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]

5 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.

    • 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.

  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

  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.

  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


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