Medical Marijuana in West Virginia
In 2017, the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, or SB 386, was signed into law by Governor Jim Justice. Pursuant to the Act, the Medical Cannabis Commission was created to be the state’s medical cannabis program. This Act allowed qualified patients safe and secure access to authorized cannabis products after a physician determined their eligibility. However, SB 386 only permitted the use of cannabis in forms of oils, pills, topicals, vaporization, tinctures, liquids, or dermal patches.
Following in 2018, the West Virginia Department of Health issued their report and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature advising dry flower to be included, as well as patient eligibility expansion. Such recommendations further addressed a focus on affordability and removal of caps on medical dispensary licenses to be issued by the state.
Due to concerns about providing banking services for the medical cannabis program, the state passed HB 2538, which provided credit unions with protections from federal prosecution. Also in 2019, the state passed Bill 1037 to allow vertically-integrated dispensaries in West Virginia – increasing the number of allowable dispensaries to 100.
Unfortunately, it took West Virginia 5 years to open its first medical marijuana dispensaries as the list of approved Medical Cannabis Dispensary Permits did not release until 2021. Moreover, there are still heavy restrictions on access to medical marijuana because patients in West Virginia must qualify under the short list of serious conditions.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Cancer; Crohn’s disease; Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity; Epilepsy; Huntington’s disease; Intractable seizures; Multiple sclerosis; Neuropathies; Parkinson’s disease; Position status for HIV/AIDS; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Severe, chronic, or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe, chronic, or intractable pain; Sickle cell anemia; Terminal illness that is defined as a medical prognosis of life expectancy of approximately one year or less if the illness runs its normal course.
Applications for Medical Marijuana Business License
Currently, West Virginia is only accepting applications for Testing Laboratories.
Applications for medical cannabis cultivators, processors, and dispensaries were made available in December 2019 and remained open until February 2020. West Virginia planned to award 10 Cultivation, 10 Processor, and 100 Dispensary licenses along with allowing vertically-integrated companies. You can click here to review the forms and Applicant Checklist provided by West Virginia’s Office of Medical Cannabis.
Presently, West Virginia only has 9 licensed Cultivators, 5 licensed Processors, and 27 licensed dispensaries. Now is the time to start compiling your strategic business plan as applications should open up in the near future! We will update the site once the application process opens up. If you are interested in acquiring a West Virginia Medical Marijuana Business License, then schedule an appointment with us to discuss your options.