Is Cannabis Legal in the state of West Virginia?
Technically, West Virginia legalized medical cannabis in 2017, but the implementation of the program had been delayed due to legal and regulatory issues as per the facts. Looking back on 2020, it was announced that medical cannabis sales were expected to begin in 2021 of which no information was provided.
West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act
The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act is a law that was passed in West Virginia in 2017, legalizing the use of medical cannabis for patients with qualifying medical conditions. The Act outlines the rules and regulations for the medical cannabis program in West Virginia, including requirements for patients, caregivers, physicians, and licensed medical cannabis businesses.
Under this Act, patients with qualifying medical conditions, such as chronic pain, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and cancer, can apply for a medical cannabis card, which allows them to purchase and possess medical cannabis products from licensed dispensaries. Patients must have a written certification from a registered physician and meet other criteria to qualify for a medical cannabis card.
The Act also established the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis, which is responsible for regulating and overseeing the medical cannabis program. The Office of Medical Cannabis is responsible for licensing and regulating medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries, as well as implementing and enforcing regulations for the medical cannabis industry in West Virginia.
Complete List of Qualifying Conditions For Medical Cannabis Card in West Virginia
There are only limited conditions that qualify for a medical cannabis card in WV which are as follows:
- Chronic or intractable pain
- Huntington’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Intractable seizures
- Sickle cell anemia
- Terminal illness with a life expectancy of under 12 months
- Multiple sclerosis
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Severe chronic or intractable muscle spasms
Getting a Medical Cannabis Card in WV
The patients must have a written certification from a registered physician that they have a qualifying medical condition in order to apply for a medical cannabis card. Only after a patient is approved for a medical cannabis recommendation by a registered physician, it is possible to apply for a West Virginia medical cannabis card online on the state website. The West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis oversees the medical cannabis program and maintains a list of registered physicians who can certify patients for medical cannabis use.
Use of Cannabis for Recreation (Legal or Not)
Cannabis is not legal for recreational purposes in West Virginia. Possession and use of recreational cannabis are illegal in the state as of 14th February 2023.
In 2020, the state of West Virginia did pass a law that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use. Under this law, possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Possession of more than 15 grams is considered a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $15,000 and up to three years in prison.