HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A proposed medical cannabis oil facility in Hampton is a step closer to reality following votes by the Hampton Planning Commission on Thursday night.

In a unanimous vote, the commission approved adding the definition of “pharmaceutical processor” to the city zoning ordinance. They then approved changing the city’s ordinance to allow for cannabis oil production in one of Hampton’s six zoning districts. 

The votes still need final approval by Hampton City Council, but if they are approved, Hampton may well get the area’s first medical cannabis oil dispensary. 

Here’s why: The Virginia Board of Pharmacy is set to issue conditional permits to one facility in each of the state’s five health districts. With the Tidewater area’s District 5 stretching from the Northern Neck to Virginia Beach, Hampton would have a central location. 15 companies in total have applied for the sole District 5 permit. 

The new law, HB1251, allows for the in-state production and sales of oil to those with a physician’s note. Previously, cannabidiol (CBD) oil or THC-A oil were only approved to treat epilepsy. 

City Council has indicated in the past that the facility proposed by RX Native Pharmaceuticals would be a positive economic move for the city. It’s slated to bring roughly 100 jobs initially before scaling up to 300. 

“I think it changes lives and I really want to be able to bring it to the Hampton and District 5 community,” the CEO of RX Native Pharmaceuticals, Chantra Stevenson, told 10 On Your Side. 

If RX Native is chosen by Virginia on Sept. 25, it would still need to apply for a use permit and go through a review and public hearing with the Planning Commission and City Council. 

On approval, the company plans to be fully operational in about a year.