West Virginia


West Virginia to begin accepting medical marijuana permit applications

West Virginia will soon begin accepting permit applications for medical cannabis.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Bureau for Public Health will accept applications for growers, processors, dispensaries, and laboratories beginning Dec. 19.

"The announcement of upcoming application availability is the first step in the process of permitting industry applicants," a DHHR press release states.

The application is online only. The application period will remain open for 60 days. Feb. 18, 2020 at 3 p.m. is the cutoff.


West Virginia Officials say it will take years for medical cannabis sales

Despite legislation from 2017 that allowed cannabis to be legal for medical use on July 1 of this year, West Virginia officials say they’re still years away from the first sale. That’s — at least in part — because of a hangup with finding a banking solution to get around federal law. State health officials say they also have to implement permitting and licensing for patients and those who want to start businesses within the industry.

Late last month, the West Virginia Treasurer’s Office released a statement indicating that they were canceling and then reissuing a request for proposals for a depository associated with the medical cannabis program. An initial bid returned five applications, but none of the prospective banking vendors met all of the requirements.


West Virginia lawmakers considering Bill to legalize adult-use marijuana

Today, West Virginia lawmakers are taking their first look at a new bill to legalize and regulate adult-use marijuana. Democrats introduced the bill two weeks ago, but have so far only garnered support from within the party. Now that the bill is in multiple committees, it’s unlikely to see a full House vote this year. However, lawmakers who support the legislation hope it can at least begin the conversation on adult-use legalization in West Virginia.


Medical marijuana may finally be on its way in West Virginia

Medical cannabis is supposed to be available in the Mountain State on July first, but federally charted banks have declined to accept any of the money in fear they'd be violating federal drug and banking laws.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says that technically that is possible, but its unlikely there would be any prosecutions.

So, the Legislature can set up a financial transaction system to handle medical marijuana payments and fees.

"Number one, federal law prohibits medical cannabis. But, number two, there is a very clear non-enforcement policy of federal law that's been in place for a number of years. And in fact in 30 states we have not discovered that there's been any enforcement action," said Atty. Gen. Patrick Morrissey, (R) West Virginia. 


US Attorney holds conference against marijuana legalization

Marijuana legalization is reaching all-time highs for public support, but some officials still show opposition to the change. U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart, who is in charge of the Southern District of West Virginia, held an invite-only one-day symposium in Charleston.

The event, titled “The Colorado Experiment: A  Look Back and What You Need to Know” included guest speaker Bob Troyer, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado.


Mike Tyson's company wants to bring hemp growing business to West Virginia

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson's company, Tyson Holistic Holdings, LLC., has come to West Virginia hoping to grow cannabidiol hemp.

Tyson's team is interested in growing hemp and other crops such as lavender and soy on reclaimed coal mine lands, officials from the company said. A presentation was held by officials with both Tyson's company and a West Virginia business in collaboration with Tyson's company Monday morning in Charleston. The presentation can be viewed below:

Tyson's team members currently are working to educate people in their plan to grow and how they say it can help the opioid epidemic in the area. The hope is also to help West Virginia's economy by growing hemp and using it as a medical source.


Banking dilemma kills medical cannabis business

At least one company interested in operating in the state’s fledgling medical cannabis industry has pulled out because of the lack of options to legally handle banking transactions.

Frank Hartman is an attorney and lobbyist who said he was representing an in-state business that wanted to branch out into growing medical cannabis.

Under the medical marijuana bill passed by the West Virginia Legislature in 2017, medical cannabis growers must pay a $50,000 license fee to the state. However, Hartman said prospective growers must also demonstrate that they have at least $500,000 in liquid assets.


West Virginia US attorney vows to 'aggressively' enforce federal marijuana laws

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart of West Virginia, a Trump appointee who took office in January, didn’t spend much time in his new position before stirring up some controversy.

Last week, Stuart tweeted about the “gateway theory,” a continuously debunked theory that marijuana leads to the use of harder, dangerous drugs. In the same tweet, Stuart promised to “AGGRESSIVELY” enforce federal marijuana laws.

While U.S. Attorney Stuart, of course, gets to have his own opinions regarding cannabis, he doesn’t get to have his own facts. His tweet collides head-on with much of what scientists have learned about the herb.


The clock is ticking on medical marijuana in West Virginia

Time may be running out on a bill that would expand West Virginia laws for medical cannabis.

The state senate was scheduled to vote on the bill on Friday, but has now delayed that until the final day of the legislative session, which is Saturday. 

The current law allows for only 30-medical cannabis dispensaries in the mountain state, but the new bill would allow for up to 100.

Advocates said it's about allowing greater access, especially in rural areas. 

State Sen. Richard Ojeda, (D) Logan said, "The medical marijuana was focused on trying to take care of so many sick people that we have throughout this state. And it's important that those people have access to medicine."


West Virginia is pushing to allow smokable cannabis for medical patients

Currently, the state only allows MMJ to be dispensed as pills, oils, vape cartridges, and topical gels, but that could change soon thanks to the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.

The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board (MCAB) has recommended that state legislators expand the state's medical cannabis laws to allow certain patients to purchase and smoke marijuana flower.


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