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Learn About Marijuana In West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana in West Virginia
Is Marijuana Legal in West Virginia?
West Virginia is the 29th state to pass an effective medical marijuana law. Senate Bill 386 created the Medical Cannabis Act that allows for cannabis to be used for certified medical use for people who have serious medical conditions. The Bill limits the use of cannabis to only pills, oil, gels, creams, ointments, and vaporization or nebulization. The bill prohibits cannabis in its smokable flower form.
When Did Marijuana Become Legal in West Virginia?
On April 19, 2017, West Virginia became the 29th state to legalize medical marijuana. The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act will be put in action starting in July 2019.
Where Are the Dispensaries Located?
Registered patients or caregivers with an identification card issued by the bureau may purchase medical cannabis at any approved dispensary that has a valid permit from the bureau and is in the state. The bureau can issue 30 dispensaries across the state with only five in each Region. Each licensed dispensary is allowed two locations in the state. Counties may ban medical cannabis businesses entirely or may limit their locations within the county.
Are They Medical or Recreational Dispensaries?
According the Senate Bill 386, West Virginia will only permit medical dispensaries. The bureau will issue 10 grower permits, to processor permits and now more than 30 dispensary permits. Medical cannabis companies will be required to use seed to sale tracking and meet the rule of delivery, transportation, recordkeeping, security and surveillance. Recreational dispensaries will not be permitted at this time.
Who Can Be A Medical Patient in West Virginia?
The Senate Bill 386 states that the use of cannabis is solely for medical purposes and not for recreational use. Patients may qualify for medical cannabis if they have one of these serious medical conditions:
- Immune deficiency syndrome
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- multiple sclerosis
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord
- Huntington’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Intractable seizures
- Sickle cell anemia
- Severe chronic or intractable pain
- Terminally ill
Patients under the age of 18 years old with a serious condition may obtain medical cannabis through a caregiver. A caregiver may be a parent or legal guardian.
How do I Become a Medical Patient in West Virginia?
In order to participate in the Medical Cannabis Program, patients must register with the health bureau, obtain certification from a physician that they suffer on of the 15 serious medical conditions, apply for a medical cannabis ID card, and submit the application fee. The bureau is currently in the process of creating a way to obtain a medical cannabis ID card and will make applications available to patients on its website when it is available.
Where Can I Consume Marijuana?
Under the Senate Bill 386, it is not permitted for people to smoke cannabis in West Virginia. West Virginia prohibits the possession and use of cannabis in its flower form in any location, including dispensaries in the state.
How Do I Get A Job in the West Virginia Marijuana Industry?
The West Virginia Safer Workplace Act, gives employers broad authority to test job applicants and current employees for drugs and alcohol. So, employers can drug test their employees for marijuana. However, if you are an approved patient that is medically certified to use marijuana there is an exception.
Is Drug Testing for Marijuana Legal in West Virginia?
It is legal for employers to drug test employees.
Is Marijuana Delivery Legal in West Virginia?
Starting in July 2019, when qualified patients can buy medicinal cannabis from medical dispensaries, delivery services will be available.
How to Pay for Marijuana in West Virginia Dispensaries?
West Virginia is in the process of offering merchant accounts for credit card processing for dispensaries. Until dispensaries open and their business is underway, cash will be the only way to pay for marijuana in West Virginia.
West Virginia Marijuana Laws
On April 19, 2017 West Virginia Medical Cannabis Senate Bill 386 was passed.
This bill was passed by the Senate with a 28-6 vote on March 29, 2017, and was passed by the house on April 4 with a 76-24 vote. The House amended the bill giving it more limitations including the prohibition of cannabis in its natural, flower form.
On February 28, 2018, the House pass the House Bill 4345, which increased the number of licenses available for growers and dispensaries.
Marijuana and Driving in West Virginia
Any person convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used, is subject to getting their driver's license revoked. Transporting marijuana into West Virginia with the intent to deliver them to drug dealers or black market consumers is illegal.
Marijuana and Minors in West Virginia
West Virginia has a two-year mandatory minimum jail sentence for sale/distribution to a minor or if a sale/delivery occurs within 1,000 feet of a school. Minors with a serious approved medical condition are permitted to use medical marijuana with granted permission from a doctor and caregiver, such as a parent and caregiver.
Limitations, Penalties, and Fines in West Virginia
According to The West Virginia Cannabis Act, the only types of medical cannabis allowed initially are pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquid, and non-whole plant forms for administration through vaporization. Dispensaries cannot sell edibles, but medical cannabis products could be mixed into food or drinks by patients themselves. Vaporization (or oils) is allowed, but smoking is prohibited.
Penalties and fines: For trafficking, selling or dealing marijuana is a felony offense that can be punished by one to five years in prison and a fine up to $15,000. Selling to a minor or selling it within 1,000 feet of a school or college has a mandatory penalty of serving a mandatory two years in jail. For selling drug paraphernalia, a person could go to jail for six months to one year and face up to a $5,000 fine.
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