West Virginia passed legislation allowing for the creation of a medical cannabis program several years ago, but the system is still not online as of this time. There is currently no legal means of acquiring cannabis for medicinal purposes except for terminally ill patients who enjoy reciprocity with other states.
Even after the establishment of the state-run program, the use of flower cannabis will continue to be universally prohibited. It is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000 to possess any amount of flower cannabis, regardless of whether one is enrolled in the state’s program or not. Cultivation of marijuana is also illegal, even for patients enrolled in the state’s medicinal cannabis program. If one is growing marijuana only for themselves it is treated as possession. If one is growing marijuana with intent to sell or distribute, it is treated as a felony, and the penalty is a fine of up to $15,000, a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year in prison, and a maximum term of imprisonment lasting 5 years.
Once the West Virginia medical cannabis program has come online, enrollees will be allowed to possess infused pills, oils, topicals, vaping or nebulizing formulas, tinctures, and dermal patches of an unspecific amount, provided they have one of the following conditions:
• ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
• Crohn’s disease
• Huntington’s disease
• Intractable seizures
• Multiple sclerosis
• Parkinson’s disease
• PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
• Severe chronic or intractable pain
• Sickle cell anemia
• Spinal cord damage
• Terminal illnesses
To recommend cannabis, a physician will be required to be either an MD or a DO who is fully licensed by the state and who has passed a four-hour training course on cannabis and registered with the state. Currently, neither the electronic registry nor the training course exists.
For more information, please see the website for the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis: https://dhhr.wv.gov/bph/Pages/Medical-Cannabis-Program.aspx.