It’s official: West Virginia has become the 30th state in the nation to legalize medical cannabis, and the first to do so in 2017.
Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 386, the Medical Cannabis Act, and said it was “a monumental day,” MetroNews reported.
The legislature approved the bill the first week of April, and even though the program has its critics – in large part because it bans smokable MMJ, as do Minnesota and New York – the new law is another victory for the overall cannabis legalization movement and the marijuana industry.
The law allows up to 10 growers and 30 dispensaries statewide, according to the Herald-Dispatch, and licensing those businesses will be up to the state’s bureau of health. The legislature will set industry regulations.
Medical cannabis sales likely won’t begin in West Virginia until July 2019.
Marijuana Policy Project legislative analyst Matt Simon said last week that changing state law to allow smokable cannabis will be at the top of his group’s priorities when the West Virginia legislature reconvenes next year.