Clearing the smoke: Breaking down Virginia’s pharmaceutical processor application

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It was a dark and stormy night… much like the introduction to a horror story, the Virginia Board of Pharmacies released their Request for Applications (RFA) for Virginia’s pharmaceutical processor program in the late night on April 16th. Virginia's new program is a low-THC medical cannabis oil program, where licensee's will be growing, extracting, and dispensing cannabis oils. The turn around is quick, to say the least. Deadlines for applications are June 8th at 2 p.m. Like any major project, Virginia’s pharmaceutical processor application can be broken down into the elements, completed in sequence, so as to make the process manageable.

Scoring of the application is based on several discrete elements. However, several of the sections are similar in their scope. To be a competitive candidate, applicants must score no less than 160 points out of a possible 275. After initial scoring, the selection process becomes more subjective between qualified applicants; the selection committee can conduct interviews, review financials, and investigate references and involved parties. If there are no qualified candidates, the Board can choose to offer low-scoring applicants the opportunity to boost their scores. More likely, another round of applications will be opened.

Here is a breakdown of Virginia’s pharmaceutical processor application scoring, categorized into topics. Note: this is not the same order listed in RFA.

  1. Business organization, planning, and capital (135 combined points)
  • Financial Position (25 points)
  • Location within the health service area (25 points)
  • Facility Exterior and Blueprint (25 points)
  • Authorization to conduct business (20 points)
  • Marketing Plan (20 points)
  • Expected Hours of Operation (15 points)
  • Compassionate need plan (5 points)
  1. Cannabis-specific elements (80 combined points)
  • Agriculture, Production, and Dispensing Expertise (50 Points)
  • Industry Involvement and Disciplinary Action (25 points)
  • Research Plan (5 points)
  1. Security and safety plans (60 combined points)
  • Security Plans (25 points)
  • Product and Site Safety (20 points)
  • Delivery Service that mitigates risk of diversion, theft, or loss (15 points)

Don't re-invent the wheel! Using industry best practices and established models makes your pharmaceutical processor application more competitive and easier to draft.

Virginia’s Pharmaceutical Processor application has a quick deadline but requires a lot of specific, research-intensive work. To complete a competitive RFA, applicants must utilize lawyers, medical professionals, pharmacists, and consultants to construct a business, grow and extract operation, and secured system acceptable to the Board of Pharmacy’s scoring committee.

Virginia Cannabis Group can be your guide in this process, providing anything from the most-current legislative and regulatory information to cannabis industry connections. If you are interested in applying as a licensee, joining a group as an investor, or partnering with a licensee as a professional, VCG should be your first call. It could be the difference between being an applicant and a licensee, or properly evaluating Virginia’s emerging market for investment. Don’t miss out or waste your capital.

Call VCG today to book your consult.

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