After years of delays, qualified patients in West Virginia may finally begin accessing medical cannabis products at licensed retail facilities.
According to the state’s Office of Medical Cannabis webpage, West Virginia’s first licensed dispensary is now open to registered patients. A second dispensary is scheduled to open on Monday, November 15. (A complete list of licensed facilities is available online here.)
The state’s initial dispensary opening is nearly five years after lawmakers approved medical cannabis access. Advocates had consistently criticized regulators slow rollout of the program, noting that no state had taken as much time to get a medical access program up and running.
“While today’s news comes as a welcome relief for West Virginians, it is far too little too late for the tens of thousands of patients who have suffered needlessly in the interim as politicians and regulators largely dragged their feet,” NORML State Policies Director Carly Wolf said. “In situations like these, it is vital that the law provides a home grow option for authorized patients so that they do not have to endure undue waiting periods before they can legally access their medicine.”
Under the law, patients with chronic pain, epilepsy, seizures, and other ailments may obtain a physician’s recommendation to obtain medical cannabis products from authorized dispensaries. The home cultivation of medical cannabis by registered patients is not permitted.
Patients seeking to register with the program may learn more here. In recent weeks, the Office of Medical Cannabis has been hosting a series of public sign up events for eligible patients. Additional dates will be posted on the Office’s website here.