West Virginia


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.


West Virginia's first cannabis store opens in Cross Lanes

The first store selling medical cannabis is opened in Kanawha County.

The products come in several different forms, from gummies and capsules to lotions.

Wendy Newman suffers from Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and anxiety.

"A lot of times I don't even want to get out of the house because I just cringe,” Newman said,

The one thing she has found that eases her symptoms is cannabis from hemp.

"It has been helping me tremendously,” Newman said.

With the opening of Appalachian Cannabis Company on Saturday, she now has a place to get the CBD products that work for her. CBD stands for cannabidiol and unlike cannabis products that contain THC there is no high, and unlike opioids it is non-addictive.


New developments for medical marijuana in West Virginia

It may be two years before medical marijuana is available in West Virginia, but the wheels are in motion. Following legalization by the legislature and  Governor, a 13-member Medical Cannabis Advisory Board has now been selected. It will study what has worked in other states.

"We're not interested in reinventing the wheel. What we want to do is learn from the good and the bad, as well as obviously the things that we don't want to do from other states. And then focus on things that have worked in other states," said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Chairman of the Advisory Committee.


California, Florida Among States Offering Breaks to Nonwhite Marijuana Business Owners

In West Virginia, a new law includes a provision that requires regulators to encourage minority-owned business owners to apply for growing licenses. (Photo by Heath Korvola/ Digital Vision/Getty Images)

In some states that have legalized marijuana, officials are trying to entice nonwhite citizens to join the cannabis industry with breaks aimed at making up for the toll unequal drug enforcement has taken on Black and brown communities.

So far, the booming industry has overwhelmingly line the pockets of white cannabis sellers.


New medical marijuana law could come with federal consequences

On April 19, Gov. Jim Justice signed into law Senate Bill 386, which makes West Virginia the 29th state to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

“We’ve done something that’s goodness in my opinion,” Justice said at the time, adding that legalizing the drug could help Mountain State citizens who would have trouble finding relief for severe pain without the new law.

But not everyone thinks legalizing marijuana — even for compassionate medical reasons — is a good idea.


Washington must address marijuana's official status

In both West Virginia and Ohio, it’s official: Breaking the law is not against the law — at least when marijuana is involved.

Both states have legislation making use of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, legal for health care purposes. West Virginia’s measure was just signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice. Ohio’s has been in effect for some time, but state officials are still working out the details.

But possession of marijuana in any form is illegal under federal law. That puts our states, in concert with 26 others that have “legalized” medicinal marijuana, in the position of advocating behavior that is criminal by federal statute.


2017 session may be remembered for medical marijuana

The 2017 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature may be remembered as the year the Mountain State got medical marijuana.

From an idea that had no chance of passage at the beginning of the 60-day legislative session, the medical use of marijuana went from a proposal in the state Senate to a forced vote on the floor of the House of Delegates within the space of a few days.

If signed by Gov. Jim Justice, the measure would make West Virginia the 29th state to legalize medical use of marijuana.


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