by Kate Shunney
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health, Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) has approved 100 dispensaries around the state, including one slated for Berkeley Springs and several in the Eastern Panhandle area.
State officials released the information last Friday, January 29.
West Virginia’s Office of Medical Cannabis also announced that starting at noon this Wednesday, February 3, eligible state residents with “serious medical conditions” can begin registering to receive medical cannabis when supplies are established in the state. The registry is found at www.medcanwv.org, and can only be completed online.
“Registration does not mean that medical cannabis products can immediately be obtained. The industry is working to build out facilities in West Virginia and the patient card is valid only in West Virginia and offers no legal protections for products obtained outside the West Virginia medical cannabis system,” state officials said last week.
A list of registered doctors who can, under state law, certify patients as being eligible for use of medical cannabis is also on the medical cannabis website at www.medcanwv.org.
Applications from 32 entities were approved at the state level to open medical cannabis dispensaries, or retail shops, around West Virginia.
Most applicants were approved to operate more than one dispensary each.
New Leaf WV, LLC has state approval to open five dispensaries in the state – one in Berkeley Springs, one in Martinsburg, one in Kearneysville and two in Morgantown.
Additional information about New Leaf WV, LLC was not available from the state or company at press time.
Other companies were also given permission to operate dispensaries in the Eastern Panhandle in Martinsburg, Charles Town, Inwood and Shepherdstown.
“Recipients of these permits will be allowed to operate retail locations within West Virginia for certified patients. A full list of dispensary permit holders can be found on the state’s website.
“Even during this pandemic, the Office of Medical Cannabis has been working hard to advance the program and to achieve these steps to ensure that medical cannabis is made available to West Virginia residents with serious medical conditions,” said Jason Frame, Director of the OMC.
The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act permits West Virginia residents with serious medical conditions to procure medical cannabis for certified medical use in the following forms: Pill; oil; topical forms including gels, creams or ointments; a form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization, dry leaf or plant form; tincture; liquid; or dermal patch.
The Medical Cannabis Act permitting medical cannabis in West Virginia was signed into law in April of 2017. State agencies said they had been aiming for qualifying state residents to be able to get medical cannabis within two years of the act taking effect. It has taken twice that long to build the state’s regulatory structure and medical cannabis industry to the point that patients will be able to receive medical cannabis.
For more information about medical cannabis in West Virginia, visit the DHHR website at https://dhhr.wv.gov/bph/Pages/Medical-Cannabis-Program.aspx, email the Office of Medical Cannabis at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 304-356-5090 or (toll-free) 844-949-1709, or fax 304-558-0035.