or otherwise violating the applicable standard of care for evaluating or treating medical conditions.

[ 2. That an emergency exists and this act is in force from its passage. ]