A bill that would have made several changes to West Virginia’s medical marijuana law failed when the state’s legislative session ended last weekend.
West Virginia’s medical marijuana program was set to launch in 2019, but the bill’s failure Saturday night and an opinion from the state treasurer have put the rollout on shaky ground, WVNews.com reported.
However, one of the state’s delegates has asked the governor to convene a special session for lawmakers to work on the MMJ bill, according to the news outlet.
Democrat Mike Pushkin, a sponsor of HB 4345, believes issues with the bill can be resolved quickly.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The bill didn’t return to the House floor after the Senate made significant amendments to the first version that passed Feb. 28. The Senate voted to approve it Saturday night.
- Before being altered by the Senate, the original bill would have allowed dispensaries to deliver medical marijuana to patients. It would have also made a push to allow the sale of smokable marijuana, which isn’t allowed under the current law. And the Bureau of Public Health would have been required to issue 100 dispensary licenses throughout the state.
- By the time the Senate passed the amended version, much of those stipulations had been stripped away and the dispensary number was cut in half.
- State Treasurer John Perdue wrote a letter to the governor and other state leaders on March 1 expressing concerns about the state’s MMJ program in context of the federal illegality of cannabis, particularly marijuana businesses’ difficulty finding banking services.