By LeeWEpstein

December 20, 2019

The application process for growers, processors, dispensaries and medical cannabis labs in West Virginia (finally) begins Thursday, local time.

Applications can be submitted online only and the application period will close on 18 February 2020 – no additional applications will be accepted after that date.

“This is a key step in the process of making medical cannabis available to West Virginians with serious medical conditions,” said Jason Frame, Director of the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis last month.

It is obvious that there will be strong competition for licenses . The West Virginia Office of Public Health will only issue licenses for up to 10 growers, 10 processors and 100 dispensaries initially.

In terms of fees

  • Producer: application – $5,000 (non-refundable), permit – $50,000.
  • Processor: Application – $5,000 (non-refundable), permit – $50,000.
  • Dispensary: application – $2,500 (non-refundable), permit – $10,000 

On April 19, 2017, Governor Jim Justice signed the legislation for the state’s medical cannabis program into law. So the process was very long in West Virginia. It is far from over – aside from reviewing applications and granting licenses, the rules have yet to be finalized.

For patients and their caregivers, there will be a very long wait before they can access drugs because all medical cannabis sold in West Virginia must be grown and processed in the state.

A release date for patient card applications for medical cannabis remains pending . The first dispensaries in the state may not open until 2021. So the entire process takes more than 4 years.

Serious medical conditions that will be eligible for the program include terminal illnesses, cancer, stress disorders, and severe chronic or intractable pain. Cannabis pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquids, and non-entire herbal spray forms will be permitted under the program.

To participate in the program. Physicians have to submit an online application (again, not yet available) to the Office of Public Health. Demonstrate training or expertise in the treatment of applicable serious medical conditions. Then , complete a mandatory four-hour course that must be established and hold a valid West Virginia license to practice medicine.

A summary of the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, SB 386, is here.

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