CHESAPEAKE, Va. – For Norfolk residents Eric Cramer and his girlfriend Jo-Beth Strong, legalizing marijuana is welcomed news.

“It’s good for people like me who have epilepsy, ADD and people like her, whose bones ache because she’s wheelchair-bound,” said Cramer.

Cramer carries a cannabis oil card allowing him to use medical cannabis, but access to it is limited. There’s only one medical dispensary in Hampton Roads; it’s located in Portsmouth.

But come July, Virginians 21 and over will be allowed to use marijuana recreationally, and more dispensaries could be within reach.

Legal sales won’t begin until 2024, but it already has Denise Foster, a former nurse of 37 years and cannabis nurse of seven, thinking of the possibilities.

“I would love to be available to be as a resource, as an educator, as a healthcare practitioner from that approach to help them understand how to roll this out safely,” said Foster.

Foster is also interested in running an independent marijuana dispensary out of her CBD shop. She owns Hemp Haven in Chesapeake.

“The number one priority here is education, making sure people have access to safe, quality lab tested products,” Foster said.

To become a dispensary, companies will need to apply for a license from the Cannabis

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