West Virginia chooses medical marijuana advisory board

West Virginia regulators have announced the advisory board that will help develop the state’s medical marijuana program.

The newly created West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will be chaired by Rahul Gupta, commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health and state health officer.

The board’s other 12 members include physicians, pharmacists, a social worker, a prosecutor, a patient advocate and a horticulturalist.

The board’s duties will include examining and analyzing the statutory and regulatory law as it relates to medical cannabis in West Virginia and to study MMJ statutes across the United States.

The board also will issue a report to the governor, Senate and House of Delegates that will include recommendations and findings on whether to:

  • Alter the types of medical professionals who can issue certifications to patients.
  • Change, add or reduce the types of medical conditions for which MMJ can be recommended.
  • Change the forms of medical cannabis that will be permitted.
  • Change, add or reduce the number of growers, processors or dispensaries.
  • Permit MMJ to be dispensed in dry leaf or plant form for vaping.

Gupta said in a news release that the board will play a key role in establishing West Virginia’s MMJ program, which was the first in the United States to legalize in 2017.

Gov. Jim Justice signed the medical marijuana measure into law on April 19, but MMJ sales likely won’t begin in West Virginia until July 2019.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily