West Virginia Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS WEST VIRGINIA'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Content Below Last Updated by Point7 03/31/2022
On March 12, 2022 West Virginia’s legislature adjourned, and although many cannabis policy reforms were introduced - including bills to expand the state’s medical cannabis program, decriminalize cannabis possession, and legalize and tax cannabis for adults - none were approved this year.
On February 3, 2021, the Office of Medical Cannabis finally began the process for patients to register for the program. So far, the state has issued 100 dispensary permits. Medical cannabis was legalized on April 19, 2017 when Governor Jim Justice signed SB 386 into law.
On November 12, 2021 the first medical cannabis dispensary in West Virginia opened in Morgantown, and since then several additional dispensaries have opened their doors. This was a long awaited moment since its passing in 2017. Patients who are registered with the West Virginia Health Bureau have access to cannabis in the forms of ointments, pills, oils, tinctures, liquid, dry flower and vaporizers and will be able to possess up to a 30 day supply.
WHAT ARE WEST VIRGINIA'S CANNABIS LAWS?
On April 19, 2017 Senate Bill 386 was signed into law by Governor Justice legalizing cannabis for medical use in the state of West Virginia. The initial law limited future program participants to consume cannabis by way of non-whole plant forms including vaporization, oils, tinctures, pills, and topicals while it prohibited dry leaf/plant products and edibles. Although a ban on edibles is still in place, an advisory board recommended whole-plant cannabis, and in 2020, the legislature added “dry leaf or plant form” to the law with the passing of Senate Bill 339. Patients are not prohibited to grow cannabis within their own homes and must purchase all cannabis products in licensed dispensaries.
West Virginia remains one of the 19 states that has yet to decriminalize cannabis possession. Regardless of the legalization of medical cannabis and changes made to West Virginia cannabis laws, individuals who are not registered cannabis patients in possession of any amount of cannabis can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. Those charged with possession of cannabis can be sentenced up to six months in jail and fined up to $1,000. Conditional discharges are offered by the state in circumstances consisting of 15 grams or less.
WHAT IS WEST VIRGINIA'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
West Virginia’s application window is now closed and the state has not announced a new upcoming application.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN WEST VIRGINIA?
West Virginia became the 29th state to legalize cannabis for registered medical patients on April 19, 2017 when Senate Bill 386, commonly known as the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act was signed into law by Governor Justice. Since its passing, SB 386 has seen multiple changes through amendments in 2019 and early 2020 that broadened the available types of cannabis to include dry flower and expanded the definition of “serious medical condition” to include additional qualifying conditions.
Full legalization efforts are in effect in West Virginia after the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy found that cannabis would have a positive impact on the state of West Virginia by adding $45 million to the state in tax revenue. Legislators have introduced several bills to tax and regulate cannabis sales in recent years, but the bills have not been scheduled for a hearing or a vote.
DOES WEST VIRGINIA HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
Hemp farming is legal in West Virginia, but the 2022 application period for hemp cultivators is currently closed. In 2021 West Virginia saw 155 acres of hemp grown in its state.
PREPARING FOR THE WEST VIRGINIA CANNABIS MARKET
We are ready to support your team as you prepare for cannabis licensure in Vermont. Although the current application process has closed, the West Virginia cannabis market will only continue to grow. Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.