West Virginia medical marijuana sales start delayed until 2021 or 2022

In a blow to businesses hoping to quickly enter the West Virginia medical marijuana market, it could take up to three years before the new cannabis program is launched, a state official confirmed to Marijuana Business Daily.

Allison Adler, director of communications for the West Virginia Department of Health, wrote in an email to MJBizDaily that the “primary cause” behind the projected two- to three-year delay is concern about the ability of MMJ companies to secure banking services.

The banking issue was addressed in recent legislation.

The state treasurer, Adler noted, recently issued a request for proposals from financial institutions interested in providing banking services to the industry. However, the proposals will “require time to evaluate and implement.”

Adler continued that “it is important to note that after a solution to the current banking issue is found, it will take time for multiple stages of the medical cannabis permitting process to be implemented.”

The whole process, she added, also requires program staffing and development, rules implementation and registration of medical providers and patients.

Advance work already undertaken by the state should shorten the timeline, according to Adler. Still, her office  estimates it will take two to three years after a fix to the banking issue before dispensaries will open.

MJBizDaily previously projected sales would start sometime in 2020.

When West Virginia’s program is up and running, it will have these business elements, according to legislation passed in May:

  • Up to 10 growers. Each grower may have up to two locations per permit.
  • Up to 10 processors.
  • Up to 100 dispensaries.

An individual or business is permitted to hold grower, processor and dispensary licenses, but one individual can’t hold more than 10 dispensary permits.

Before a permit is issued, the applicant must get written approval from the board of health in the county where the business is going to be located.

Jeff Smith can be reached at [email protected]

18 comments on “West Virginia medical marijuana sales start delayed until 2021 or 2022
  1. farah on

    poor West Virginians getting hosed down by their bureaucrats. maybe the West Virgina Dept of Health should seek consultation with other states that have timely implemented the necessary regulations and infrastructure for medical marijuana.

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    • Anonymous reflections on

      In 2017 West Virginia had the highest overdose rate in the nation. It’s only gonna get worse before it gets better and the proven track record had been medical marijuana. And yes, why can’t our council members have meetings with other states to figure this banking situation out. Or do they not really want to figure this out. Are they jumping on a band wagon filled with lies, so the people of West Virginia think they are doing everything they can do. Sorry but I’m calling bullcrap here, others states have done it in less time. Cut the red tape that you our local government is putting up and move forward. I currently live in Martinsburg, I’ve only been here for 4 years. It was sad that when I moved here to only find out that this city is called little Baltimore, because of its heroin epidemic. Yes it’s an epidemic because here is the straight truth, my son needed to see a councilor downtown. We went a few times and decided to go to Maryland to see a councilor, because the clinic he was referred to was also a Suboxone clinic as well. It is a first come, first serve basis. On several occasions there were “patients” waiting outside with what I call the “Baltimore Lean”. Heroin addicts so messed up and leaned over so far they are basically touching their toes. This nation has a problem. I believe with everything in my heart and soul that medical marijuana could drastically decrease what these horrible drugs have done to our nation. Stop playing with people’s lives and give them the help they deserve. I’m not scared to say it like it is, I’ve seen too much death and too many families crumble because of opioids. And quite frankly people deserve to hear the real truth and not bureaucratic lies.

      Reply
      • Roz Walker on

        Ditto, buddy!!! How atrocious for I am a below knee amputee who has lived here since 2016 and haven’t even been able to obtain a freaking referral to pain management but was referred to without hesitation to suboxin clinics! I already know that pain pulls are synthetic heroin and highly addictive and even when I had been prescribed them I’m amother state , I knew better not to take them everyday and instead relied on mother nature’s finest which is marijuana!!! Also, my 92 year old mom has stage 4–5 Alzheimer’s and if was able to access the medical marijuana the stage she’s presently in would not I progress but stay at that level and to me it is extremely sad not to mention so extremely selfish and negligent for those in-charge of getting the medical marijuana setup going here in this anything except WONDERFUL in my opinion due to the fact that since law was passed they’ve chosen to drag their feet and postpone the actual ability to supply disabled/elderly/physical and mentally challenged persons with a natural alternative to safe medication opposed to the already proven to populate our community with more and more heroin addicts, etc!!! I say SHAME ON Y’ALL for not only taking all this time already (which has been more than a sufficient amount of time) to drag y’all’s feet therefore totally disregarding the 1000’s of sufferers to have to continue to endure and live in pain for our west va government/ones in charge of implementing it actually does not (care) about mine nor my mom’s nor anyone else who suffer with severe pain everyday for we pretty much know it is instead due to being them being greed;y postponing it just to make extra bucks!!! Get y’all’s priorities together and stop dragging y’all’s feet for some’s feet etc hurt enough and we don’t appreciate the lack of compassion nor outright disrespect of Our physically Disabled/mentally challenged residents!!! WOW… soooooo freakin glad to within next 2-4 months to get out of this trifling state and move to Ohio!!!!!!

        Reply
  2. Sam pitts on

    I have ptsd, an I’ve took their pills, to no help, I also don’t want to be addicted to Benzodiazepine or any other drug, marjuna dose a great job it would be terrible for me to get out in jail for me to get the meds I need to deal with this, please get this up an running, there’s a lot of people that live in our WV that need help, an don’t want to be addicted to pills that cause other problems

    Reply
  3. Dave on

    The delay is simply due to the lack of lobbyists influence so far. As soon as that is in place so the politicians get their payments things will move a bit quicker.

    Reply
  4. Mark on

    West Virginia and have been getting their marijuana they need for the last for five decades part of making marijuana legal is decriminalizing it so why not do what the district of Columbia has done and make it to where you can gift up to 1 ounce of marijuana we wouldn’t need any banks we don’t need any bureaucrats i’m sure there’s a way it can be taxed and regulated but I suffer from multiple degenerative diseases and medical marijuana would sure come in handy

    Reply
  5. Cheryl on

    There wasn’t any over dose deaths until the government got involved and stopped pain pills. Addicts could get a few pills a day and be happy and now they have been pushed to illegal street drugs. Chronic pain patients are suffering and dying and no one cares! I was so happy I would have an alternative to pain pills (stage 4 end stage kidney disease). Now I have neither. Do you really want to hand over all of your healthcare decisions to a government that can’t even decriminalize a plant??

    Reply
  6. James on

    The people in charge in West Virginia are honestly so stupid. It’s like WV is ran but people who are so inexperienced with anything because they’re afraid it’s going to hurt them.

    Reply
  7. Cecil ledsome on

    More government B’s if they would have left it where you cold grow up to four plants atleast people suffering could have had some relief until the program was up an running but it’s about the ol mighty dollar and not the people suffering all you have heard them talking about is how far wv is in debt and how the revenue from the sales will bail them out that’s why that was taken out of the bill they want total control of everything afraid someone else may get one of there dollars

    Reply
  8. Kaylyn on

    I agree w those who say WV won’t do it. That just means Colorado will be getting more & more wv $$. I’m not sure if our govt is inept,aka dumber than rocks, or just control freaks who get off on legislating the hell out of it’s citizens. There’s already plenty of good medicinal grade here, keep it coming

    Reply
  9. Laura Cornwell on

    It’s about GOP politicians like Justus, Capito and other Conservative Christian groups composing the Trump base. Pitchforks in the hollers folks!!! Remember, we used to be Democrats in The Mountain State.

    Reply
    • praxis on

      Oh yeah, hands down its the WV Republican Party, and the US Attorney Mike Stuart. The people really need to stop voting for state Republicans even if they love Trump at the national level. Mike Stuart is a Trump Appointee and is the worst anti Marijuana crusader in the country, even worse than Jeff Sessions. It just goes to show how out of touch they are with the problem’s we’re facing. Have you seen good ol Mike charge any CEO criminally for flooding this state with pills? Ah no, but he did try to shut down a hemp farm for growing plants bought from Kentucky. The guy’s an idiot and clearly a stooge for big pharma

      Reply
  10. David Watson Beverage Jr on

    It’s not only the heads of the state it’s how much money they make from the pill corporations. They really don’t (care) about us, truthfully it’s plain as day.

    Reply
  11. Praxis on

    Actually you can lay the blame at the feet of the US Attorney for the Southern Region of WV Mike Stuart who’s vowed to prosecute MMJ at the Federal level if anything happens here. He’s the former head of the WV Republican Party. He’s a Trump Appointee, so all you Trump supporters, while we all love the Orange Man, his appointee King Mike has done us dirty. So while the WV Republicans have presided over ground zero in the Opioid apocalypse, King Mike has run interference on behalf of big pharma, making sure no one is charged criminally for hurting WV with their pills (at the ceo level) and making sure the thing that reduces opioid mortality, (easy access to Cannabis) remains criminalized, even after the state passed a law allowing us access. If you don’t believe me, go research yourself everything King Mike has said. He is the most anti Cannabis crusader in the US and we’ve been burdened with him thanks to state Republicans and Trumps coat tail effect. If you really want things to change in this state you have HAVE to vote the Republicans out of Charleston. If that happens things will speed up for both medical and recreational but you have to stop voting straight party ticket at the voting booth, even if you love Trump. Note: I’m a WV Republican and the anti Cannabis element needs purged ASAP

    Reply
  12. Joseph Dagenais on

    I currently live in West Virginia I have lived all over the country. The pill problem is horrible here if the government thinks they can control marijuana think again they know where every single pill goes but they still let 8 million pills go through a single Pharmacy within a couple of years. It seems to me that if they had control or wanted to have control they can nip it right in the bud it’s easy to see right on their computer where the pills are going but they continue to flow because the money keeps flowing.. the methadone clinic here in Morgantown is 10 times busier than any McDonald’s ever could be at 6 a.m. from the homeless people walking to the place to the BMW’s that pull in. It sickens me ,that whole program just needs to go away.back in the day when youd kick heroin or some type of drug you just got off the (opioids) and we’re sick for a few days. There is no need for 7 years of Suboxone. The whole medical marijuana issue is a complete disaster it went from being able to grow 4 plants of my own to not having any at all and having to buy a pharmaceutical made by a company thats hand to hand with the government.what a joke. By the time we are able to smoke flower under these idiots rule it will be completely legal Nationwide and all the money they’ve wasted the last few years for all their little panels and boards the’ve created will be for nothing.West Virginia misses the boat again

    Reply

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