Following bipartisan support in both the House of Delegates and State Senate in 2017, the Medical Cannabis Act was signed into law in West Virginia with expectations the new industry would be up and running by July 2019.
But three years after its passage, patients in West Virginia are still waiting.
Through the Medical Cannabis Act, patients experiencing certain medical conditions — such as cancer, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other chronic or terminal illnesses — may be eligible to receive medical cannabis in pill, tincture, vape, patch or topical forms from physicians.
Two additional pieces of legislation passed in March and May 2019 rectified issues with the 2017 bill, including H.B. 2538, which laid the groundwork for medical cannabis banking services, and S.B. 1037, on “vertical integration,” meaning the same business can grow, process and dispense medical cannabis.
In 2018, H.B. 4159 proposed removing licensing limitation caps, and in 2019, H.B. 4567 proposed legalizing edible, dry flower and plant flower forms of cannabis for medicinal use. Both bills were referred to the House Health and Human Resources Committee and never advanced.
Between December 2019 and February 2020, prospective medical cannabis organizations applied for grower, processor and dispensary licenses with the Office of Medical Cannabis, a division of the state Department of Health and Human Resources. [Read more at West Virginia Gazette-Mail]