West Virginia MMJ Bill Signed By Gov. Justice

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Technically speaking, West Virginia is now a medical marijuana state.

Thanks to Gov. Jim Justice’s signature on SB 386, also known as the Creating WV Medical Cannabis Act, the Mountain State now has a (smoke-free) medical marijuana program.

As written, the Creating WV Medical Cannabis Act allows patients with the following conditions to qualify for the state’s program:

  • Chronic or debilitating disease
  • Palliative care/hospice
  • Anorexia
  • Wasting syndrome
  • Cachexia
  • Chronic pain that is non-responsive to standard pain medication
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms

Passed by the West Virginia House of Delegates after some “technical changes” on a 74-24 vote, the bill suffers some serious shortcomings for those cash-strapped qualifying patients. Called a “good first step” by some, the bill prohibits any smoking of the medicinal herb, bans patients from cultivating their own medicine, and establishes substantial fees for cultivators, dispensaries, and processors.

Initially passed by the West Virginia Senate on Wednesday, March 29 by a vote of 28-6, that iteration was considerably more patient friendly. The bill suffered drastic changes on its way through the West Virginia House earlier this week. John Shott, the Republican House Judiciary Chairman, introduced an amendment that made the bill more palatable for some and more offensive for others, according to the West Virginia Gazette-Mail:

Supporters of the original bill took issue with his proposal because it prohibited smoking and required marijuana to be administered in a pill, oil, topical form, by vaporization or nebulization, tincture, liquid or dermal patch; because it prevented people from growing their own plants; and because it set a $100,000 annual fee for growers and processors.

After some late night arm twisting, in which the annual cultivation fees were cut in half, West Virginia’s medical marijuana program will now to be governed and overseen by the State Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health. And per the text of SB 386, no more than 15 cultivation licenses will be issued to qualifying applicants. The application process is scheduled to begin on June 1, 2019, at which point those hopeful cultivators will have to pass a rigorous background check.

Though seeming like baby steps for some, this still represents monumental progress for the afflicted residents of West Virginia.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett

About Author

Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.

4 Comments

  1. Congratulations West Virginia! I hope in the coming months/years your laws become less restrictive. It really does seem silly to not allow flower but at least they are giving it a shot. It is sweeping the nation. Lets continue to baffle and confuse Jeff Sessions. Lol

  2. Tamala Young on

    Lack of Education seems to be the criminal element in the injustice done to people who see marijuana as their right just as a person wanting to drink liquor or smoke tobacco. I had never seen or believed marijuana to be more criminal than drinking or smoking. It does seem ridiculous to people who know the truth about marijuana compared to the people who stand in judgement on something they know nothing about personally who systematically ruin so many innocent peoples lives over something as simple as marijuana.

  3. Dear Monterey, What is “surf” in marijuana consumption, I’m not familiar with the term. Why not add vaping?

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