Waynesboro Nurseries would welcome medical cannabis business but details are uncertain

News Virginian, Atlanta-based company Surterra Wellness has a purchase option for 200 acres at the nursery. When this information came out to the public, it was news to Quillen.

Quillen says it could be credible. The nursery has already started to grow industrial hemp for most of the universities in the state of Virginia. 

Jake Bergmann, CEO of Surterra, has told media sources that the company has applied for three licenses in the five health service areas with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. 

Last year, Virginia approved a regulatory program for the in-state production of medical cannabis oil. The Virginia Board of Pharmacy has received 51 applications to be one of the five licensed providers, called pharmaceutical processors. Each company had to pay a $10,000 nonrefundable filing fee. 

Originally, the final names were scheduled to be announced this summer, but this date has changed. 

“Given the largesse of the number of applications received, it’ll be this fall until the permits will be issued,” says Diane Powers, director of communications at the Virginia Dept. of Health Professions. The five companies will have to pay a $60,000 permit fee, along with a yearly $10,000 renewal fee.

“They are going to limit this down to the big boys,” says Quillen about the costs.

The five providers will grow, extract, dispense and deliver medical cannabis oils. The facilities are expected to be operational in late 2019. Once operational, registered patients will be able to fill their physician recommendations at one of five licensed facilities. Registration is now open for physicians and patients at the Virginia Dept. of Health Professions. The annual registration fee for patients and physicians is $50.

“No one’s come forward to put in a special permit,” says John Wilkinson, director of community development at Augusta County government about Surterra Wellness.  “At least three to four companies have called asking the process.”

While the details are uncertain, Quillen says hopefully they’ll be in the running and would support Surterra’s permit application. 

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The nursery has already started to grow industrial hemp.

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