On Tuesday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed SB 339, a bill that authorizes rulemaking by the Department of Health and Human Resources. The final version of the bill included an amendment adding “dry leaf or plant form” to the list of acceptable forms of medical cannabis. As a result, it appears that when dispensaries open, they will be able to sell cannabis flower to patients!
Thanks to all who contacted their legislators and helped secure this important victory. The legislature is no longer in session, so further progress on cannabis policy will have to wait until 2021. Fortunately, 2020 is an election year, so there will likely be many opportunities to replace elected officials who have opposed sensible cannabis policies with candidates who are supportive of reforms.
We will send more information on candidates’ positions in advance of the primary election, which is scheduled for May 12. Until then, please stay safe, and be sure to forward this good news to any patients you know who are waiting for legal access to medical cannabis.
West Virginia’s 2020 legislative session is underway, and several cannabis-related bills have been introduced, including bills to improve the medical cannabis law, to decriminalize possession, and to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis for adults’ use.
It is unlikely that a legalization bill will be seriously considered in 2020, but there appears to be a much better chance that legislators will support improving the medical cannabis program. West Virginians have been waiting far too long for safe, legal access to medical cannabis, so it’s encouraging to see that bipartisan leaders in the Senate — Majority Leader Tom Takubo (R-Charleston) and Senator Ron Stollings (D-Madison) — have introduced SB 752, a bill that would allow patients to grow their own cannabis until an adequate supply can be established through the dispensaries.
SB 752 would allow patients and caregivers to apply for “compassion certificates,” which would temporarily authorize them to possess up to 12 mature plants and 12 seedlings per patient. The bill would also make other beneficial changes, such as eliminating the restriction on selling cannabis flower at dispensaries and permitting regulators to enter reciprocity agreements with other states.
After you write your legislators and follow up with a phone call, please forward this message to your family and friends!