Frequently asked questions

How do I pay?

You will be given the option to pay upfront when you make your appointment or later, through an invoice. We prefer credit card payments, but cash or cashiers check are also options if you live near Alexandria (you would need to make arrangements directly with Athena for that). We do not accept personal checks. Pinwheel is the name of the company that secures your credit card online, so, when you go to make a payment, please click on the Pinwheel option. The charge will only say Athena Heals and will not make any reference to cannabis.

Do I qualify?

To qualify for medical cannabis, you need the following 1) to be at least 18 years old 2) to be a Virginia resident 3) to have a condition that we believe will benefit from cannabis (many conditions do!) and 4) to have tried some sort of traditional treatment in the past (medication, surgery, counseling, physical therapy, accupunture, chiropractics, etc). If, for some reason, the state does not grant you approval, Athena Heals will refund your fee in full. Just email the rejection letter to us with the request for refund.

How do I make an appointment?

At Athena Heals, we let you make your own appointments. To do that, just click on the Book Now button (or click here). This will take you to our Services Page. From there select which appointment you want. That will then allow you to pick whatever date and time you prefer. You can pay upfront (pick the Pinwheel option) or pay later, after you've met with Athena and had all your questions answered. You can also choose to not proceed and not pay at all. No pressure!

What is the cost?

The basic certification is $125 ($100 with doctor referral). The state charges $50 separately for the cannabis card itself. A full list of prices is on the Services page here. There are no hidden fees!

What's a doctor referral and how does it work?

A doctor referral is a letter or prescription from any of your doctors requesting a consult from Athena Heals to evaluate you for medical cannabis. They need to include your diagnosis in the referral. They can email the referral to or they can fax it to (571)517-1184. Alternatively, you may take a photo of the referral and email it yourself.

How can I get medical cannabis?

You need two documents to purchase medical cannabis in Virginia: 1) the certificate saying you qualify for the medical cannabis card and 2) the medical cannabis card itself. The certificate is what you get from Athena Heals. The card comes from the state Board of Pharmacy.

When do I get my card?

You will get your certificate from Athena the same day you have your appointment with her. You will then need to use the certificate to apply to the state for the card. After you complete their application, it currently takes the state 2-3 months to approve you. When you are approved, they will email you an electronic cannabis card. As soon as you receive the approval email, you will immediately be able to purchase cannabis products by showing the dispensary your email on your phone. You will also need to bring your ID and the certificate you get from us.

How does telemedicine work? Where do I find the zoom link?

When you make your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email titled "Thanks for booking!" that will assign you a Zoom link for our meeting. The email will say "Video conference: Join Zoom Meeting". When you click on the words Join Zoom Meeting, it will automatically open up your Zoom app if you have it. If you don't have the app, it will take you to where you need to go to download the app. Please download the app (it's free), set up a basic account, and make sure the link works prior to our appointment (this includes making sure you can turn your microphone and video on). When it's time for our appointment, click on the link again. It will take you to what is called a waiting room in Zoom. Wait there until Athena pulls you into the video conference. Please do not attempt to host the meeting. Athena will be the host. If you have a different video app you prefer to use (like FaceTime), please let Athena know and she'll be happy to acommodate you.

I can't find the email with my (certificate/zoom link/payment link)

Check your spam/junk folders. If you still don't see them, contact us at

Is there an expiration date? How much is the renewal?

Yes, the certificate expires one year from the date of your appointment. The card also expires after a year (typically a year and 2 months after the state emails you to let you know you've been approved). We recommend you schedule your renewal 2-4 weeks before the certificate is due to expire. It costs $50 to renew the certificate. The state always charges $50 for the card, whether it's the first time or for a renewal.

What are Athena's Credentials?

Athena has a PA Master's degree from Baylor College of Medicine, she is board certified by NCCPA and is licensed in the State of Virginia as a Physician Assistant. She is also a registered practioner with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to certify patients for medical cannabis.

I need a renewal, but I got my original card with a different doctor. What should I do?

We made a special discount just for folks like you! It's called the Bare Bones Certification, for $90. Normally a certificate costs $125 for new patients and $50 for them to renew it each year. You don't need the same level of instruction they do, but we still have to put in some extra work to create a new chart for you. We figure this is a good compromise. Starting next year you'll qualify for the $50 renewal.