State offer spurs medical marijuana enrollment in West Virginia

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The number of registered medical marijuana patients in West Virginia has exceeded 2,300 as the state girds for a market launch later this year.

State officials said 2,305 residents took advantage of an offer by a June 30 deadline to receive a three-year MMJ card, an effort by regulators to gauge program interest, the MetroNews in Charleston reported.

Those who register by Sept. 30 can get a medical marijuana card good for two years, while those who register after Oct. 1 will receive only a one-year card.

Physicians must recommend qualifying patients.

Separately, Florida-based Trulieve said Wednesday that it has started cultivation at a 100,000-square-foot facility in Huntington.

Other operators have said market sales are likely to begin in the fourth quarter, depending on laboratory testing, according to The State Journal in Clarksburg.

State regulators awarded 10 cultivation, 10 processing and 100 dispensary licenses beginning in late 2020 and handed out a testing lab license in March.

West Virginia is one of the slowest states to launch a medical cannabis program.

More than four years already have passed since medical marijuana legislation was signed into law in April 2017. Banking issues in part delayed the program.

The recently released 2021 MJBizFactbook projected that West Virginia’s MMJ program could hit $5 million to $6 million in sales in the first full year.